English National Ballet

English National Ballet
English National Ballet
General Information
Name English National Ballet
Previous Names
  • The Festival Ballet
  • London Festival Ballet
Year Founded 1950
  • Dame Alicia Markova
  • Sir Anton Dolin
Patron HRH The Duke of York
Principal venue Markova House
39 Jay Mews
Website www.ballet.org.uk
Senior Staff
Director Craig Hassall
Repetiteurs Antony Dowson
Maina Gielgud
Yuri Uchiumi
Kerry West
Rosalyn Whitten
Artistic Staff
Artistic Director Wayne Eagling
Musical Director Gavin Sutherland
Associate Schools English National Ballet School
Formation Senior Principal
First Soloist
First Artist

English National Ballet is a classical ballet company founded by Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin and based at Markova House in South Kensington, London, England. Along with the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet, it is one of the four major ballet companies in Great Britain. English National Ballet is one of the foremost touring companies in Europe, performing in theatres throughout the UK as well as conducting international tours and performing at special events. The company employs approximately 65 dancers and a symphony orchestra, and there is also an associate school, the English National Ballet School, which is independent from the ballet company. The company regularly performs seasons at the London Coliseum and has been noted for specially staged performances at the Royal Albert Hall, the Concert for Diana[1] and for producing a new ballet based on the animated TV character Angelina Ballerina.[2] The Patron of English National Ballet is HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York.



The English National Ballet was originally founded in 1950 by the renowned British dance couple, Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin.

Markova and Dolin were leading stars of the Ballets Russes, one of the most influential ballet companies of the 20th century. After the death of its director Serge Diaghilev in 1929, the company was disbanded and in 1931, one of its dancers, Ninette de Valois, founded the Vic-Wells Ballet company in London, with Markova and Dolin as Principal dancers, Markova becoming Prima Ballerina in 1933. Markova and Dolin left the Vic-Wells Ballet in 1935 to tour as the Markova-Dolin company and following the success of their performances, they decided to form their own company with the sole purpose being to tour both nationally and internationally, taking ballet to audiences that had not had the opportunity to see the art form.

Elena Glurdjidze as Swanilda & Aroniel Vargas as Franz in the ENB's production of Coppélia. Southampton's Mayflower Theatre. Also in the picture (bowing) is Michael Coleman as Dr. Coppelius.

The London Festival Ballet was founded in 1950 with the financial backing of the Polish impresario Julian Braunsweg. The name was inspired by the then imminent Festival of Britain, however the company would later be renamed to today's English National Ballet. Dolin was the company's first Artistic Director and established the company as a touring group both nationally in the UK and Internationally, touring abroad for the first time in 1951. Dolin also introduced a number of educational programs in the early years, deigned to make ballet accessible to new audiences. Dolin remained as artistic director until 1962, succeeded by John Gilpin, who was also principal dancer with the company from 1950 to 1960 and 1962 to 1971. The company grew in size and status, undertaking extensive national and international tours, presenting a new generation of dancers—all while repeatedly facing bankruptcy. Braunsweg left in 1965 and Donald Albery took over until 1968, stabilising the budget with safer programming. Former Royal Ballet dancer Beryl Grey directed the company (now named the London Festival Ballet) from 1968 to 1979, raising technical standards, touring widely and inviting prominent guest stars and choreographers including Leonide Massine and Rudolf Nureyev, who picked ballerina Eva Evdokimova to be his first Princess Aurora in his production of The Sleeping Beauty in 1975. Evdokimova in turn became the prima ballerina of the company under Grey's leadership and continued to reign under successive directors John Field and Peter Schaufuss.

It was Evdokimova who suggested to change the name to English National Ballet to reflect the company's role as Britain's only classical ballet company dedicated to touring ballets nationwide at an affordable price for audiences. The name change was implemented in 1989.

Ivan Nagy (until 1993), Derek Deane (until 2001) and Matz Skoog (until 2006) directed the company before Wayne Eagling, former head of Dutch National Ballet, took over in 2006.


