Ballet Highlights for May


Now in its 10th year, English National Ballet’s annual competition, Emerging Dancer, will be live streamed from Sadler’s Wells on Tuesday 7 May starting at 7.25pm BST, hosted by former Principal of the Royal Ballet, Adam Cooper.
Emerging Dancer recognises the excellence of the artists at English National Ballet. Selected by their peers, six of the Company’s most promising dancers perform in front of an eminent panel of expert judges, before one receives the 2019 Emerging Dancer Award.
You can tune in to the live stream from 7.25pm BST on Tuesday 7 May via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. You can also be part of the audience at Sadler’s Wells as tickets are still available.
Find out more here.

The latest live transmission from The Royal Ballet is a fabulous triple bill: Within the Golden Hour / Medusa (new work) / Flight Pattern; you can see it on Thursday 16 May at 1915; in some cinemas there will also be an encore screening on Wednesday 22 May at 1400. Here is link to the Royal Opera’s website with more information.

Flight Pattern. Photo © ROH by courtesy

A brief synopsis of the evening taken from the website follows:
The contemporary face of The Royal Ballet is shown in works from three of today’s leading choreographers. Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour is based around seven couples separating and intermingling, to music by Vivaldi and Bossi and lit with rich colours suggested by sunset. Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern, revived for the first time, uses Górecki’s familiar music and a large dance ensemble for a poignant and passionate reflection on migration. Between them, Medusa, a new work created on the Royal Ballet by the acclaimed choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, has its premiere to bring the contemporary truly up-to-date.


On Sunday 19 May at 4pm the Bolshoi Ballet is in cinemas with Carmen Suite, choreographed by Alberto Alonso and Petrushka, choreographed by Edward Clug.
Here is the description from the Pathé Live website:
Carmen is as passionate and free-spirited as ever as she finds herself caught in a love triangle. The one-act ballet by Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso originally conceived for legendary Bolshoi prima ballerina Maya Plisetskaya will captivate audiences alongside Petrushka, a new creation for the Bolshoi by contemporary choreographer Edward Clug, in an evening encapsulating the soul of Russian Ballet.


The legend returns, showing at a cinema near you on Tuesday 22 May at 1815 and Tuesday 29 May at 1200. Find out more here.

Matthew Bourne commented: “I’m thrilled that this brand-new production of my Swan Lake will be in cinemas worldwide. It has become a modern classic much beloved by the British public and throughout the world. Its popularity has never been greater and several generations of audiences have been inspired and moved by its universal story of love and acceptance. Now 24 years after Swan Lake was first performed more people than ever before will be able to experience the dramatic power and mesmerising performances on the big screen.”

Matthew Bourne’s bold and beautiful Swan Lake replaces the traditional female corps de ballet with a male ensemble which, when it was first performed in 1995, took the dance world by storm. No longer the dainty, sinuous swans of the original story but instead hissing, stamping birds, unpredictable, sometimes dangerous. Danced to Tchaikovsky’s spellbinding score, Bourne’s contemporary adaptation subverts the conventional tale of Odette, Prince Siegfried and the evil Baron von Rothbart, omitting some of the characters and twists of plot. Instead, his passionate story of male love tells of a lonely and repressed Prince Siegfried who is dominated by his regal mother and her Machiavellian press secretary. The Swan is everything the Prince needs and can’t have. Twenty-three years on, as vibrant as ever, Bourne’s Swan Lake comes to cinemas, re-imagined for the twenty-first century. Retaining Lez Brotherson’s award-winning designs, this new production was filmed last year at Sadler’s Wells in London.

I always try to get to cinema relays of ballet whenever I can, usually at my local Picturehouse Cinema, Harbour Lights in Southampton. It can never replace the live theatre experience, of course, but if you can no longer make the trip to London or other centres, it’s a great way to stay in touch with ballet.

I hope there is a convenient cinema near you in which to enjoy the variety of offerings this month.

And finally … if you have been watching BBC Four on a Friday evening for the episodes of the BBC Young Dancer 2019, the finale is on Saturday 18 May, live from the Birmingham Hippodrome.  You can catch up on episodes you have missed by visiting the website and following the links.


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