News: Royal Ballet new season announced

Tuesday 1 April 2014 by Carmel Smith

The Royal Ballet’s 2014/15 season (announced yesterday) will include a commission for Hofesh Shechter, making his choreographic debut with the company, a full length ballet by Wayne McGregor based on the works of Virginia Woolf and a Christmas show for the Linbury Studio Theatre by hip hop company Zoonation. Alongside these new works and surprising collaborations, the company also showcases its repertory of great ballet masterpieces with works by Frederick Ashton (including a full evening of his works), George Balanchine, Jerome Robbin and a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan’s 20th century classic Manon.

Christopher Wheeldon’s multimedia spectacular Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will be replacing The Nutcracker as the Christmas season show in the main house – complemented by Zoonation’s new show The Mad Hatter’s T Party in the Linbury Studio Theatre, also inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic tale. The show will be co-produced by the Royal Ballet with Kate Prince (the choreographer/director behind the hit shows Into the Hoods and Some Like it Hip Hop) and her team.

Other new commissions for the Linbury include a piece from Royal Ballet Soloist Kristen McNally for the BalletBoyz, opening the season in September; a Royal Ballet co-commission for rising star Aakash Odedra in January and Shobana Jeyasingh’s Bayadère Project in March 2015. This new work centres on La Bayadère, the classical ballet created by Marius Petipa in 1887, and will explore the way in which Indian temple dancing, or a fantasy of this style, was presented as a soft-focus India of maidens and high-leaping gods. Jeyasingh will be working composer Gabriel Prokofiev on what promises to be a fascinating adaptation.

Wayne McGregor’s Woolf Works, his first full length ballet for the company, will be seen on the main stage in the summer of 2015. Based on the writings and life of English author Virginia Woolf “ will be a collage, a non-linear narrative based on Orlando, The Waves and Mrs Dalloway,” he said yesterday.

Hofesh Shechter’s first commission for the company will be part of a triple bill in March next year, alongside George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments and Kenneth MacMillan’s Song of the Earth. Although it’s a choreographic debut with the Royal Ballet, in 2008 Cathy Marston commissioned him to make a work for Bern:Ballett.

For the first time the Royal Opera House anticipates that more people will see their productions via live cinema relays than at their home in Covent Garden. The 2014/15 season will include live broadcasts of MacMillan’s Manon (16 Oct); Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (16 Dec) and next year Petipa’s Swan Lake & Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée.

Other highlights include a new commission for Royal Ballet Artist in Resident Liam Scarlett forming part of a main stage triple Bill which opens in November and the London premiere of new work by Christopher Bruce for Phoenix Dance Theatre; performances by Northern Ballet, Ballet Black and a new collaboration between New York City Ballet star Wendy Whelan and Royal Ballet Principal Edward Watson

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