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
One way to get to know the history of a company is through the “liner notes” of its “Swan Lake” production, and for those of us continuing to build an admiring familiarity with Pacific Northwest Ballet via its digital season offerings, Kent Stowell and Francia Russell’s “Swan Lake” provides an interesting glimpse into PNB prior to Peter Boal’s leadership.FREE ARTICLE