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ENB brings back Derek Deane's immersive Swan Lake


Swan Lake. Dancers, Emma Hawes and Gabriele Frola (c) Jason Bell
Dancers Emma Hawes and Gabriele Frola. Main pic, Jason Bell: others by ASH and Laurent Liotardo

English National Ballet is returning to Liverpool and Manchester (and touring widely), with Derek Deane’s lavish and long-relied-on production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

It’s at Liverpool Empire from September 28-October 1, and Manchester’s Palace Theatre from October 5-8. Tickets are now on sale.

Swan Lake is usually a box-office hit for ballet companies, and in past times Deane’s version has done them proud. Originally devised as an arena show to pack the crowds in, then adapted to traditional theatre staging, it is big and spectacular, with the classic corps-de-ballet tableaux beautifully realised as anyone would want it to be, But look closely and you can sometimes see – particularly in Act One – traces of the circular movement devised for in-the-round presentation, which gives it a novel twist.

Deane’s opening act has a charmingly unaristocratic, village-revels feel to it, with rich colour values in Peter Farmer’s designs – a contrast to the watery swan scenes later.

It was nominated for a Manchester Evening News award (as it then was) each time it came to Manchester for the first time, first in 1999 (the arena version) and then in 2001 for the theatre adaptation.

Tamara Rojo CBE, English National Ballet’s present artistic director, says: “English National Ballet is committed to bringing world class ballet to the widest possible audience and I am particularly delighted to return to UK touring since before the pandemic.”

Young virtuoso Brooklyn Mack joins ENB as guest artist for this autumn/winter season, performing in both Swan Lake and Raymonda, as well as a Christmas season at the London Coliseum. Born in South Carolina, USA, Brooklyn trained at Pavlovich Dance School and the Kirov Academy of Ballet, Washington.

He made his company debut with ENB in 2015 in Le Corsaire and returned in 2019 for Le Corsaire, Cinderella and Nutcracker.


Tickets and information here