National Dance Awards 2012
Anya Linden exhibition
Tatiana Leskova: A Ballerina at Large
RB 2012/13 period 4 casting
Tony Hall appointed Director General of the BBC
BRB's Aladdin UK premiere
Liam Scarlett appointed Artist in Residence
RB 2012/13 period 3 casting
BRB's Autumn season at the Birmingham Hippodrome
Natalia Osipova, Sergei Polunin and Tamara Rojo to guest with the RB in 2012/13



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news: July 2012 - Jan 2013

January 29, 2013
Critics' Circle National Dance Awards 2012

The 13th annual Critics' Circle National Dance Awards presentations were made on January 28th in a ceremony at The Place in London. The Ballet Association sponsored the award for Best Classical Choreography and David Bain presented that to Annabelle Lopez Ochoa for A Streetcar Named Desire which she choreographed for Scottish Ballet in 2012.

Marianela Nuñez after receiving her award. Photo ©John Ross 2013

Marianela Nuñez was the recipient of the Grishko Award for Best Female Dancer (given in memory of Richard Sherrington). Marianela also won this award in 2005.

Best Modern Choreography went to Arthur Pita for The Metamorphosis in which Edward Watson and Laura Day (of the Royal Ballet School) performed in the Linbury.

The full list of awards is here. More of John Ross's photos of the event are here.

January 4, 2013
Royal Ballet School Anya Linden exhibition at White Lodge
(Royal Ballet School press release)

White Lodge Museum & Ballet Resource Centre today announced the opening on 22 January of an important new exhibition entitled Anya Linden, Lady Sainsbury: Ballerina and Benefactor. This first major exhibition celebrating the illustrious career and far-reaching influence of Anya Linden is timed as part of celebrations surrounding her 80th birthday on 3 January 2013.

A former student of The Royal Ballet School, Anya Linden became a Principal Dancer of The Royal Ballet from 1958-63. Her repertoire encompassed all the Classical ballerina roles and works by Massine, Ashton, Helpmann, Cranko and MacMillan. In 1963, she married John, Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover KG. Together they established The Linbury Trust which gives vital support to the arts.

The exhibition will feature a wide collection of photographs from Anya Sainsbury’s private collection, and her newly restored Princess Aurora tutu from 1957, worn in Act I of The Royal Ballet’s iconic production of The Sleeping Beauty, designed by Oliver Messel.

To visit Anya Linden, Lady Sainsbury: Ballerina and Benefactor it is necessary to contact White Lodge Museum in advance by telephone on 020 8392 8440, Option 7, or by email at museum@royalballetschool.co.uk

January 3, 2013
New book - Tatiana Leskova: A Ballerina at Large

"Tatiana Leskova is one of the last pupils of dancers from the golden world of the Imperial Russian Ballet … Leskova has continued to revive signature works by Leonide Massine created for the Ballets Russes. She staged Choreartium for Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1991…"
A new biography by Suzana Braga. Further details.

Royal Ballet 2012/2013 Period 4 casting
(m = matinée)

Hansel and Gretel (NEW Liam Scarlett) Linbury, May 8-11 REVIEWS
Hansel, Gretel, Sandman, Witch, Mother, Father
Kay, Cope, McRae, Maloney, Morera, Gartside (May 8, 10, 11)
Ondiviela, Harrod, Thom, Yanowsky, McNally, Whitehead (May 9, 11m)

Raven Girl / Symphony in C May 24 - June 8 REVIEWS
Raven Girl (NEW Wayne McGregor)
Lamb, Takada, Watson, Kay, Soares, Underwood (May 24, 29m; June 3, 8)
Hamilton, Cowley, Bonelli, Campbell, Gartside, Hirano (May 28, 29; June 8m)

Symphony in C
Yanowsky, Nuñez, Choe, Morera, Hirano, Soares, McRae, Hirano (May 24)
Lamb, Nuñez, Choe, Mendizabal, Hristov, Soares, McRae, Trzensimiech (May 28)
Yanowsky, Nuñez, Choe, Morera, Soares, Hirano, McRae, Cervera (May 29m)
Lamb, Nuñez, Marquez, Mendizabal, Hristov, Soares, Campbell, Trzensimiech (May 29; June 8m)
Yanowsky, Nuñez, Marquez, Morera, Hirano, Soares, Campbell, Cervera (June 3, 8)

†all casting is subject to change so please check on the Royal Opera House website
*denotes a debut in the role

November 22, 2012
Tony Hall appointed Director General of the BBC
(ROH press release 22/11/2012)

Tony Hall
Tony Hall. Photo by Johan Persson ©ROH/Johan Persson

Following today’s announcement by the BBC Trust regarding the appointment of Tony Hall as the next Director-General of the BBC, Simon Robey, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Royal Opera House, has made the following statement:

“I was not surprised when the BBC turned to Tony to lead them through their current difficulties. They see, as we do, his qualities of leadership and his depth of relevant experience. I can think of nobody better able to bring stability back to the BBC.

