English National Ballet

Who would have thought that the English National Ballet would be popular with an early-morning music festival crowd? In past years Glastonbury—a major music festival in England—has experiemented with several different kinds of performances for its Sunday morning slot. This year, the English National Ballet took the stage to perform Akram Khan's Dust, a ballet about women during World War I.

Even ballet fans far from the U.K. know and love longtime English National Ballet star Daria Klimentová.

We know her by her dancing, of course: She is supremely elegant, expressive, and precise. During her 25 years with the company, she brought a jewel-like sparkle to nearly every role in the classical repertoire.

It sounds like there's a little turmoil over at the Royal Ballet. The Telegraph has reported that soloist Dawid Trzensimiech left the company for a principal contract at the National Romanian Ballet, citing a "lack of care and coaching." Meanwhile, the Royal's corps de ballet was recently in talks with their union about being overworked. (The compromise resulting from the discussions is a lunch break scheduled into the dancers' days.)

Former Royal Ballet principal Alina Cojocaru surprised the ballet world yesterday with the announcement that she's joining the English National Ballet. Many fans speculate that the move stems from her dissatisfaction at The Royal, which she abruptly left in June, along with on-and off-stage partner Johan Kobborg (who has not yet announced his future plans).

 

Few topics in the dance world are more fraught than motherhood. No, we’re not talking about the dragon mothers on “Dance Moms,” but the challenges of balancing pregnancy and parenting with the physical demands of dance. Not only do artists struggle when pregnancy changes their dancer bodies, but the stress and schedule of performing and touring aren’t always compatible with parenthood.

 

English National Ballet has just named Tamara Rojo as it’s new artistic director. The 37-year-old Royal Ballet principal will take the reins from Wayne Eagling, who resigned a few weeks ago. Rojo has had her sights set on becoming an artistic director for quite some time—she has a master’s degree in scenic arts and has previously shadowed National Ballet of Canada’s Karen Kain to gain insight into the position.

Published December 11, 2009
Peek inside English National Ballet principal Erina Takahashi's dance bag.more »

Show and Tell: Inside Erina Takahashi's Dance Bag

Courtesy of Rosalie O’Connor

Published December 9, 2009
Saints watch over English National Ballet dancer Arionel Vargas's dance bag.more »