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RB 2016/17 Season

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La Fille mal gardée (27 September–22 October 2016)

Choreography: Frederick Ashton

Music: Ferdinand Hérold, arranged and orchestrated by John Lanchbery

Conductor: Barry Wordsworth

Frederick Ashton’s joyful ballet The Wayward Daughter features some of his most brilliant choreography.

Anastasia (26 October–12 November 2016)

Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan

Music: Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky and Bohuslav Martinů, with electronic music by Fritz Winckel and Rüdiger Rüfer

Conductor: Simon Hewett

Kenneth MacMillan’s full-length ballet is a compelling exploration of identity in the turbulent wake of the Russian Revolution.

Live cinema relay: 2 November 2016

Chroma / New Wayne McGregor / Carbon Life (10–19 November 2016)

Choreography: Wayne McGregor

Music: Joby Talbot and Jack White III / Steve Reich / Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt

Conductor: Koen Kessels

The Royal Ballet celebrates Wayne McGregor’s ten years as Resident Choreographer with an all-McGregor programme, including one world premiere to a new commission by Steve Reich.

Charlotte Edmonds and Robert Binet NEW (10–19 November 2016)

Choreography: Charlotte Edmonds/ Robert Binet

A mixed programme of two new works by young choreographers Charlotte Edmonds and Robert Binet, each of whom has been mentored by Wayne McGregor.

The Nutcracker (23 November 2016–12 January 2017)

Choreography: Peter Wright after Lev Ivanov

Music: Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky

Conductor: Boris Gruzin (Nov, Dec, except 31 Dec) / Dominic Grier (31 Dec, Jan)

The Royal Ballet celebrates Peter Wright’s 90th birthday with his much-loved production of this beautiful classical ballet, danced to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score.

Live cinema relay: 8 December 2016

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (Roundhouse) (December 2016–January 2017)

Direction and writer: Kate Prince

ZooNation Dance Company

ZooNation’s fabulous show – a gleefully off-the-wall take on the madcap characters of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – is reimagined for the unique space of the Roundhouse.

Les Enfants Terribles (Barbican) (27–29 January 2017)

Direction and choreography: Javier De Frutos

Music: Philip Glass

Javier De Frutos directs a new production of Philip Glass’s dance opera inspired by Cocteau’s surrealist tragedy, featuring Royal Ballet dancers and leading lights of the contemporary and classical dance scene.

The Sleeping Beauty (21 December 2016–14 March 2017)

Choreography: Marius Petipa , with additional choreography by Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon

Music: Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky

Conductor: Koen Kessels (Feb, 1 Mar) / Valeriy Ovsyanikov (Dec, Jan, Mar, except 1 Mar)

Celebrate 70 years of The Royal Ballet’s landmark production of Petipa’s classic ballet and enter an enchanted world of princesses, fairy godmothers and magical spells, to glorious music by Tchaikovsky.

Live cinema relay: 28 February 2017

Woolf Works (21 January–14 February 2017)

Choreography: Wayne McGregor

Music: Max Richter

Conductor: Koen Kessels

The first revival of Wayne McGregor’s critically acclaimed ballet triptych to music by Max Richter, inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf and starring Alessandra Ferri and Mara Galeazzi.

Live cinema relay: 8 February 2017

The Human Seasons / After the Rain / NEW Crystal Pite (16 March–24 March 2017)

Choreography: David Dawson / Christopher Wheeldon / Crystal Pite

Music: Greg Haines / Arvo Pärt / Henryk Górecki

Conductor: Koen Kessels

The Royal Ballet celebrates contemporary ballet with a programme that includes a world premiere from Crystal Pite and works by Christopher Wheeldon and David Dawson.

Jewels (1 April–21 April 2017)

Choreography: George Balanchine

Music: Gabriel Fauré, Igor Stravinsky, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky

Conductor: Pavel Sorokin

Now in its 50th year, George Balanchine’s timeless evocation of the glitter of emeralds, rubies and diamonds is still a sparkling ballet gem in its own right.

Live cinema relay: 11 April 2017

Mayerling (28 April–13 May 2017)

Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan

Music: Franz Liszt, arranged and orchestrated by John Lanchbery

Conductor: Martin Yates

Adult drama meets electrifying choreography in Kenneth MacMillan’s masterful ballet – a devastating tale of extreme passion and desperate acts, inspired by true events.

The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude / Tarantella / Strapless / NEW Liam Scarlett (18 May–31 May 2017)

Choreography: William Forsythe / George Balanchine / Christopher Wheeldon / Liam Scarlett

Music: Franz Schubert / Louis Moreau Gottschalk, reconstructed and orchestrated by Hershy Kay / Mark-Anthony Turnage / TBC

Conductor: Koen Kessels

Virtuoso dance from The Royal Ballet in a mixed programme that includes two classics from Forsythe and Balanchine, the first revival of Wheeldon’s 2016 narrative ballet and a Scarlett world premiere.

The Dream / Symphonic Variations / Marguerite and Armand (2–10 June 2017)

Choreography: Frederick Ashton

Music: Felix Mendelssohn / César Franck / Franz Liszt

Conductor: Emmanuel Plasson

The Royal Ballet brings its celebrations of 70 years at the Royal Opera House to a close with a mixed programme of works by its Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton.

Live cinema relay / BP Big Screen: 7 June 2017

The Royal Ballet School Summer Performance (9 July 2017)

Conductor: Paul Murphy

The Royal Ballet School’s annual performance features an impressive mix of traditional and contemporary ballet, as a showcase for the prodigious talent of some of the best young dancers in the world.