“Tony has been a truly distinguished Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House. He has been a tremendous and inspiring force for good. The ROH he will leave in March is very different to the one he took over in 2001. We have a world-class senior team, both artistic and non-artistic, led by Antonio Pappano, Kasper Holten and Kevin O’Hare. Our artistic standards and reputation have never been higher and are unsurpassed around the world. Many, many more people see the extraordinary work of both companies through audience development programmes, ticket pricing initiatives and digital and cinema distribution. We have a very large and impactful education and community engagement programme and we are now a beacon of best practice in the arts sector. We are financially stable and we have changed the mix of our funding so that our ACE grant (now down from 40% to about 25% of our income) and our philanthropic revenue is broadly in balance. Tony deserves credit for all of this and we now face the future, with its inevitable challenges and opportunities, with strong foundations and very broad and loyal support.

“Speaking personally, I will miss him tremendously. He has been an outstanding colleague and friend, as I know he has been to many others at the Royal Opera House.

“We will turn immediately to finding a worthy successor. I am confident that this exceptional place will continue to be led by an exceptional person.

“There will be good occasions to celebrate Tony’s extraordinary contribution to the Opera House over the coming weeks and, of course, we all look forward to welcoming him back to the opera and ballet house he loves so much as a treasured member of our audience for years to come.”

Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera added “Tony has been the most wonderful advocate for both the Royal Opera House and opera more generally. He has grabbed every opportunity to enable us to get opera way beyond the Opera House auditorium into homes and cinemas around the world.

“He’s been a great friend and colleague and whilst this is a fantastic opportunity for him to return to the BBC – and I can think of no better person for the BBC – we will miss him hugely here.”

Kasper Holten, Director of Opera said “Congratulations to the BBC. They are very lucky. Tony is the most inspirational leader I have ever worked for. He will be sorely missed at the ROH and by me personally, but I am excited for him about this, and I am sure he will do a fantastic job.

“Tony’s importance for Royal Opera House cannot be underestimated and he has managed to create an incredible platform for us to do our artistic work and take opera forward.”

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet said “Tony’s genuine love for ballet and dance has been a huge advantage for The Royal Ballet. He’s done so much, not only for this Company, but for dance in general through the Dance Review and support for the sector. I feel privileged to have worked with him, both in my previous roles and now as Director of The Royal Ballet. He’s been an inspiration and a great support to me over the years, and has been fundamental to our programme of new initiatives to bring ballet to a wider audience. He’s also been a great friend to me and to many people in the building. We will all miss him.”

Profile of Tony Hall on BBC News

November 16, 2012
Birmingham Royal Ballet's Aladdin UK premiere
(BRB press release)

Celebrating the UK premiere performances of Aladdin, Birmingham Royal Ballet brings the tale of love, trickery and triumph to the Birmingham Hippodrome stage from Friday 15 February to Saturday 23 February 2013. Created for the National Ballet of Japan in 2008, Aladdin boasts choreography by BRB Director David Bintley, the creator of the Company’s award-winning Cinderella and music by Carl Davis, composer of the Company’s Cyrano and numerous well-known television scores including Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, The World at War and Up Pompeii.

This production boats a stellar creative team. Choreography is by David Bintley and adds another full-length ballet to Bintley’s incredible career and history of dance making. Full length ballets choreographed by Bintley, the award-winning Director of BRB, include Hobson’s Choice, Edward II, Far from the Madding Crowd, Cinderella and The Prince of the Pagodas which will receive its UK premiere at Birmingham Hippodrome as part of the Britten Centenary Celebrations in February 2014.

Music for Aladdin is by the celebrated composer Carl Davis and was specially-commissioned for the world premiere in Tokyo in 2008. Davis has written numerous ballets, TV and film scores including The French Lieutenant's Woman in 1981, for which he won the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music. Set designs for Aladdin are by Dick Bird. Bird has designed numerous theatre, opera, ballet, TV and film productions including for the Barbican, Opera North, ENO, Royal Court Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, Young Vic and Crucible Theatre.

Costumes are by Sue Blane. Blane studied costume design at Wolverhampton College of Art and Central School of Art and Design. She is best known for her costume designs for the iconic The Rocky Horror Show and The Rocky Horror Picture Show by Richard O’Brien. Blane was nominated for a 1997 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for her design of English National Ballet's Alice in Wonderland and a BAFTA nomination for Peter Greenaway's The Draughtsman's Contract.

