English National Ballet’s Raymonda to receive world premiere in Manchester
Tamara Rojo CBE, Artistic Director of English National Ballet, will create a new version of the classic 19th century ballet, Raymonda, after Marius Petipa. Marking her first foray into choreography and direction, Rojo adapts the three-act production for today’s audiences, revisiting this important but rarely performed work of the ballet canon which is not, in its entirety, in any other UK dance companies’ repertoire.
Bringing the story into the setting of the Crimean war and drawing inspiration from the groundbreaking spirit and work of the women supporting the war effort, including Florence Nightingale in this her bicentennial year, Raymonda is recast as a young woman with a calling to become a nurse. With a new narrative and developed characterisation bringing women’s voices to the fore, Rojo’s Raymonda introduces a heroine in command of her own destiny.
Tamara Rojo CBE said: “It continues to be a part of my vision for English National Ballet to look at classics with fresh eyes, to make them relevant, find new contexts, amplify new voices and ultimately evolve the art form.
“Raymonda is a beautiful ballet – extraordinary music, exquisite and intricate choreography – with a female lead who I felt deserved more of a voice, more agency in her own story. Working with my incredible creative team, I am setting Raymonda in a new context and adapting the narrative in order to bring something unique, relevant and inspiring to our audiences.
“I have truly enjoyed delving into the creative process of adapting and choreographing a large-scale ballet and have been inspired by Florence Nightingale’s drive and passion.”
Rojo brings together a stellar production team forRaymonda with costume and set design by Antony McDonald, lighting design by Mark Henderson, dramaturgy by Lucinda Coxon, character dances by Vadim Sirotin, and choreology research and advice on the Sergeyev notation by Doug Fullington. Alexander Glazunov’s original score, with music arrangement by Gavin Sutherland, will be performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic. Raymonda is a Co-Production between English National Ballet and Finnish National Ballet.
Furthering its commitment to UK touring, theworld premiere of Raymonda will take place at Manchester’s Palace Theatre (15 – 17 October).
English National Ballet remains committed to developing and nurturing talent within the Company. Emerging Dancer, which returns in Spring 2021, recognises the excellence of the Company’s artists through an annual celebration that sees six finalists mentored by their peers to perform in front of a panel of eminent judges. The winner of Emerging Dancer is announced alongside the People’s Choice award and the Corps de Ballet award, introduced to recognise the hard work and dedication of an exceptional member of the corps.
Developing the ballet audience of tomorrow, English National Ballet and English National Ballet School’s My First Ballet series takes a popular ballet title and adapts it in time and length, making it accessible to children as young as three. Since 2012, over 320,000 people have seen a ballet from the series. My First Ballet: Swan Lake will be performed on tour in the UK in Spring 2021.
Elsewhere, English National Ballet celebrates 10 years of its flagship Engagement programme, Dance for Parkinson’s. Inspired by Company repertoire, the programme provides high quality dance classes for people living with Parkinson’s, their family, friends and carers. Since its launch in 2010, English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s has reached over 4700 people and has expanded to include five hubs across the UK. 2020 sees a collaboration with King’s College London and UCL on one of the world’s largest research studies addressing the impact and scalability of arts interventions on physical and mental health. English National Ballet is a National Portfolio Organisation supported by Arts Council England. NatWest is Principal Partner of English National Ballet.
Notes to Editors: English National Ballet is an Associate Company of Sadler’s Wells. Raymonda by Tamara Rojo, after Marius Petipa A Co-Production between English National Ballet and Finnish National Ballet
On sale information: General booking for these performances will open on Wednesday 5 February 2020