So, both company and venue celebrate the resumption of a long-standing relationship when ENB returns to the Southbank with Solstice, a programme of highlights from the company's extensive repertoire timed to coincide with the longest day of the year – hence the title.
After more than a year away from the stage, dancers are naturally eager to dance. Their first opportunity to do so will be Reunion at Sadler's Wells on the very day theatres are allowed to reopen; Solstice, exciting, undemanding summer fare for performers and audiences alike, follows barely a month later.
Standard gala pieces, like the virtuoso pas de deux from Le Corsaire will, of course, be included, as will extracts from Swan Lake – it'll be interesting to see whether they go for the ultra-Romantic pas de deux from the white Act II or the fireworks of the Black Swan pas de deux in Act III with its famed 32 fouettés – and The Sleeping Beauty, possibly the wedding pas de deux that constitutes the apotheosis of Act III.
Also billed is a remarkable, goosebumps-inducing pas de deux from Broken Wings: choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's take on the life of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and her tempestuous relationship with her philandering husband, the painter Diego Rivera.
A more reflective section of the programme includes an extract from Dust, an ENB commission from Akram Khan for the commemorations of the centenary of World War I, and Ben Stevenson's Three Preludes, set to music by Rachmaninov.
Coppelia will provide some playful and technically demanding exchanges, and the programme will end with a true crowd pleaser: Playlist (Track 1, 2) created by the choreographer William Forsythe for the men of ENB. Set to neo-soul and house music, it gives the dancers tremendous leeway to let rip and show off; and on past performance they do just that with brio and gusto. Don't be surprised if you feel tempted to join in!
Booking for members opens on Thursday 29 April. The audience will be socially distanced, so early booking is advisable.
Age recommendation: 7+
|What||English National Ballet back at the Southbank|
|Where||Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
16 Jun 21 – 26 Jun 21, 19:30. Dur.: 90 mins no interval
|Price||£§15-£60 (+booking fee)|
|Website||Click here to book|