Sadler's Wells, London
17 - 30 May
Approx. 80 minutes
No interval
Our return to the stage

English National Ballet returns to live performances with five works by renowned choreographers and rising talents.

Created and released as films during our critically acclaimed Digital Season in late 2020, these original pieces are performed live on stage for the first time.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui reimagines Laid in Earth as a “torn apart” quartet. It is set to Purcell’s famous aria from Dido and Aeneas – sung live by mezzo soprano Flora McIntosh, as well as new electronic music composed by Olga Wojciechowska.

In Echoes, Russell Maliphant creates ever shifting choreography and uses light as an integral partner in the creative process. Collaborating with video artist Panagiotis Tomaras and with commissioned sound design by Dana Fouras, the result is mesmerising.

A former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, world-renowned choreographer Yuri Possokhov works with a UK company for the first time. His piece for four dancers, Senseless Kindness, is based on Vasily Grossman’s great novel, Life and Fate, about a Russian family caught in the Second World War, and set to Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No1.

In creating Take Five Blues, ENB Associate Choreographer Stina Quagebeur was inspired by Nigel Kennedy’s take on Bach’s Vivace and Desmond’s Take Five, and the way in which contemporary jazz and classical music are uniquely married together. Her eight dancers play with the unexpected melodies and rhythms, feeding off each other’s energy in this high-spirited number that pushes past classical ballet’s rules and boundaries into new territories.

Arielle Smith’s Jolly Folly is like your favourite dance number in an old movie musical: fast-paced, surprising, and full of uncontainable energy. Driven by the Klazz Brothers’ latin-infused covers of Tchaikovsky, Strauss and Mozart, it will make you grin from ear to ear.

The music for Laid in Earth and Senseless Kindness is performed live by musicians of English National Ballet Philharmonic.

Performances will be to socially-distanced audiences, subject to UK Government guidance.

English National Ballet is an Associate Company of Sadler’s Wells.



Laid in Earth

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui


Jason Kittelberger

Assistant Choreographer

Dries Van Noten

Costume Design

Olga Wojciechowska

Electronic Music

Flora McIntosh

Mezzo Soprano


Russell Maliphant

Choreography and Lighting Design

Dana Fouras

Sound Design

Panagiotis Tomaras

Video Projections and Lighting Design

Stevie Stewart

Costume Design

Senseless Kindness

Yuri Possokhov


Dmitri Shostakovich


Federica Romano

Costume Design

Take Five Blues

Stina Quagebeur


Johann Sebastian Bach


Paul Desmond


Stina Quagebeur

Costume Design

Jolly Folly

Arielle Smith


White cyc


The Klazz Brothers


Arielle Smith

Costume Design
PRESS English National Ballet in Jolly Folly, a film by Amy Becker-Burnett, choreographed by Arielle Smith © English National Ballet


“The driving score provokes spiky, assertive dance. It’s a cheering blast of Friday night vibes.”
“Yuri Possokhov’s first UK work shows his talent for classical choreographic prose, in lilting, playful and romantic phrases”
“Cherkaoui’s sensuous choreography has a slowly mesmeric rise and fall”


Meet the principal cast

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