The Royal Ballet 2018/19 Season Announced, celebrating of the company’s repertory past and present

A Month in the Country. Natalia Osipova and Federico Bonelli. ©ROH, 2014. Photographed by Tristram Kenton

Get ready for The Royal Ballet’s 2018/19 Season!

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet presents the 2018/ 19 season, a celebration of the Company’s repertory past and present.

The Season features revivals of heritage and modern works as well as five world premieres, showcasing the breadth and talent of the Company.

The Royal Ballet has one of the broadest repertories in the world spanning the 19th century classics, the heritage masterpieces of Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan and the modern ballets of today.

Revivals provide the perfect moment to showcase the Company’s technical and dramatic dancing capabilities while new works this Season by Wayne McGregor, Alastair Marriott, Liam Scarlett, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Aletta Collins demonstrate the ever-evolving face of ballet.

Flight Pattern. Artists of the Royal Ballet. ROH, 2017. Photo by Tristram Kenton.
Flight Pattern. Artists of the Royal Ballet. ROH, 2017. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

Revivals and Classical Repertory

The traditions of 19th century ballet are celebrated this season with Natalia Makarova’s production La Bayadére, Carlos Acosta’s Don Quixote and Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker. 20th century works include Mikhael Fokine’s The Firebird and Frederick Ashton’s Les Patineurs, receiving its first revival since 2010. Ashton’s romantic ballets The Two Pigeons and A Month in the Country also return. Kenneth MacMillan was inspired by Anton Chekhov’s play The Three Sisters for his one-act ballet Winter Dreams, which premiered in 1991. The lead roles were created on Darcey Bussell and Irek Mukhamedov and both will coach the Company in rehearsals. MacMillan’s Mayerli’ng and Romeo and Juliet also return this Season. The Royal Ballet honours American choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins with Robbins’ hilarious ballet The Concert and Balanchine’s Symphony in C, a dialect in pure dance.

Royal Ballet associate choreographers Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon and Liam Scarlett are celebrated with revivals of some of their recent works. McGregor’s iconic ballet Inra was created in 2008, and features music by Max Richter and set design by Julian Ope. Christopher Wheeldon’s Within The Golden Hour, originally created for San Francisco Ballet in 2008, was first staged by The Royal Ballet in 2016. This revival will feature new designs by Jasper Conran.

Edward Watson in Infra © Bill Cooper, 2010
Edward Watson in Infra © Bill Cooper, 2010

Liam Scarlett’s Asphodel Meadows was his first work for the Company in 2010. Scarlett’s adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein also returns this Season.

New work remains at the heart of The Royal Ballet. Crystal Pite’s Olivier Award-nominated Flight Pattern received critical acclaim at its premiere in 2017. This ground-breaking ballet offered a moving response to the refugee crisis and receives it first revival.

Flight Pattern. Artists of The Royal Ballet. ©ROH, 2017. Photographed by Tristram Kenton.
Flight Pattern. Artists of The Royal Ballet. ©ROH, 2017. Photographed by Tristram Kenton.

World Premieres

This Season The Royal Ballet presents five world premieres. Alastair Marriott’s new ballet The Unknown Soldier commemorates the centenary of the end of The First World War. The ballet takes inspiration from The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, an unknown British soldier killed during the first war who is buried at Westminster Abbey, honouring the hundreds of thousands who died in service. The ceremony to intern the soldier was a landmark moment of national mourning, the scale of which had not been seen before. Featuring archive film footage and designs by Es Devlin, the ballet is set to a newly commissioned score by Oscar-winning film composer Dario Marianelli (Oscar winner Best film Score Atonement, Oscar-nominated film scores Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina). Marianelli recently composed the score for Darkest Hour for which Gary Oldman won the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Sir Winston Churchill.

Aletta Collins presents her first ballet for the Company as part of New Work, New Music in the Linbury Theatre. This collaboration brings together new choreography and music with dancers of The Royal Ballet. Together with the London Sinfonietta New Work, New Music features a score by David Sawer. Further details of the Linbury Theatre Season will be announced later this summer.

In another first for the Company, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui creates his first work for The Royal Ballet. Regarded as one of the world’s leading contemporary choreographers, Cherkaoui has established himself as a dance innovator, working on a multitude of projects from contemporary dance to theatre, ballet, opera and musicals. Liam Scarlett presents a new work for The Royal Ballet School to be performed as part of a mixed bill alongside The Royal Ballet, demonstrating the important link between School and Company.

Asphodel Meadows. ©ROH, Johan Persson 2010.
Asphodel Meadows. ©ROH, Johan Persson 2010.

Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor premieres a new full-length ballet, his first full-length work for the Company since the Olivier Award-winning Woolme’ks. Renowned for his innovative collaborations, McGregor continues to merge disciplines across the world of dance, art and music. This new ballet features two exciting firsts for The Royal Ballet: a commissioned score by Thomas Ades; and designs by acclaimed British artist Tacita Dean. Spanning over two years, the first part of this large-scale collaboration will receive its world premiere as part of The Royal Ballet 2019 Summer Tour to Los Angeles, presented in partnership with the LA Phil, Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, The Royal Ballet and Company Wayne McGregor. In 2020 the ballet will be premiered as a full-length work at the Royal Opera House with the addition of a second part, performed for the first time in its complete form.

Frankenstein. Federico Bonelli as Victor Frankenstein, Laura Morera as Elizabeth Lavenza. ©ROH 2016. Photographed by Bill Cooper
Frankenstein. Federico Bonelli as Victor Frankenstein, Laura Morera as Elizabeth Lavenza. ©ROH 2016. Photographed by Bill Cooper

Audience Engagement

World Ballet Day, the annual live stream behind the scenes of the world’s leading ballet companies, returns on Tuesday 2nd October. Last year’s event secured over 160 million Views on social media and was broadcast to China for the first time, providing digital access into the world of ballet and engaging with new audiences.

Cinema audiences continue to grow with over 500,000 tickets sold across the UK last season. This year six ballets will be screened to cinemas around the world through ROH Live Cinemas.

The ROH Student scheme continues to grow and has over 18,000 members. The 2018/ 19 Season will offer full-time students tickets for Mayerlz’ng and Flight Pattern priced from £1 -£25 on selected performances.

Don Quixote. Ryoichi Hirano as Espada. ©ROH, 2014. Photo by Bill Cooper.
Don Quixote. Ryoichi Hirano as Espada. ©ROH, 2014. Photo by Bill Cooper.

 

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