Just a few beats after the curtain went down on English National Ballet’s roundly admired run of “Le Corsaire,” the company threw itself into another shiny production: a gala to celebrate its platinum anniversary. In 1950, ENB was an upstart troupe with a makeshift title (London Festival Ballet). Even with two marquee names attached—Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin, darlings of the Ballets Russes—the road to success was riven with financial pitfalls. Fast-forward 70 years, though, and ENB’s an immutable presence on the British stage, still rocking starpower on the mantle, with Tamara Rojo doubling up as artistic director/lead principal since 2012.
English National Ballet dancers take a bow at the end of “Etudes,” part of the 70th Anniversary Gala. Photograph by Piers Allardyce