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Some time ago O'Hare said that he wanted to build the company from the bottom up. Next season's repertory suggests that he will be doing just that as it has far more obviously classical works which make technical demands of the entire company and far fewer of the MacMillan emote and sprawl variety,which don't, than usual. The great shock is that is that the Ashton and Macmillan repertory have almost the same amount of stage time allocated to them.

There is a short video on the ROH website in which the new season is discussed. At one point O'Hare makes reference to the number of talented dancers he has in the company. During it he refers to the significance that the Sleeping Beauty has for the company almost as if he needs to justify its inclusion in the 2016-17 season and explain why it is not stuffed full of works by McGregor and other fashionable choreographers. I am baffled by the fact that he, or those around him, feel the need to refer to a number of company anniversaries as if the choice of such a classically based season requires explanation. The last time I looked the Royal Ballet was a classical company.I think that the choice of repertory reflects the fact that the company is in the process of renewing itself. Dancing in Sleeping Beauty and taking the roles of Aurora, Prince, Bluebird, Florine and Lilac Fairy is more than a right of passage for members of the company. Having said that I think that it would have been enough to have said I have a large number of talented dancers and they need the opportunity to dance in great works like Beauty and Fille.This season will give them the chance to do that.

I expect that it will all look much more exciting when the casting is announced for the first two booking periods. I hope that O'Hare is really bold and casts not only the usual suspects as Aurora but Katsura who joined the company at the beginning of this season. Her RBS performances on the main stage in Raymonda Act III in 2014 and as Gamzatti in the betrothal celebrations section of Bayadere in 2015 were really exceptional. It would be wonderful if she and other junior dancers get given the opportunities that t next season's repertory seem to offer.

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After looking at the program again, I must say I'm really looking forward to the season. I wasn't too excited with Sleeping Beauty and La fille mal gardée, since the latter was on stage last year. I thought I had seen Sleeping Beauty last year too, but It was the 2013/14 season. I'm just not a fan of the entire ballet, I like variations here and there but it's just not my favourite full-length ballet. But I read the reply of Ashton fan and it makes perfectly sense - it's the best ballet to demonstrate the talent throughout the ranks.

I didn't expect Anastasia at all but I'm pleasantly surprised finding it on the list - I have seen some older videos and can't wait to see it on the stage. The casting is however not a big surprise although I must say that Cuthbertson is an interesting choice in a row with Morera and Osipova.

I'm also looking forward to seeing the casting of jewels - anyone knows when the RB has danced it the last time?

Mayerling remains one of my favourite ballets so I'm very glad to see it on again. After the incredible performances of Mukhamedov and Watson I'm very much interested to see who of the younger dancers is going to follow their path as the leading performers of the darker and disturbed characters. Suggestions anyone?

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Nastasia105, The company last danced Jewels in December and January during the 2013-14 season. As quite a bit has changed in the company since then. It will be interesting to see who is cast in each of the three sections. I am particularly intrigued by who might be cast in Emeralds as that always seems to me to be the most difficult to get right in terms of style and mood. It will be particularly good if some of the promising junior dancers appear in all three sections.

I am afraid I can't see what the problem is with Fille coming back so quickly. At one time it was an annual fixture. I just think that it is a pity that it is not being performed at a more child friendly time. As for Anastasia. It works when it works. It will be interesting to see who, if anyone, succeeds in the title role. It's one of those ballets that should really only be revived if management knows that it has at least one dead cert for the title role. As for the rest of the season we shall have to be patient and see who the casts are going to be.

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Did you see any of the 2013/14 shows? If I remember correctly I generally heard good things about Galeazzi's/Benjamin's interpretation of Emeralds in previous stagings and that the 2013/14 casting fell a bit flat in comparison. I unfortunately haven't seen the RB in it yet. Takada and Campbell have danced it before, I'm sure Hayward will be new on the list as well - not sure though if O'Hare gives room for many debuts here. Do you know anything about Yanowsky's / Hamilton's plans for this season?

As for Anastasia's revival - even if the guess sounds slightly uninspired - it might have something to do with the RB's Russian Prima?

And my lack of excitement about La Fille has just personal reasons. Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic ballet. I don't live in London anymore but will be back for some weeks in October, so I had hoped for something else because I've seen La Fille quite a lot recently. I'll unfortunately miss the Hayward/Sambé debut which I'd love to see.

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Here are the answers to the easy questions. Hamilton is on a second leave of absence at Dresden during the 2016-17 season. It will be interesting to see where her future lies long term. While she shines in some areas of the repertory she has had problems with some of the really exposed classical roles that she has been given and she was too slow in Symphonic Variations. The recently announced promotions to First Soloist of Naghdi and Stix-Brunell who are both making their debuts as Sugar Plum Fairy at Christmas gives a clear indication, I think, of who are in the running for promotion to Principal in coming seasons. They have both had a very good season and Stix- Brunell partnered by Matthew Ball gave the best account of the Girl in the Two Pigeons that we saw during the entire run. Given the number of Beauties programmed for 2017 it is being assumed that Hayward and the two new First Soloists are likely to make their debuts as Aurora during the run. As far as Yanowsky is concerned I think it unlikely that she will repeat her role in Rubies. About five years ago she said that she thought that she had about five years left. She may continue for years no one knows.

As far as the casting of Emeralds is concerned it has an elusive mood, all French elegance and evocations of Lyonesse and at the last revival it eluded them . It is the most difficult of the three ballets to get right. I missed Benjamin but not Galeazzi. We shall just have to wait and see who the powers that be select. There is plenty of talent at all ranks of the company. The two new First Soloists will be in the running this time.

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