“No man's land”, “Firebird”, “Second breath”, “Dust”.
Choreography Liam Scarlett, George Williamson, Russell Maliphant, Akram Kahn
English National Ballet
Barbican Arts Centre
2 -12 April, 2014
by Judith Cruickshank
copyright 2014 by Judith Cruickshank
“Lest we forget” is English National Ballet's much anticipated and much applauded commemoration of the outbreak of the first World War. What gives it still greater significance is that the programme includes three new works commissioned by director Tamara Rojo, a manifestation of her commitment to new work, a difficult ask for this company which relies so heavily on touring a repertoire of family friendly classics.
Of the three choreographers making new work, Liam Scarlett is the most closely associated with classical technique, although it shouldn't be forgotten that Russell Maliphant was for 20 years a dancer with the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet and has worked closely with Sylvie Guillem among others. Akram Khan has also worked with Guillem, but his style is still firmly rooted in Kathak dance, and this was the first time he had ever worked with a classical company.