Big Changes at the English National Ballet
(Van Le Ngoc’s Vue de L’autre, photograph by Tristram Kenton)
The English National Ballet announced on Monday that next year inaugurates a partnership between the company and London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre.
ENB has always been England’s touring company and has also had a longstanding performance relationship with the London Coliseum. Now, starting in March 2015, ENB will serve as the first associate ballet company at Sadler’s Wells and will perform there for two seasons per year.
This partnership will likely change the dance landscape in England. ENB’s artistic director, Tamara Rojo, has worked to revitalize the company’s repertoire—however, ENB’s seasons in large theaters and on extended tours have made it difficult to invest in new, contemporary work. To sell tickets, the company has to rely on the classics. Sadler’s Wells has cultivated an audience of dance lovers who might be more open to edgy choreography, affording Rojo and ENB an advantage they didn’t have at the Coliseum.
However, the two-season agreement will likely affect ENB’s touring schedule (the company will also continue its winter season at the Coliseum for three more years), and it remains to be seen how the company will fulfill its dedication to domestic and international touring.