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Royal Ballet 2021-2022 season

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  1. The Royal Ballet just announced a full season for 2021-2022. I'm not seeing specific dates and they promise more information June 1. I'm also not seeing anything specific about safety requirements. 


I'll paste in the text of the announcement for ballet:

The Royal Opera House reveals highlights of its first full Season since 2019

Programme features 11 new productions, including five world premieres and an exciting roster of UK and international talent with many debuts.

Tuesday 23 March 2021, 3.46am

The Royal Opera House is excited to share early plans for its 2021/22 Season, the first full Royal Opera House Season since 2019.

Today we reveal highlights including five world premieres from The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera as well as a wealth of British and international talent taking to our stages in the first full ROH Season for 18 months.

The Royal Ballet’s internationally-acclaimed artists come together on stage in the Company’s 90th anniversary year to ‘respect the past, herald the future, but concentrate on the present’ in a Season of classic and modern works. The world premieres of three ballets are announced for the 2021/22 Season with Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor’s The Dante Project, Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon’s Like Water for Chocolate and a new work by American choreographer Kyle Abraham.

Wayne McGregor in rehearsal for Obsidian Tear, The Royal Ballet © ROH 2016. Photograph by Andrej Uspenski

Wayne McGregor’s much anticipatedThe Dante Projectwill be given its world premiere in October 2021. The Royal Ballet’s first ever co-production with Paris Opera Ballet takes its inspiration from Dante’s Divine Comedy and is presented as part of the 700th anniversary celebrations of the poet’s death in 1321. Dante’s epic journey through the afterlife is realised in this collaboration between three trailblazing forces of the contemporary arts scene: the multi-award-winning McGregor, acclaimed composer Thomas Adès, who creates a brand-new score, and artist Tacita Dean, celebrated for her pioneering and poetic film and media work. The creative team is completed by McGregor’s regular collaborators lighting designer Lucy Carter and dramaturg Uzma Hameed. Part 1 of the work is based on Inferno, which received its premiere in Los Angeles in 2019 as part of The Royal Ballet’s international tour with Adès conducting the LA Philharmonic in his virtuoso new score. The production will also be an opportunity for audiences to celebrate the extraordinary career of Edward Watson who performs the role of Dante.

The Royal Ballet also presents the world premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s new full-length ballet Like Water for Chocolate, based on the Mexican novel of the same name by Laura Esquivel. This co-commission between The Royal Ballet and American Ballet Theatre reunites Wheeldon with composer Joby Talbot, costume and set designer Bob Crowley and lighting designer Natasha Katz. Joining the renowned creative team is Luke Halls as projection designer. Esquivel worked with Wheeldon to shape the text of her magical novel into a scenario for the ballet. Internationally acclaimed conductor and official cultural ambassador to Mexico Alondra de la Parra returns to the Royal Opera House to conduct this ballet, and act as musical consultant for Talbot’s newly commissioned score. The ballet also draws on rich historical research by Camila de la Parra. The original cast for this imaginative reshaping of Esquivel’s richly layered love story will be led by Francesca Hayward and Marcelino Sambé.

Christopher Wheeldon in rehearsals for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland © ROH/Johan Persson, 2011

The Season will also see more new work on the Main Stage in a contemporary mixed programme (to be announced) that includes the world premiere of a work by Kyle Abraham. Alongside these exciting new works will be revivals of Royal Ballet signature classics and audience favourites including Giselle, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, works by Frederick Ashton, and Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet.

The Linbury Theatre continues to be a driving force for collaboration and creativity, featuring independent companies and schools and developing new work. The Royal Ballet presents Company Wayne McGregor in The Dark Crystal: Odyssey, a work for family audiences choreographed and directed by Wayne McGregor. Based on Jim Henson’s iconic 1982 film, this magical coming-of-age story brings together a team of world-class collaborators including artists Brian and Wendy Froud, composer Joel Cadbury, digital designers kontrastmoment, lighting designer Lucy Carter, dramaturg Uzma Hameed, costume designer Philip Delamore and face-and-body-artist Alex Box, with puppets and props from Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

The Royal Ballet will also welcome Cassa Pancho's Ballet Black back to the Royal Opera House to continue their association with the Linbury Theatre. This company of Black and Asian classically trained dancers will present a dynamic mixed programme by Olivier-award-winning choreographers Mthuthuzeli November and Will Tuckett. Yorke Dance Project also return with a programme of works that juxtaposes past and present, celebrating choreographers who have indelibly shaped dance today. Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival, an exciting new partnership with Van Cleef & Arpels, will present a selection of established works alongside new pieces of choreography.

