Thursday, 16 April 2015

Cool Britannia - in Amsterdam

Source: Dutch National Ballet

In 1667 Admiral de Ruyter sailed up the Thames and destroyed several warships at the Royal Navy's dockyards at Charham. It was one of the worst defeats in British history. Times change, thank goodness, and the Dutch are now our good friends. I would argue that they are the people in Europe who resemble us most closely. Their language is closely related to ours. They have a maritime history as we do. Indeed, their history and ours have overlapped many times.

Like us they have a great national ballet company which has just paid us the singular compliment of commissioning new works from David Dawson and Christopher Wheeldon to be presented with Wayne McGregor's Chroma as part of a triple bill called Cool Britannia. Chroma is already in the Royal Ballet's repertoire but all I can tell you about the other two works is that Dawson has just started on his ballet and Wheeldon is about to start his.

Casts have been assigned provisionally to this production though as always that is subject to change. According to Richard Heideman, the company's press manager, Igone de Jongh, Vito Mazzeo, Floor Eimers, Jozef Varga, Maia Makhateli, Artur Shesterikov, Sasha Mukhamedov, James Stout. Suzanna Kaic and Edo Wijnen will dance in the Dawson, Anna Tsygankova, Marijn Rademaker, Megan Zimny Kaftira, Remi Wortmeyer and several others will be in the Wheeldon and Marijn Rademaker, Remi Wörtmeyer, Young Gyu Choi, Artur Shesterikov, Wentao Li, Matthew Pawlicki-Sinlair, Maia Makhateli, Suzanna Kaic, Igone de Jongh and Nadia Yanowsky are in Chroma. Greg Haines has been commissioned to write the music for the Dawson. Wheeldon is using Francis Poulenc's Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D minor as his score. Joby Talbot wrote the score for Chroma.

There will be only 7 performances of this triple bill between 17 and 27 June 2015. If you want a ticket this link will take you to the box office. As the top price is only 53 euros tickets are very reasonable. I've found that the best way to get to Amsterdam from London is via Southend though I shall be flying from Manchester. If you are thinking of coming on the 27 you should be aware that hotel rooms in Amsterdam are selling like hot cakes.

If, like me, you are a fan of the Dutch National Ballet their Junior Company is coming to The Linbury on the 5 and 6 June 2015. They have got some great new works in their show and some fine young dancers such as Bart Engelen, Cristiano Principato and Emilie Tassinari to name just three. The month after that the main company are bringing Wheeldon's Cinderella to the Coliseum.

The Dutch National Ballet is already a great company and I think it will become greater still once the young dancers of the Junior Company ascend its ranks. Ted Brandsen's idea of getting the most promising dancers in the world to develop their talents in the touring company is inspired and I expect other companies to follow them.

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