English National Ballet
2023/2024 Season Announcement

Artistic Director Designate Aaron S. Watkin announced his first season for English National Ballet this morning on 1 March. He says: “Being entrusted to lead this brilliant organisation is a privilege. I am so grateful to be able to show audiences my vision for English National Ballet and share the immense talent and versatility this Company has to offer. By pairing works from some of the greatest classical choreographers with visceral new works by some of the most exciting artists working today I believe we are showcasing the full potential of this brilliant artform for audiences across the country. I am proud to build on Tamara’s legacy and will continue to forge innovation and embrace the great tradition of classical ballet. I am excited to bring the whole Company and our audiences on this journey, as we take English National Ballet into the next chapter in its rich history.”

Opening the season at Sadler’s Wells (21 - 30 September) is a new triple bill, Our Voices featuring three ballets in three diverse styles: classical ballet, neo-classical ballet and contemporary dance, showcasing the strength and versatility of the company; Les Noces by American choreographer Andrea Miller with artwork by renowned sculptor Dame Phyllida Barlow; WP David Dawson's Four Last Songs.set to the final score by Richard Strauss. Of Four Last Songs, David Dawson said “I was introduced to Four Last Songs at the age of 19 and it has been a constant presence in my life ever since - through all of my experiences, a true companion. It is an honour for me to be able to create this new ballet to a piece of music that is so close to my heart.” Completing the programme for Our Voices is the company premiere of Balanchine's Theme and Variations featuring new set and designs for 2023 by Roberta Guidi di Bagno.

Akram Khan’s Giselle returns with performances on tour this autumn in Manchester (19 - 21 October) and Bristol (26 - 28 October) as does Mary Skeaping’s production of Giselle which returns to the London Coliseum in January 2024.  Wayme Eagling 's Nutcracker will open at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (30 November - 2 December) followed by performances at the London Coliseum this December. At Sadler’s Wells in spring 2024 is the UK Premiere of Johan Inger’s award-winning Carmen,  originally created for Spain’s Compañía Nacional de Danza set to a score by Bizet and Shchedrin with new music from Spanish composer Marc Álvarez.Derek Deane’s Swan Lake in-the-round returns to the Royal Albert Hall in summer 2024 and ENB School wil present My First Ballet: Swan Lake at the Peacock Theatre over Easter 2024, while Emerging Dancer will return in May.

Listings information.
Our Voices
Theme and Variations by Balanchine / Four Last Songs by Dawson / Les Noces by Miller
Sadler’s Wells
21 – 30 September 2023

Akram Khan’s Giselle
Manchester Palace Theatre
19 – 21 October 2023

Akram Khan’s Giselle
Bristol Hippodrome
26 – 28 October 2023

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
30 November – 2 December 2023

London Coliseum
14 December 2023 – 7 January 2024

Giselle by Mary Skeaping
London Coliseum
11 – 21 January 2024

Sadler’s Wells
27 March – 6 April 2024

My First Ballet: Swan Lake
Peacock Theatre, London
4 – 14 April 2024

Emerging Dancer
Venue and dates to be confirmed

Swan Lake in-the-round
Royal Albert Hall
12 – 23 June 2024

Hommage à Patrick Dupond

Amazing gathering of étoiles, both past and present, who graced the stage of the Palais Garnier this week for the Paris Opera's Hommage à Patrick Dupond, who passed away in 2021. Following the Grand Défilé, the programme comprised Béjart's Song of a Wayfarer, Neumeier's Nijinsky and Lander's Etudes. Photo: Yonathan Kellerman / OnP

Emmanuel Thibault posted a video of the Grand Défilé on his Instagram


Marco Goecke smears dog faeces on the face of ballet critic Wiebke Hüster in Hannover. LINK
Statement issued by Staatsoper Hannover LINK

