NEWS: English National Ballet artists will dance a doomed love affair in Kenneth MacMillan’s ‘Manon’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, October 2018

 

The dancers of English National Ballet are prepping their pointe shoes in readiness to thrill theatregoers with the timelessly romantic tragedy of Manon this season.

Legendary British choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Parisian period drama is a highlight of the ballet repertoire, yet it is rarely seen outside London. Indeed, this season, English National Ballet is touring Manon for only the second time in thirty years and Milton Keynes Theatre is one of just three venues outside of London to be hosting the production. (The other two regional venues are Manchester Opera House and Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.)

The late MacMillan choreographed this steamy three-act ballet in 1974. He was inspired by French author Abbé Prévost’s controversial 1731 novel, L’historie du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut, which was considered so scandalous at the time of its publication that it was banned in France.

 

English National Ballet dancers in Kenneth MacMillan's Manon. Two dancers, one male and one female, lay in each others' arms on a luxurious bed.

 

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NEWS: World Ballet Day 2018, 2 October 2018

 

Happy World Ballet Day 2018!

 

Today is World Ballet Day, the one day of the year that balletomanes and ballet newbies alike are urged to press pause on their everyday activities and watch ballet.

American writer and dance critic Edwin Denby (1903–1983) is attributed to the quote: “You don’t have to know about ballet to enjoy it, all you have to do is look at it”. I support this sentiment. Simply witnessing ballet dancers do what they do best is enough to inspire admiration for ballet’s athleticism, aesthetics, artistry and amazing history and culture.

 

Georgina Butler, wearing a purple leotard and black tutu, posing en pointe. A World Ballet Day celebration.

 

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NEWS: New English Ballet Theatre promises passion, hope and remembrance in new double bill – London, September 2018

 

New English Ballet Theatre is returning to The Peacock Theatre in London’s West End this week with a brand new double bill, The Four Seasons / Remembrance.

As a modern ballet company, New English Ballet Theatre makes a heroic effort to drive the art of classical ballet forward through continual reinvention. It proudly promotes the talents of the next generation of exceptional artists (not only showcasing fledgling dancers but also emerging choreographers, musicians, designers and visual artists) by giving them paid employment in a profession they love.

As a result, the critically acclaimed neoclassical troupe – founded by its visionary artistic director, Karen Pilkington-Miksa, in 2011 – is developing a reputation for being one of Britain’s most exciting young ballet companies.

This autumn’s double bill promises to be a visual and musical spectacle of passion, hope and remembrance.

 

New English Ballet Theatre. Remembrance / The Four Seasons. A female dancer en pointe, and a male dancer dressed as a soldier, both superimposed on a background of red Remembrance poppies.

 

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NEWS: Northern Ballet to make a splash with ‘The Little Mermaid’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, April 2018

 

Fans of fantasy and magic can look forward to diving into an immersive new production when Northern Ballet presents The Little Mermaid at Milton Keynes Theatre this month.

The Leeds-based touring company is known for turning beloved stories into full-scale narrative ballets, using the expressive power of dance to meaningfully connect with audiences.

Tapping into the current zeitgeist for all things enchanted (fantastical creatures like unicorns and mermaids have surely never been so popular), the troupe of classically-trained dancers is currently making a splash bringing Hans Christian Andersen’s aquatic fairy tale to life.

 

Northern Ballet's The Little Mermaid. Publicity image showing a man standing on a rock in the sea. He is bent forward with a mermaid draped elegantly over his back.

 

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NEWS: Matthew Bourne’s ‘Cinderella’ to show us the power of true love – Milton Keynes Theatre, February 2018

 

Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures brings his wartime revival of Cinderella to Milton Keynes this month.

Dance devotees can look forward to a dark reimagining of a classic fairy tale when the admired choreographer’s popular company makes its annual visit to Milton Keynes Theatre.

Set in London during the Second World War, Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella is a radical retelling that does not involve a prince, a fairy godmother or a royal ball. Instead, his evocative dance theatre production sees a wounded RAF pilot enjoy a chance encounter with a timid young woman. The couple spend just enough time together to fall head over heels in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz.

 

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella. Matthew Bourne's New Adventures publicity image showing a female and male dancer dancing amidst the destruction of the Blitz. She is wearing a sparkly dress and diamond earrings, he is wearing a Second World War RAF officer's uniform.

 

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