News: English National Ballet to dance Bausch's Rite

Friday 19 February 2016 by Carmel Smith

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch 'Le Sacre du Printemps' Photo: Ulli Weiss

English National Ballet will become only the second company in the world, other than Tanztheater Wuppertal to dance Pina Bausch’s masterpiece The Rite of Spring, made in 1975. The performances will be at Sadler’s Wells (where both companies are Associates) in Spring 2017.

The news came as part of English National Ballet’s 2016/17 Autumn Spring season announcement this week. Artistic Director Tamara Rojo said: “Pina Bausch was an incredible artist, and remains one of the most influential people in modern culture today. Her work transcends description; it affects you on a deep emotional level, speaking to your spirit and defying logical analysis.

Pina’s Rite of Spring is of great significance, and it gives me so much joy that English National Ballet becomes only the second ballet Company in the world, and the only UK Company to be entrusted to perform the work. I’m proud to present it alongside masterpieces from William Forsythe [In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated] and Hans van Manen [Adagio Hammerklavier], and I am truly honoured and humbled to be able to perform these works to audiences at Sadler’s Wells in 2017.”

Salomon Bausch, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Executive Director of the Pina Bausch Foundation said: “We are very much looking forward to working with Tamara Rojo and her remarkable company. It is going to be a new experience not only for the dancers but vice versa for the piece, which is going to have a new home in London.”

The Company had already announced a new version of Giselle by Akram Khan (premiering in Manchester in September, coming to Sadler’s Wells in November). In addition, the new season will also include Mary Skeaping’s version of the ballet, with a run at the London Coliseum in January 2017. Skeaping’s production, made in 1971, uses classic language and features some of ballet’s most dramatic scenes and otherworldly images.

“My vision for English National Ballet has been to introduce new works that push the boundaries of ballet, for both the company and audiences, while at the same time honouring and reinvigorating traditional works that have become so loved over the years,” Tamara Rojo said. “Ballet, and art, has the potential of interpretation and reinterpretation, and this is vital to drive our art form forward. And so I am thrilled that this season we will present the world premiere of Akram Khan’s reimagining of the iconic story of Giselle, as well as performing Mary Skeaping’s classical production.”

Khan’s Giselle will be his first full length ballet. He will be working with Academy-Award winning designer Tim Yip for set and costumes and composer Ben Frost, who will create an adaptation of the original score by Adolphe Adams, performed by English National Ballet Philharmonic. Giselle also sees dramaturgy from Ruth Little and lighting design from Mark Henderson. English National Ballet and Akram Khan previously collaborated together on the award-winning piece Dust, part of its Lest We Forget programme.

Giselle by Mary Skeaping, at London Coliseum , 11 – 22 January 2017 on sale on Monday 22 February 2016

Akram Khan’s Giselle
Sadler’s Wells, 15 – 19 November 2016 – go on sale on Monday 22 February 2016

Pina Bausch / William Forsythe / Hans van Manen
22 March – 1 April 2017 at Sadler’s Wells – on sale November 2016

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