Lighting is by Mark Jonathan who has previously created designs for BRB productions of Cyrano, Beauty and the Beast, Far from the Madding Crowd, Sylvia, The Protecting Veil, Giselle and The Seasons.

The ballet begins with Aladdin’s run-in with Palace guards that leads the young tearaway into a whirlwind of adventure and romance, involving unbelievable riches, love at first sight, treachery, and of course a magic lamp. Duped into helping an evil Maghrib, Aladdin finds himself trapped in a cave for three days and nights, with no light and nothing to eat. But it is only when he attempts to light the old lamp he’s found, that his real adventure begins!

Birmingham Royal Ballet continues to encourage families to attend its performances and is delighted to offer family-friendly show times during the Aladdin Birmingham Hippodrome run. The schedule includes a 1pm performance on Sunday 17 February and a 6.30pm performance on Friday 22 February.

Aladdin is a co-production with Houston Ballet Foundation, establishing further links between Birmingham Royal Ballet and the international dance arena. Aladdin is supported (2013) by The John Ellerman Foundation, the estate of Margery Bremner and the estate of Pamela Green.

November 2, 2012
Liam Scarlett appointed Royal Ballet Artist in Residence
(ROH press release)

Liam Scarlett has been appointed the first ever Royal Ballet Artist in Residence. The position will allow him to focus solely on his choreographic work. He will take up the position with immediate effect and make his last appearances with the Company as a dancer in the current run of Swan Lake.

Liam Scarlett
Image ©Royal Opera House

Liam’s latest work Viscera receives its UK premiere at the Royal Opera House this weekend as part of a Mixed programme also featuring Wayne McGregor’s Infra and Christopher Wheeldon’s Fool’s Paradise. Previous works choreographed by Liam include Sweet Violets, Asphodel Meadows and Diana & Actaeon from Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 (a collaboration with Will Tuckett and Jonathan Watkins).

Director of The Royal Ballet, Kevin O’Hare said:

“This is a very exciting moment both for Liam and also for The Royal Ballet. We’ve seen Liam’s choreographic talents develop since his time at the Royal Ballet School and subsequently as a member of the Company with Monica Mason’s encouragement and I’m delighted that we’re now able to offer him this opportunity to concentrate full time on his choreographic work.”

Liam reacted to his appointment saying:

“It is such an honour to be made Artist in Residence. For the past 16 years The Royal Ballet School and The Royal Ballet have been my home and it is with immense pride that I accept this position. I have had a wonderful and fruitful dancing career and now look forward to this next venture continuing to develop and create new work for the world’s top dancers in the most outstanding company in the world.”

The Royal Ballet has been very lucky to receive generous support for new choreography, most recently through the New Ballet Works syndicate, launched in September to support three new works being created by Liam, Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon. Gifts received so far have raised over £450,000, which goes a very long way in enabling the extensive time and resources required when creating new choreography.

More, on The Arts Desk

October 18, 2012
Royal Ballet 2012/2013 Period 3 casting
(m = matinée)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland March 15 - April 13 REVIEWS
Alice, Jack, White Rabbit, Queen of Hearts, Mad Hatter
Lamb, Bonelli, Watson, Yanowsky, McRae (Mar 15, 28‡; Apr 13)
Lamb, Bonelli, Cervera, Morera, Campbell (Mar 19)
Lamb, Bonelli, Cervera, Yanowsky, McRae (Mar 21)
Choe*, Kish, Cervera, Morera, Campbell (Mar 23m, 27; Apr 2)
Stix-Brunell, Pennefather, Maloney*, Mendizabal, Thom* (Mar 25)
Choe, Kish, Maloney, Mendizabal, Thom (Apr 6m, 11)
‡live cinema relay

La Bayadère April 5 - May 22 REVIEWS
Nikiya, Solor, Gamzatti
Marquez, Bonelli, Nuñez (Apr 5, 20m)
Kobayashi*, Kish*, Choe* (Apr 9)
Marquez, McRae*, Choe (Apr 12)
Kobayashi, Soares, Choe (Apr 27m)
Yanowsky, Golding*, Mendizabal*, (May 1, 13)
Lamb, Soares, Calvert* (May 2, 6m)
Marquez, McRae, Morera (May 6)
Nuñez, Acosta, Kobayashi (May 14, 22)

Mayerling 2009
Mayerling - Edward Watson as Crown Prince Rudolph, Mara Galeazzi as Mary Vetsera.
Photo by Johan Persson ©ROH/Johan Persson 2007

