people and news

December Birthdays 

1st Eva Evdokimova (1948 - 2009); 2nd Merrill Ashley, Harold Turner (19-9 - 1962); 6th Wendy Ellis Somes; 10th Ashley Bouder; 14th Javier Torres, Ib Andersen; 15th Rudolf van Laban (1879 - 1958); 19th Steven McRae; 20th Jonathan Cope; 23rd Elisa Badenes; 24th Heather Ogden; Noëlla Pontois; 27th Val Bourne, Daniel Ulbricht; 29th Gelsey Kirkland; 30th William Forsythe.

La Bayadère - Paris Opera
For the reopening of theatres in Paris on 15 December, performance times have to adjusted to comply with government Covid rules. For La Bayadère at the Opéra Bastille: 15, 18, 21, 24, 26, 29, 30 December, and 1 and 2 January: starts at 6 p.m. instead of 7.30 p.m. (duration 2 hours and 50 minutes with 2 intervals, estimated end at 8.50 p.m.) - 26 December: starts at 1 p.m. instead of 2.30 p.m. (duration 2 hours and 50 minutes with 2 intervals, estimated end at 3.50 p.m.) - 27 December: starts at 2.30 p.m. (duration 2 hours and 50 minutes with 2 intervals, estimated end at 4.20 p.m.).


Paris Opera in Nureyev's La Bayadère. © Emma Kauldhar


American Ballet Theatre
has cancelled its Met season planned for June and July 2021 due to health and safety concerns related to the pandemic.In Instead the company plans new choreography, created in remote ballet bubbles under strict medical and health guidelines in upstate New York and Southern California, and additional locations to be announced. Digital productions and outdoor socially distanced performances around the United States are planned for spring 2021. Outdoor performances in and around New York City are in the works for summer 2021. Choreographers premiering new works with ABT in 2021 include Lauren Lovette, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Alexei Ratmansky and Sonya Tayeh.

Royal Nutcracker

The Royal Ballet has announced the casting for The Nutcracker which will run at the Royal Opera House from 11 December - 3 January. The role of the Sugar Plum Fairy will be danced by Sarah Lamb (pictured) on 16 & 21 December, Marianela Nuñez on 11 & 13 December, Laura Morera 12 & 15 December, Akane Takada on 17 & 23 December, Yasmine Naghdi on 19 & 22 December, Anna Rose O'Sullivan in her debut on 24 & 30 December, Fumi Kaneko on 29 December, Natalia Osipova on 31 December & 2 January, and Francesca Hayward on 1 & 3 January.


The Royal Ballet - Sarah Lamb in The Nutcracker. © Emma Kauldhar courtesy ROH


Manuel Legris. ©Michael Pohn / Wiener Staatsoper

Manuel Legris

Manuel Legris succeeds Frédéric Olivieri on 1 December as director of the ballet company of Teatro alla Scala. He is already creating a new ballet, Verdi Suite for five dancers (Coviello, Toppi, Arduino, Del Freo and Agostino) which will been shown on RAI TV during a gala on 7 December. Another Ballet Gala will be broadcast on 17 December and plans for the new season including La Sylphide, Legris' own production of Le Corsaire, Nureyev's Don Quixote, Sentieri by Philippe Kratz and Progetto Händel by Mauro Bigonzetti.

Alina Cojocaru

Alina Cojocaru, who is expecting her second child this month, will leave English National Ballet as her contract comes to an end. The leading ballerina joined ENB in 2013 from The Royal Ballet. Her repertoire, both classical and contemporary, is extensive. She is a regular guest artist with John Neumeier's Hamburg Ballet.


Alina Cojocaru as Giselle. © Emma Kauldhar

Changes at English National Ballet

Joining ENB are Natascha Mair as a principal - she has been dancing as a principal with the Wiener Staatsballett and is also a guest principal with the Ljubljana Ballet; Matei Hadrian Holeleu as a 1st Year Artist, following his success at the 2020 Prix de Lausanne competition - he trained at Ballettschule Theater Basel in Switzerland and at the Octavian Stroia Highschool of Choreography and Drama in Romania; and Eric Snyder as an artist (extra) from English National Ballet School. English National Ballet also welcomes new members to its Board of Trustees: Marilyn Berk, Lady Debbie Buffini, Kamara Gray, Chris Marks, Paul Pacifico and Dr. Shirley J. Thompson OBE.


Elizabeth McRae

Elizabeth McRae has decided to accept voluntary redundancy after dancing with The Royal Ballet for 13 years. She is pictured here in Ashton’s The Two Pigeons with her husband and father of their three children Steven McRae at The Royal Ballet’s gala to open Hull New Theatre in 2017.

David Hallberg

The incoming artistic director of The Australian Ballet announces the company plans for 2021.

Wayne McGregor

Wayne McGregor has been appointed as the director of the Biennale di Venezia's Dance Department for a four-year term from 2021-24.


Ballet du Capitole has announced that the premiere of Toulouse-Lautrec choreographed by Kader Belarbi, which was originally scheduled to take place from May 23 to June 3, 2020 and which was postponed for the first time to November 2020, is again postponed to the 2021/2022 season. Performances on 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 November are therefore cancelled.

Prix de Lausanne 

Candidates for 2021 announced HERE
The 2021 Prix de Lausanne will take place online from 31 January - 7 February 2021.

Olivier Awards

Congratulations to Olivier Award winners: Mthuthuzeli November - Best New Dance for Ingoma for Ballet Black; Sarah Baras - Outstanding Achievement in Dance for Ballet Flamenco in Sombras at Sadler's Wells; and Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear - Best Theatre Choreographer for Mary Poppins.