English National Ballet's Success at Glastonbury

November 28, 2001

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.

After the performance, the Twitter-verse, and the rest of the internet, exploded with praise. Reviews in more conventional outlets like The Guardian agreed. Many people who attended the festival described it as the highlight of their week, and others noted that while they had never seen ballet before, they were incredibly moved by the performance.

Congratulations to the Glastonbury organizers for taking a chance on something that could have been extremely incongruous with the rest of the music festival. And congratulations to the English National Ballet for performing in a highly unconventional setting and for giving a performance that might have convinced more people to love ballet.


Photo by Cathal McNaughton/Reuters