Mayerling April 19 - June 15 REVIEWS
Rudolph, Mary Vetsera, Countess Larisch, Princess Stephanie, Empress Elisabeth
Watson, Galeazzi, Lamb, Maguire, Yanowsky (Apr 19)
Gartside*, Galeazzi, Kobayashi*, Maguire, McNally (Apr 25, 30)
Pennefather, Hamilton, Mendizabal*, Harrod, Bhavnani (May 3m; June 10)
Acosta, Benjamin, Morera, Hinkis*, Yanowsky (May 30; June 6, 15)
Soares, Hamilton, Nuñez, Choe*, Chapman (June 1m, 12)
Watson, Galeazzi, Lamb, Hayward*, Arestis (June 1, 13‡‡)
Kobborg, Cojocaru, Kobayashi, Maguire, McNally (June 5)

†all casting is subject to change so please check on the Royal Opera House website
*denotes a debut in the role
‡live cinema relay
‡‡live outdoor screening

September 3, 2012
Birmingham Royal Ballet's Autumn season at the Hippodrome

(BRB press release)

Birmingham Royal Ballet is delighted to return to the Birmingham Hippodrome stage from 26 September to 6 October.  The Company will perform the autumn season in its home city with two programmes, a mixed bill Opposites Attract and Sir Peter Wright’s timeless Swan Lake.

Opposites Attract: 26-29 September
(Lyric Pieces / Take Five / Grosse Fuge)
Flair, energy and innovation in three original modern ballets open the Company’s 2012/13 season at Birmingham Hippodrome.

Creating her first piece for a major European company, award-winning American choreographer Jessica Lang crosses the Atlantic to make this ballet, jointly commissioned by International Dance Festival Birmingham 2012 and Birmingham Royal Ballet. Set to romantic musical miniatures by Norwegian master Edvard Grieg and with a hand-picked design team, Lyric Pieces promises to be one of the Company’s highlights of 2012.

In Take Five, Director David Bintley invites you to share his love of jazz and, in particular, the music of Dave Brubeck. In homage to one of his heroes, he created this sexy and energetic series of vignettes to some of Brubeck’s most famous tracks including Take Five and Unsquare Dance.

One of Dutch choreographer Hans van Manen’s most famous works, Grosse Fuge is an invigorating and uplifting experience that has lost none of its power over the last 40 years. The tension is palpable as four men and four women take to the stage, their gazes never meeting. Bare-chested, the men enter into a stern and muscular display. Ripping the men’s skirts from them, the women meet them on equal terms, and the two groups engage in a ritualised dance of raw power and sexuality.

Swan Lake: 2-6 October
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of Swan Lake, created by Sir Peter Wright, enjoyed its premiere in 1981 at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. Now, 31 years later, this timeless story of good, evil, and the all conquering power of love comes to the Birmingham Hippodrome for eight performances only.

Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is without doubt the most famous of all classical ballets. In mourning for his father, Prince Siegfried finds solace in hunting in the forest. He comes across a moonlit lake and is astonished to see one of the swans transform into a beautiful Princess. She is Odette, who, under the evil Von Rothbart’s spell, spends her days as a swan, returning to human form as night falls. Only the love of one who has never loved before can save her from this fate, but when the Prince is tricked into declaring himself to Von Rothbart’s daughter Odile, magically disguised as Odette, all hope seems lost.  

With its exquisite ensembles, lyrical pas de deux and bravura solos, set to one of the world’s most achingly beautiful scores, it is essential you secure your seats early.

Venue and booking information:
Birmingham Hippodrome: Tickets: 0844 338 5000  www.birminghamhippodrome.com

July 19 2012
The Royal Ballet Announces Guest Artists for 2012/13 Season
(ROH press release)

Principal of the Mikhailovsky Ballet, Natalia Osipova, will make her Royal Ballet debut in Swan Lake later this year. She will join the Company for three performances on 10, 13 and 25 October 2012, dancing alongside regular Royal Ballet Principal Guest Artist Carlos Acosta.

Tamara Rojo and Sergei Polunin will return to the Royal Opera House for three performances on 12, 15 and 21 February 2013. Rojo, who leaves the Company at the end of the current season, will dance three farewell performances of Marguerite and Armand partnered by Polunin, both having danced the ballet to critical acclaim in October 2011.

Natalia Osipova's last appearance at the Royal Opera House, dancing Giselle with the
Bolshoi Ballet in 2010. Photo ©Jennie Walton.

Director Designate of The Royal Ballet, Kevin O’Hare said:
“I am delighted to be able to invite Natalia Osipova to appear with the Company for the first time next season and I know that she is really looking forward to appearing in our production of Swan Lake and to working with Carlos Acosta.

"I am also delighted that, after her long and distinguished career with the Company, Tamara Rojo is able to accept my invitation to return to make a final farewell to Covent Garden audiences and reprise her performance of Marguerite partnered, as before, by Sergei Polunin.”

Tickets for Swan Lake are already on sale. Public booking for Marguerite and Armand opens on 17 October 2011.