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Interview with Wayne Eagling of English National Ballet

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English National Ballet is the heir to the London Festival Ballet and this year it celebrates its 60th anniversary.

I regularly watched the company in the 1960's,70's and 80's when it had had an excellent repertoire and a number of distinguished dancers.

Here as a very interesting article with the Director of ENB Wayne Eagling, who has done sterling work in reviving the company's profile, in which he discusses the problems of touring certain ballets. He highlights the fact that the majority of the UK population that will go to the ballet, really only want to see the major academic classical ballets and not the new works that companies are now pressured to produce.


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As someone who now resides in an area which receives its share of low-to-middling touring companies, I was pleased to read this from the Eagling interview:

“Sure we could be much more adventurous if we stayed in London and didn’t do any travelling. Even if we sell out on tour we still lose at least £100,000 a week. After all, we tour with 64 dancers, 65 in the orchestra, ballet masters and stage crews; and we have to rent the theatres we perform in. You can see how the costs add up. But the regions deserve to see ballet of the highest quality. They shouldn’t be passed off with some Russian touring company, or with student casts, floppy sets and an orchestra of 20 for Prokofiev. They pay their taxes, they deserve to get as good as London gets.”
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