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Royal House Opera Announces 2014-2015 Ballet and Dance Season

Royal House Opera Announces 2014-2015 Ballet and Dance Season

New works, engaging collaborations and classic revivals set the theme for the Royal Ballet Season 2014/15.

Kevin O'Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, continues his commitment to commissioning new works with three world premieres including a full length ballet by Wayne McGregor, and one act works by Liam Scarlett and Hofesh Shechter,who makes his choreographic debut with the Company. Principal Guest Artist Carlos Acosta's exuberant production of Don Quixote receives its first revival and both Don Quixoteand Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderlandreturn as this year's Christmas productions.Kenneth MacMillan's 20th century classic Manon celebrates its 40th anniversary and The Royal Ballet showcases its repertory of great ballet masterpieces with works by Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.

O'Hare's commitment to new work continues in the Linbury Studio Theatre with new commissions fromZoo Nation, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company and Royal Ballet First Artist Ludovic Ondiviela, who will choreograph his first commissioned ballet for Royal Ballet and guest dancers.

2014 marks the 40th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan's Manon which opens the Season in September and also opens ROH Live Cinema in October. Created in 1974, Manon is regarded as one of the great 20thCentury productions in the Royal Ballet repertory. The tragic love story of Manon Lescaut and Des Grieux is based on the novel by French writer Abbé Prévost. With stage designs by Nicholas Georgiadis depicting a lavish world polluted by poverty,Manon and Des Grieux's impassioned pas de deuxmake this ballet one of MacMillan's most immersive and heart-breaking dramas.

In summer 2015 Wayne McGregor presents his first full length ballet for the Company. Woolf Works, based on the writings and life of seminal English author Virginia Woolf, has a newly commissioned score by Max Richter, composer of McGregor's award winning ballet Infra. Costume designs are by Moritz Junge who also designed the costumes for the Olivier Award winning Chroma, with lighting by Lucy Carterand film design by Ravi Deepres. Alessandra Ferri, former Royal Ballet Principal, returns to perform with the Company in this new work.

Royal Ballet Artist in Resident Liam Scarlett's latest new work for the Company forms part of a Triple Bill which opens in November. Scarlett uses Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No2 The Age of Anxiety, inspired by W H Auden's 1946 poem about the lost illusions of youth, for this new work. The programme also includes the London premiere of Kim Brandstrup's Ceremony of Innocence which received great acclaim when it was first performed at the Aldeburgh Festival as part of the Benjamin Britten centenary celebrations in 2013. In the ballet an older protagonist looks back on the careless brilliance of youth.With costumes by Kandis Cook and designs by Leo Warner,Ceremony of Innocence is set to Britten'sVariation on a Theme of Frank Bridgeand is a subtle response to the composer's final opera Death in Venice which Brandstrup recently worked on at the London Coliseum. The final work in the programme is the first revival of Christopher Wheeldon's Olivier Award winning Aeternum set to Sinfonia da Requiem, Britten's anguished response to the Second World War.

Principal Guest Artist Carlos Acosta's 2013 production of Don Quixote receives its first revival. Acosta tailored the ballet as a showcase for the talents and personalities of his fellow dancers in the Company and this revival will feature a number of exciting Company debuts. Acosta will again dance the lead role ofBasilio with Marianela Nuñez as Kitri.

This Christmas Christopher Wheeldon's spectacularAlice's Adventures in Wonderland makes a welcome return and is the perfect family show for the festive period. Performed in Japan as part of the Company's hugely successful tour in 2013, the ballet is now firmly established in The Royal Ballet repertory. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland will also be screened live in cinemas on Wednesday 16 December. The matinee performance on Saturday 6 December will be the annual Paul Hamlyn Christmas Treat, generously supported by the Helen Hamlyn Trust in memory of Paul Hamlyn, enabling families to make a first visit to the Royal Opera House with all tickets priced £1 to £25.

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by Barnett Serchuk