The Linbury Theatre will again be host to creative opportunities for choreographers in the form of Draft Works and a new appointment to the Emerging Choreographer Programme. This continues The Royal Ballet’s commitment to developing a diverse talent pipeline in dance alongside the Constant Lambert Fellowship and Jette Parker Young Artists Programme ballet conductor initiatives.

Edited by California
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Hello California,

I would say that the lack of specific dates and safety measures at this time is due to the ongoing uncertainty about what stage we will be at in terms of release of lockdown and when various requirements have been assessed.

It must be a total nightmare for the theatres trying to plan ahead and I applaud the ROH for issuing some plans that will hopefully become more detailed at each phase of our unlocking.  There are a number of items in the British press that would indicate more will be known by 1st June and that public booking opens towards the end of August.

I, for one, am glad that each phase of unlocking is being assessed before we move on to the next phase.  We have lost far too many people to this dreadful virus.

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I do wish that the ROH's marketing department would buy themselves a thesaurus as they are working the words "excited ", "exciting", "thrilled"and "thrilling" to death. The truth about the forthcoming ballet season is that the two new works make it interesting and the works selected for revival come as no surprise at all and even when their casts are announced are unlikely to excite or thrill. With the casting which has been announced for the first booking period the season remains an interesting one rather than an exciting one. In my view the 2021-22 season as a whole is far too serious and would have benefited  from considerably less earnestness and a bit more frivolity in the mix. A revival of Fille even if only for eight performances would have been a great improvement.

The 2021-22 season is essentially a conservative one much of which is  designed to generate income. It holds few surprises because most of its contents were originally programmed for the 2020-21 season. Kevin has promises to keep in terms of premieres and major debuts in Swan Lake. The Dante Project was supposed to be premiered this season and was intended to be the last work which Watson appeared in as a dancer and company member. At the same time a  number of younger company members several of whom have recently been promoted to the rank of principal were prevented from making their scheduled debuts in Swan Lake by the pandemic which is why the ballet is being revived. I understand why Romeo and Juliet and Nutcracker are being programmed but not why there are quite so many performances of either ballet. I can't help thinking that another revival of Coppelia would have been in order if only to provide a choice of ballets at Christmas. The 2019 revival was very successful and left most people who attended those performances wondering why Coppelia had been out of the repertory for so long.

Even if I end up disliking it I am intrigued by the thought that Wheeldon is making a ballet based on " Like Water on Chocolate" to me it seems as improbable and potentially as foolhardy as making a ballet based on Rostand's Cyrano Bergerac. The best news  for me is the Ashton mixed bill and the fact that it does not include Marguerite and Armand. The return of Scenes de Ballet is welcome but I do wish Kevin would permit us to see a much wider range of Ashton's output rather than a selection of works which simply reflects his own likes and  dislikes. Daphnis and Chloe would be at the top of my list for revival closely followed by his revivable works from the 1930's including Apparitions and A  Wedding Bouquet.



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The season has had its ups and downs with a short lock down. over Christmas due to covid which led to the loss of several performances of Nutcracker. Covid continues to lead to unexpected cast changes  and debuts in role being brought forward. The imminent arrival of the all Ashton mixed bill is something to look forward to after what has felt like an interminable run of Liam Scarlett's wrong headed, incompetent Swan Lake which despite its cost I hope will be dumped at the earliest opportunity. From this Saturday we shall be back in the hands of the man de Valois described as a "real choreographer" if only for a few days. There have been a number of changes to the advertised cast for the all Ashton programme the most important of which are Morera acquiring Cuthbertson's advertised performance in Month  and Cmpbell's loss of the lead in Scenes de Ballet because Takada is off.

Scenes de Ballet was the  subject of an Insight evening a couple of days ago and for once most of the time was devoted to the rehearsal process rather than discussions and lectures. The inanity quotient was, as a result, remarkably low . The rehearsal was led by  Christopher Carr and the dancers involved were Naghdi and Muntagirov in the leading roles with Dixon, Dubreuil. Ella and Rovero as the quartet of  men who act as  living sculpture ,partners to members of the corps de ballet and the ballerina's cavaliers. Apparently this quartet are the men assigned to dance with Naghdi and once you see the choreography at close quarters you can see why the men need to be assigned to a specific ballerina. At the moment Naghdi and Muntagirov are not due to dance together at any stage during the run but that could easily change. The rehearsal can be found on You tube and is well worth w



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