Theatre de Beaulieu

Prix de Lausanne

This year the Prix de Lausanne celebrates its 50th anniversary, and the jury will be headed by Ballets de Monte-Carlo artistic director Jean-Christophe Maillot as its president. In addition to the competition, the finals of which will take place on 4 February, an anniversary gala the following day will present a galaxy of professional dancers, including many former prize-winners and candidates. Among those scheduled to appear are: Precious Adams, Alejandro Martínez Azorín, Elisa Badenes, Matthew Ball, Mackenzie Brown, António Casalinho, Victor Caixeta, Alina Cojocaru, Laura Fernandez, Margarita Fernandez, Marcelo Gomes, Maria Kochetkova, Julian Mackay, Mayara Magri, Steven McRae, Vadim Muntagirov, Xander Parish, Marcelino Sambé, Olga Smirnova, Eric Snyder, Mizuka Ueno, Friedemann Vogel and Madison Young. 

The Gala programme will take place on the refurbished Beaulieu Theatre stage and start at 4.30pm.


Olga Smirnova in The Sleeping Beauty with Dutch National Ballet. © Emma Kauldhar

Alina Cojocaru & Friedemann Vogel
Lady of the Camellias
Choreographer: John Neumeier
Music: Frédéric Chopin

Laura Fernandez & Xander Parish
Choreographer: Juliano Nunez
Music: Franz Schubert

Matthew Ball
Dance of the Blessed Spirits
Choreographer: Frederick Ashton
Music: Christophe Willibald von Gluck

Madison Young & Julian Mackay
Choreographer: Marius Petipa
Music: Adolphe Adam

Marcelo Gomes & Alejandro Azorin
Choreographer: David Dawson
Music: Claude Debussy

Elisa Badenes & Vadim Muntagirov
Black Swan pas de deux
Choreographer: Marius Petipa
Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Maria Kochetkova
27 Zero
Choreographer: Ella Rothschild
Music: Franz Schubert

Partner School Choreographic Project
Choreographer: Goyo Montero
Music: Owen Belton and Claudio Frasseto

Marcelino Sambe & Francesca Hayward
The Dream pas de deux
Choreographer: Frederick Ashton
Music: Felix Mendelssohn

Steven McRae
Choreographer : Steven McRae
Music : Vittorio Monti

Mayara Magri & Victor Caixeta
Don Quixote
Choreographer: Marius Petipa
Music: Ludwig Minkus

Alejandro Azorin

Solo 01: 3 Parts Ligeti
Choreographer: Houston Thomas
Music: György Ligeti

Precious Adams & Eric Snyder
This Bitter Earth
Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon
Music: Clyde Otis, performed by Dinah Washington from the motion picture soundtrack for Shutter Island

Mackenzie Brown
Choreographer: Katarzyna Kozielska
Music: New Tango Orquestra

Margarita Fernandes & António Casalinho
Diana and Actaeon
Choreographer: Agrippina Vaganova
Music: Cesare Pugni and Riccardo Drigo

Mizuka Ueno
Dying Swan
Choreographer: Michel Fokine
Music: Camille Saint-Saëns

Olga Smirnova & Victor Caixeta
Nutcracker pas de deux
Choreographer: Jean-Christophe Maillot
Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Running time: 90 minutes, without intermission

Ruan Crighton

British ballet dancer Ruan Crighton was one of the victims on board the Yeti Airlines flight that crashed as it tried to land in Pokhara in Nepal on 15 January, one day after his 34th birthday. Originally from Brentwood in Essex, Ruan trained at the Central School of Ballet and, on graduating in 2008, joined the Slovakian National Ballet. He subsequently joined the Finnish National Ballet. 

Denis Vieira

The Brazilian principal dancer Denis Vieira died at the age of 31 on 29 December 2022. Born in Joinville, Vieira trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Brazil and subsequently danced at the Teatro Municipal de Rio de Janeiro, Ballett Zürich, Bayerisches Staatsballett, Staatsballett Berlin and, for a brief spell last year, with Northern Ballet in Leeds. He also performed in many galas, including the Ballet Icons Gala at the London Coliseum where he partnered Staatsballett Berlin principal Ksenia Ovsyanick in George Williamson's Mesh in November 2021. No cause of death has yet been announced.

