Tamara Rojo, Lead Principle and Artistic Director, English National Ballet speech at the opening of SHOES: PLEASURE AND PAIN.
3 June 2015 – 31 January 2016. This exhibition will look at the extremes of footwear from around the globe, presenting around 200 pairs of shoes ranging from a sandal decorated in pure gold leaf originating from ancient Egypt to the most elaborate designs by contemporary makers.
The Pointe Shoe Anti-Bunion Stretcher by Tamara Rojo is a device for widening the specific area of the enveloping part of the pointed ballet shoes, to facilitate a more comfortable use of said shoes to the ballerinas who suffer from the lateral deformation of the first segment of the phalangeal metatarsal joint forming a protrusion called hallux abductus valgus (hallux valgus) known as bunion. By stretching the satin canvas, at the wings area of the pointed shoes, the fitting of the ballerina’s foot suffering bunion into the pointe shoe is improved, consequently, it reduces the oppression in the bunion, relieve discomfort and helps her to dance more comfortably.
Southbank Sky Arts Awards 2015 – Tamara Rojo winning speech
“This is a great honour and I’m deeply humbled by it. It is important to say that it is not an award for one individual, or even one team. It has been won by the whole company and I would like to pay tribute to and thank :~
CHOREOGRAPHERS: Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant, Liam Scarlett, George Williamson.
All our COLLABORATORS: Designers, particularly Bob Ringwood, Lighting designers, Composers and Costume makers.
The ORCHESTRA and MUSIC DIRECTOR, GAVIN SUTHERLAND, who is always up for everything and loves dance even more than me.
Our TECHNICAL TEAM, David Baxter, David Richardson and specially our technical director Al Riches, who always tells me all is ok even when I am seeing with my own eyes that it is falling apart, but somehow it is always alright in the end!
My DANCERS AND ARTISTIC TEAM, who embrace every challenge and deliver above all expectations.
TO ALL THE UNSUNG HEROES BEHIND THE SCENES, my Executive Director Caroline Thomson, producers, accountants, HR, development, marketing, costumes, hair and make-up outreach and education … You keep things going so we can all dream.
JUSTIN BICKLE, our Chairman, you are the embodiment of the definition of a philanthropist; A person that seeks the welfare of human kind. He who loves the arts. We could not be here without you and your amazing board.
And to the audience who follow us. We will be performing Lest We Forget from September, in London and around the country, so don’t miss it!
Modern Masters honours the work of three of the most influential and creative choreographers of the 20th Century, and brings two new works to English National Ballet’s repertoire. PETITE MORT
Created in 1991, Ji?í Kylián’s poetic piece, features six men, six women, and six fencing foils, symbolising energy, silence and sexuality. Performed to the slow movements of two Mozart Piano Concerti, the foils slowly become dancing partners, as the brutality of everyday life is revealed. Petite Mort is a quintessential Kylián masterwork, loved by our audience and our dancers when we performed it last year. SPRING AND FALL
In the same year that Petite Mort was premiered, Hamburg Ballet’s John Neumeier, a new master of narrative and dramatic ballet, created Spring and Fall. Set to the Dvo?ák’s Serenade for Strings in E Major, it is a work for two couples and corps de ballet and takes its narrative from the tension in the music. Spring and Fall is not in the repertoire of any other UK company. IN THE MIDDLE, SOMEWHAT ELEVATED
With In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, William Forsythe started a completely new school of choreography, deconstructing classical ballet and liberating a new generation of classical dancers to show off their abilities. Set against a bare stage it is danced by nine individuals culminating in a fierce display of technical and physical wizardry.
English National Ballet’s five-star critically acclaimed production of Lest We Forget got rave reviews.
Award-winning British choreographers Akram Khan (Dust), Russell Maliphant (Second Breath) and Liam Scarlett (No Man’s Land) have each created new work to reflect the moving and powerful impact of the First World War on those setting off to fight and those left behind. Khan’s work explores the empowerment of women in the war whilst Maliphant’s conveys the sacrifice of the men. Scarlett’s work explores the relationship between men and the women they leave behind – the loss and longing. The programme is completed by George Williamson ’s re-worked Firebird set to the commanding Stravinsky score performed by our live orchestra.
“Amazing” Jeffery Taylor, Sunday Express.
“A brave and brilliant move from director Tamara RojoLyndsey Winship” Evening Standard.
“Make this absolutely an evening to catch if you can Hanna Weibye, The Arts Desk.
“Lest We Forget is both moving and ambitious Zoë Anderson, The Independent.
“A turning point in ENB’s history” Judith Mackrel, The Guardian.
“Melancholic but thrillingly uplifting” Sarah Crompton, Telegraph.
Award-winning British choreographers Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and Liam Scarlett are creating works honouring the 100th anniversary of the Great War. George Williamson’s Firebird completes the debut programme to be presented by English National Ballet at London Barbican.This is the first time that Khan and Maliphant have collaborated with a classical ballet company on new commissions fusing classical traditions with modern dance. Lest We Forget promises to be a landmark event in British ballet appealing to contemporary dance audiences as well as devotees of the form.2 hours 50 mins/including two intervals.
Lyndsey Winship, London Evenig Standard:“There’s pause-button control in her early white swan scenes as her demure Odette deliciously stretches out her phrases with elegant assuredness. Later you can feel the adrenaline rising in the room as she spins her way through the 32 fouettés, ending with a sweet smirk that seems to say: “Oh that? Easy.”
The Telegraph, Louise Levene“Critics spoiled rotten by a life of perfect sightlines in the front stalls found the encircling audience distracting and carped that the sheer size of the Albert Hall made it impossible for the artists to convey emotion. Anyone who has watched their idols from the back row of Covent Garden’s amphitheatre through a forest of craning heads will know that this is nonsense”.