Artistic Directors:


Principal Dancers

Name Nationality Training Joined ENB Rank Other Companies
Begoña Cao  United Kingdom Arts Educational School
Royal Ballet School
1997 Principal
Yat-Sen Chang  Cuba Cuban National Ballet School 1993[3] Principal Cuban National Ballet
Jeune Ballet de France
Elena Glurdjidze  Georgia Tbilisi Choreographic School
Vaganova Ballet Academy
2002[3] Senior Principal Russian Ballet Company
St Petersburg State Academic Ballet
St Petersburg Ballet Theatre
Dmitri Gruzdyev  Russia Vaganova Ballet Academy 1993[3] Senior Principal Kirov Ballet
Daria Klimentová[4][5]  Czech Republic Prague Conservatory 1996[3] Senior Principal National Theatre Ballet, Prague
Cape Town City Ballet
Scottish Ballet
Sarah McIlroy  United Kingdom Royal Ballet School 1992 Principal
Vadim Muntagirov[5]  Russia Perm Ballet School, Royal Ballet School 2009[6] Principal
Fernanda Oliveira  Brazil Centro de Dança, Rio de Janeiro
Royal Ballet School
2000 Senior Principal Chilean National Ballet
Erina Takahashi  Japan Kushiro Ballet Academy
English National Ballet School
1996 Senior Principal
Aroniel Vargas  Cuba Cuban National Ballet School
Laura Alonso & Ivan Montreal
2004 Principal Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Character Artists

  • Jane Haworth

First Soloists

  • Anais Chalendard France
  • Crystal Costa Canada
  • Adella Ramirez Spain
  • Fabian Reimair Austria


  • Zhanat Atymtayev Kazakhstan
  • Désirée Ballantyne England
  • Esteban Berlanga[7] Spain
  • James Forbat England
  • Daniel Jones England
  • Jenna Lee England

Junior Soloists

  • Yonah Acosta
  • Kei Akahoshi
  • Senri Kou
  • Daniel Kraus
  • Laurent Liotardo
  • Anton Lukovkin
  • Juan Rodriguez
  • Junor de Oliveira Souza
  • James Streeter
  • Max Westwell

First Artists

  • Laura Hussey
  • Chantel Roulston
  • Adrienne Schulte
  • Tamrin Stott
  • Venus Villa


  • Francisco Bosch
  • Ruth Brill
  • Jung Ah Choi
  • Ethan Brookes
  • Laura Bruña Rubio
  • Kuei-Yao Chu
  • Shevelle Dynott
  • Edward Fallon
  • Emma Findlay
  • Jennie Harrington
  • Nicola Henshall
  • Anjuli Hudson
  • Amber Hunt
  • Adeline Kaiser
  • Shiori Kase
  • Natalia Kremen
  • Pedro Lapetra
  • Monika Lepisto
  • Joshua McSherry-Gray
  • Alison McWhinney
  • Nancy Osbaldeston
  • Ksenia Ovsyanick
  • Stina Quagebeur
  • Grant Rae
  • Nicholas Reeves
  • Tracey Shuk-Kan Au
  • Laurretta Summerscales
  • Tomomi Tamagawa
  • Sayako Tomiyoshi
  • Yuki Watanabe
  • Stephen Wilson
  • Araminta Wraith
  • Nathan Young
  • Seo-Yeon Yu
  • Jia Zhang

Simone Clarke

In 2006/7, English National Ballet was the focus of the British media after The Guardian newspaper reported on 21 December 2006 that Principal dancer Simone Clarke was a member of the far-right British National Party.[8] Following the report, a number of other stories appeared in the press and on television and Clarke became known as the "BNP Ballerina".[9]

The British National Party is a minor, but legitimate political party in the United Kingdom that is widely criticised for its apparently extremist and racist policies. Clarke admitted being a member of the BNP, stating that her reason was to oppose mass immigration in Britain. She voiced her belief that the BNP was the only political party willing to take a stand against immigration, stating that she would continue to be a member of the party.[10] Following a number of stories in the press and a protest at the Coliseum by anti-racism protesters, Clarke refused to comment further on the issue and English National Ballet denied calls to terminate her employment, releasing the following statement:

"English National Ballet does not comment on political affiliations of any of its employees nor any other aspects of their personal lives. Any personal view expressed by one of our employees should not be considered as endorsed by the company. English National Ballet is an equal opportunities employer and prides itself in the ethnic diversity of all its employees."

Clarke has a daughter with her former partner Yat-Sen Chang, who is currently a Principal with English National Ballet and is of Chinese-Cuban origin. She retired from professional dance in 2007 and opened her own school.

See also


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • English National Ballet — Tänzer des English National Ballet nach einer Vorstellung des Balletts Coppélia, 2008 Das English National Ballet (ehemals The Festival Ballet, London Festival Ballet) ist eine Ballettkompanie, die 1950 von Alicia Markova und Anton Dolin… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • English National Ballet — a ballet company started in 1950 by Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin. It was first called Festival Ballet, and from 1969 to 1989 the London Festival Ballet. It performs both traditional and modern pieces at many theatres around Britain. * * * ▪… …   Universalium

  • English National Ballet School — The English National Ballet School is a specialist co educational ballet school located in London. The School provides ballet training for 16 19 year olds. The aim of the training is to ensure that those graduating from the school have achieved a …   Wikipedia

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