Alexei Ratmansky 

Alexei Ratmansky will be stepping down as ABT's Artist in Residence when his contract expires in June 2023. The revered choreographer, who has been with the company since January 2009, has created numerous ballets on the company's dancers including: Waltz Masquerade (2009); On the Dnieper (2009); Seven Sonatas (2009); The Nutcracker (2010); Dumbarton (2011); Firebird (2012); Symphony #9 (2012); Chamber Symphony (2013); Piano Concerto #1 (2013); The Tempest (2014); The Sleeping Beauty (2015); Serenade after Plato's Symposium (2016); Whipped Cream (2017); Songs of Bukovina (2017); Harlequinade (2018); The Seasons (2019); Of Love and Rage (2020) and Bernstein in a Bubble (2021). Born in St Petersburg, Ratmansky spent much of his childhood in Kyiv and has spoken out passionately against Putin's war in Ukraine. Earlier this year, he staged his production of Giselle for the United Ukrainian Ballet and has also created many ballets for leading companies around he world. His latest creation, Tchaikovsky Variations, will be premiered on 23 December by the Bayerisches Staatsballett at the Nationaltheater in Munich. Alexei Ratmansky has been appointed Artist in Residence at New York City Ballet from August 2023.

Patricia Barker

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has announced that Artistic Director Patricia Barker from the RNZB following the end of the first season of the year, Tutus on Tour. She will return to the USA with her family. In her five and a half years at the helm of the national ballet company, Barker commissioned 12 new main stage ballets from New Zealand-based or born choreographers including six ballets with original scores by New Zealand composers.

Dame Beryl Grey

With much sadness we share the news that Dame Beryl Grey passed away on 9 December 2022 aged 95. The renowned ballerina joined Sadler's Wells Ballet (as The Royal Ballet was then known) in 1941 and danced her first Odette/Odile on her 15th birthday. She created roles in several of Frederick Ashton's ballets including The Quest, Les Sirènes, the Winter Fairy in Cinderella, Homage to the Queen and Birthday Offering as well as John Cranko's Lady and the Fool. She was the first Western ballerina to perform with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, and also in China. She recorded these experiences in two books: Red Curtain Up and Through the Bamboo Curtain. Dame Beryl was the artistic director of London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet) from 1968 - 1979. 

SS Dame Beryl Grey

WEB_Nicolas_le Riche

Nicolas Le Riche
Nicolas Le Riche has agreed to extend his contract as artistic director of the Royal Swedish Ballet for two years and will now remain in the post until summer 2025. Photo: Royal Swedish Ballet / Henrik Halvarsson. 

François Alu

François Alu has announced that he is leaving the Paris Opera in order to pursue personal, artistic projects. LINK

John Neumeier

According to a report in the Frankfurter Rundschau, Royal Danish Ballet has ended its contract with John Neumeier following alleged complaints by some of the dancers of racial stereotyping in his ballet Othello. LINK

Patricia Ruanne

Former ballerina, teacher, coach and director Patricia Ruanne passed away on 1 November in Rome, aged 77. Born in Leeds on 3 June 1945, Ruanne danced with the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet and London Festival Ballet as a principal dancer. On retiring from the stage, she became a ballet mistress and coach, working with various different companies including the Paris Opera. 

ACE Funding

Arts Council England has announced significant changes with funding diverted from London to the regions as part of the government's 'levelling up' policy. The Royal Opera House has had its grant cut by 9% and English National Ballet loses 5% of its ACE funding. The chart lists dance companies with the first column of figures giving the average annual funding 2018-22 at April 2018; the second annual funding for 2022-23 extension year; and the third annual funding offered for 2023-26 on 4 November 2022. The complete list can be viewed at

Prix de Lausanne 2023

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, the Prix de Lausanne has announced the names of the dancers selected to participate in the next international ballet competition which will take place from 29 January - 5 February 2023 at the newly refurbished Beaulieu Theatre in Lausanne. A list of the selected dancers can be viewed HERE. As part of the celebrations the Prix de Lausanne will also be presenting a Gala of Stars, including Laura Fernandez, Friedemann Vogel, Mayara Magri, António Casalinho and and others on 5 February 2023.