Thursday, 10 November 2016

English National Ballet's Reimagining Classics Panel Discussion

Tamara Rojo
Artistic Director and Lead Principal of the English National Ballet
Author: Erik Doble
Source: Wikipedia
Creative Commons Licence

In Livestream: Reimagining Classics Panel Discussion 9 Nov 2016 English National Ballet's blog, Tamara Rojo said:
"Ballet, and art, has the potential of interpretation and reinterpretation, and this is vital to drive our art form forward. My vision for English National Ballet has been to introduce new works that push the boundaries of ballet, for both the Company and audiences, while at the same time honouring and reinvigorating traditional works that have become so loved over the years.”
The topic was discussed briefly on BBC Radio 4's Front Row by the critic, Luke Jennings, and the Artistic Director of Northern Ballet, David Nixon. I mentioned their conversation in Of Bikes and Buses 25 Oct 2016. I applaud Tamara Rojo's aspiration though I am not persuaded that Akram Khan's Giselle  achieved it (see (Akram Khan's Giselle 28 Sept 2016).

However, there will be an opportunity to consider the topic in more detail tonight in a panel discussion between Tamara Rojo and Gavin Sutherland of English National Ballet, Robert Icke, the Almeida Theatre's Associate Director and Mark Evans of the Victoria and Albert Museum. The event is restricted to Friends and Patrons of the company but the discussion will be live streamed via its Facebook page from 19:30 this evening. Further information is available in the blog article which I have mentioned.

The post adds that although attendance at the meeting is restricted to Friends and Patrons members of the public can ask a question via twitter:
"The discussion will also conclude with a Q&A, so we are asking anyone that has a question for the panel to tweet us using #AskENB handling us in (@ENBallet)."
This is a topic that interests me greatly and I am very grateful to English National Ballet for arranging this discussion and opening it up to the public through Facebook. Readers will know that I mentioned the topic again very recently in my review of Darius James and Amy Doughty's Romeo a Juliet  which is a work that does meet Tamara Rojo's objective in my judgment (see A Romeo and Juliet for our Times  7 Nov 2016). In that review I also mentioned David Dawson's Swan Lake for Scottish Ballet which also got it right and Ted Brandsen's Coppelia for the Dutch National Ballet which I have not yet seen but also seems to work. I do not know whether any of the panellists have seen any of those works or whether any of the creators of any of those ballets can listen to tonight's discussion but I do hope so.

I shall certainly be listening and I may well tweet a question if I get an opportunity. Finally, as I have been following ENB since 1955 I really ought to become one of its Friends soon. I love the company at least as much as I do any other.

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