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Sadler's Wells, London
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 Catherine Backhouse, 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 in Vivace and his interpretation of 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.

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

A terrific return to the stage.
★★★★ The Times

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Main image: Fernanda Oliveira and Fabian Reimair in Russell Maliphant’s Echoes © Laurent Liotardo


Laid in Earth

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Jason Kittelberger
Assistant Choreographer
Dries Van Noten
Costume Design
Olga Wojciechowska
Electronic Music
Catherine Backhouse
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
Choreography and Costume Design
Johann Sebastian Bach

Jolly Folly

Arielle Smith
Choreography and Costume Design
The Klazz Brothers


“A terrific return to the stage”


Meet the principal cast

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