Dancer Nicolas Le Riche to Join Tamara Rojo in LE JEUNE HOMME ET LA MORT at London Coliseum, April 18-21

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Legendary French dancer Nicolas Le Riche, Étoile of the Paris Opera Ballet, will dance the lead role in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, partnering Tamara Rojo, for the Ecstasy and Death programme.

This limited run, which opens at the London Coliseum on Thursday 18 April, will be the first time he has partnered Tamara Rojo. Nicholas Le Riche whose farewell performance at the Paris Opera next year has just been announced, has made Le Jeune Homme one of his signatures roles, following in the footsteps of Baryshnikov and Nureyev, Le Riche's mentor at the Paris Opera.

English National Ballet Artistic Director Tamara Rojo said: "I am delighted to both welcome and partner Nicolas Le Riche in Roland Petit's masterpiece of love and despair."

Le Riche will alternate with English National Ballet's own protégé Yonah Acosta whose interpretation of the role was acclaimed in 2011 and made such and impact.

Casting details are also announced for Etudes which include performances by Vadim Montagirov, English National Ballet's recently promoted Lead Principal who will partner Tamara Rojo and Erina Takahashi.

The Ecstasy and Death programme consists of three contrasting 20th Century ballets of magnificent choreography and deep poetic emotion, which together, will showcase the Company's stylistic versatility, technical brilliance and dramatic flair. Drawing on the dancers' extraordinary physical, emotional and theatrical talents, this will be the first time English National Ballet has performed Ji?í Kylián's landmark ballet Petite Mort.

Petite Mort
Ji?í Kylián's beautiful, poetic piece, is a landmark of contemporary choreography and its language has inspired a new generation of choreographers. It features six men, six women, and six fencing foils, symbolising energy, silence and sexuality. The foils become dancing partners in the piece, representing the brutality of everyday life. Choreographed to the slow movements from Mozart's Piano concertos in A Major and C major, Petite Mort was created in 1991 for the Salzburg Festival to mark the second centenary of Mozart's death. Ji?í Kylián is a Prague-born dancer and choreographer, formally Artistic Director at Nederlands Dans Theatre. Since his first renowned piece Sinfonietta, his work has become part of the repertoire of all major ballet companies throughout the world.

Le Jeune Homme et la Mort
Le Jeune Homme et la Mort is Roland Petit's choreographic masterpiece. It concerns a faithless woman tormenting her young lover, driving him to despair. It has attracted some of the greatest male dancers, from Nureyev to Baryshnikov. It provides the perfect opportunity for a male dancer to explore the most dramatic of characters as he takes the audience through a journey of destruction and pain led by the 'femme fatale' Death. Created in 1946 by choreographer Roland Petit, the ballet was last performed by English National Ballet at the Coliseum in 2011, just days after its creator's death.

Paying tribute to the choreographer, Tamara said: "I had the immense privilege of working with Mr Petit in his Carmen. It was a dream come true and he was every bit as intimidating and demanding as I had imagined. His deep knowledge of the art form combined with a love for showbiz and razzmatazz was a great artistic lesson that I have treasured ever since."

Etudes
Etudes is Harald Lander's glamorous homage to classical ballet training and dance. It requires a corps de ballet with exceptional skills and uses both their artistry and technique to great effect. Etudes showcases the rigorous training a dancer goes through every day to gain strength, agility and speed, and, above all, elegance. Etudes celebrates the journey from daily ballet class moves and simple stretching at the barre to the full blown virtuosity and bravura of the final performance. Created in 1948, it became a signature piece for English National Ballet following the Company's first performance in 1955. The music is taken from a Carl Czerny study adapted and orchestrated by Knudaage Riisager. Etudes returns to the Company's repertoire after four years, and was last seen at the Royal Festival Hall in 2008."...the full 39-strong cast is flying across the stage with the split-second co-ordination of particles in the Hadron collider." The Observer

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English National Ballet aspires to be the world's leading touring classical ballet company, presenting the highest possible quality ballet to new and established audiences nationwide. The Company aims to develop the popular classical repertoire, including repertoire that is entirely individual to English National Ballet, and to present that repertoire to as wide and sustainable an audience as possible.