English National Ballet
Snowflake from English National Ballet
Photography: RKCR Y&R, London
The controversy swirling around a dancer in English National Ballet (see below) has brought additional publicity to one of the United Kingdom's leading ballet companies.
A touring company, English National Ballet has been dancing on stages around Britain and abroad since 1950. Originally called Festival Ballet, ENB was founded in 1950 by two Brits, Sydney Francis Patrick Healey-Kay (stage name Anton Dolin) and Lilian Alice Marks (stage name Alicia Markova), with the financial backing of Polish impresario Julian Braunsweg. Markova, who recently died at 94, was adored by audiences who called her 'The miniature Pavlova' in a reference to her fluidly beautiful movements. She and Dolin aimed to take popular ballet to the widest geographical audience at a price they could afford, and did.
ENB has a permanent company of over 60 dancers from twenty different countries and its own orchestra. The dancers and musicians are backed up by 80 behind-the-scenes staff in artistic, wardrobe, technical, administration, education, and marketing deparments. The image ad seen above won an award from Epica.
As well as performing the traditional ballet favourites of The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Romeo & Juliet, the Company has inspired the creation of new ballets, and in 1988 established a school for aspiring young dancers.