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Sunday, June 23, 2024

The Royal Ballet


 

The Royal Ballet

 

♦ Location: London – England

♦ Artistic Director: Kevin O’Hare CBE

♦ Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

♦ Affiliated School: The Royal Ballet School

♦ Founded in 1931 by Dame Ninette de Valois as Vic-Wells Ballet. Name change to The Royal Ballet granted by Royal Charter in 1956 to mark its 25th anniversary.

Official Website of The Royal Ballet

 


 

 

The Royal Ballet 2023-2024 Season

 

The Royal Ballet 2023-2024 Season
The Royal Ballet 2023-2024 Season. Photo from The Royal Opera House website.

The Royal Ballet 2023-2024 season has been announced today revealing a diverse programming that includes special focus on the company’s Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton and Principal Choreographer Kenneth MacMillan.

Two programs are dedicated to Ashton kicking off the opening of ASHTON WORLDWIDE, the Frederick Ashton Foundation’s five-year international festival honoring his legacy; The Sarasota Ballet will share the stage for this honorary event.

The Frederick Ashton triple-bill includes Les Rendezvous, The Dream, and Rhapsody while the second program is composed of The Dream, Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan*, Hamlet and Ophelia*, The Walk to the Paradise Garden*, and Rhapsody.

MacMillan’s romantic Manon, which celebrates its 50th anniversary – and kicks off The Royal Ballet 2024 season in London – plus a triple-bill program showcase the choreographer’s extraordinary artistic mark on the ballet canon.

Three full-length ballets will see revivals including Carlos Acosta’s Don Quixote – which opens the season – Swan Lake (Liam Scarlett and Frederick Ashton after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov), and the annual production of Sir Peter Wright’s Nutcracker.

Other story ballets during the season are:

  • Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale
  • Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor’s The Dante Project
  • Cathy Marston’s The Cellist

There is also no lack of world premiere ballets to be seen at the Royal Opera House as The Festival of New Choreography will present never-been-seen-before works on the Main Stage as well as in the Linbury Theatre.

*performed by Sarasota Ballet

 

 

The Royal Ballet 2024-2025 Season

 

The Royal Ballet 2024-2025 Season
The Royal Ballet 2024-2025 Season. Fumi Kaneko in Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella. Photo by Andrej Uspenski.

The Royal Ballet 2024-2025 Season has been announced today revealing a program that honors the company’s history as well as its commitment to presenting new productions by some of today’s most forward-thinking dance makers and creative teams.

Classical full-length ballets such as Cinderella (the first three-act ballet that Frederick Ashton choreographed for The Royal Ballet back in 1946) and Kenneth McMillan’s Romeo and Juliet (which turns 60 in 2025) are joined by contemporary adaptations of literature: Onegin, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and MaddAdam.

Based on the characters of Alexander Pushkin’s novel Eugene Onegin, John Cranko choreographed Onegin (which will also celebrate its 60th birthday in 2025) to Kurt-Heinz Stolze’s arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s opera score.

MaddAddam is the third piece in Wayne McGregor’s trilogy of works (along with Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood) that adapt Margaret Atwood’s novels into dance. Themes of extinction and invention, hubris and humanity, love and loss, are spliced together with aspects of Atwood’s non-fiction writings and activist voice in this exhilarating exploration of life beyond societal collapse.

 

 

There are repertory programs dedicated to George Balanchine and Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet, Christopher Wheeldon, and another featuring contemporary works by Kyle Abraham, Crystal Pite, Pam Tanowitz, and Joseph Toonga.

“Three Signature Works” recognizes Balanchine’s contributions to 20th century ballet, showcasing Serenade (first ballet he created in America), Prodigal Son (Balanchine’s last creation on Sergei Diaghilev’s famed ballet company, the Ballets Russes), and Symphony in C (Balanchine’s grand classical work created on the Paris Opera Ballet in 1947).

The program highlighting Wheeldon’s work, titled “Ballet to Broadway”, features Fool’s Paradise, The Two of Us, and Us. The choreographer’s extraordinary success in musical theatre is honored by performing the ballet scene from his Tony Award-winning musical An American in Paris (set to Gershwin’s music) inspired by the 1951 film of the same name.

In “Encounters”, audiences will see world premieres by Tanowitz and Toonga, the former expanding on her previous success with Dispatch Duet and the latter exploring where the idioms of classical ballet and hip-hop converge.

These are bookended by Abraham’s The Weathering, the first one-act ballet the choreographer created for The Royal Ballet with music by Ryan Lott, and Pite’s The Statement which is choreographed to spoken word, exploring the shadowy depths of human nature and boardroom politics.

Pite’s Light of Passage, which is part of a trilogy alongside Covenant and Passage and set to music by Henryk Mikolaj Góreckiwill, also see its return. Pike comments:

“There is a profound optimism in putting something like this out into the world and connecting to each other through it. When people collaborate to create a work of art and an audience gathers to witness it, there is something very hopeful and powerful about the experience. I want to create conditions in the theatre where we can gather around what we cannot know and grapple with it, together.”

To note, going forward, London‘s most renowned performing arts institution will operate under a new combined organizational name – The Royal Ballet and Opera.

Source: The Royal Ballet

 

 

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