English National Ballet Fouette @ The Festival

Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace

English National Ballet Fouette @ The Festival

Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen

Last week, in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, English National Ballet performed for The Queen at the Coronation Festival Gala. The Festival was organised by the Royal Warrant Holders Association, whose members supply goods or services to The Queen, her husband or her eldest son.

The Queen’s Coronation Festival Gala

Spectacular evening of Music & Dance held in the Gardens of Buckingham Palace

 

On 11th July 2013 The Gardens of Buckingham Palace were host to the Royal Preview of the Coronation Festival Gala – the first of three magnificent Gala performances being held to commemorate the 60th anniversary year of The Queen’s Coronation.

Guests were treated to a spectacular display of music and dance to encapsulate the Festival’s themes of excellence and innovation in a celebration of the past 60 years of Performing Arts.

BBC News presenter Sophie Raworth and choirmaster and broadcaster Gareth Malone co-hosted the evening performance and led the audience through a wondrous musical journey across Britain and the Commonwealth since HM The Queen’s Coronation in 1953.

Hosted by The Royal Warrant Holders Association, the Galas form part of the Coronation Festival – a unique public event being held from the 11th-14th July to celebrate the very best of UK Plc.  The Coronation Festival Gala is being held across three nights for an audience of 6,000 guests per evening thanks to the Coronation Festival’s main event Partners, Jaguar Land Rover, GlaxoSmithKline, and Bentley each hosting one of the three evenings.

The Performances

  • The Fanfare Trumpeters from the Household Division opened the Gala evening before Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, one of the most beloved international sopranos and a mentor to young artists, took to the stage to sing The National Anthem.
  • The National Youth Orchestra and The Bach Choir then performed ‘Zadok the Priest’ Handel’s iconic Coronation anthem to ignite the evening’s festivities with a look back to the momentous occasion when The Queen was crowned and heralded the new era of innovation and cultural achievement.
  • Rising young soprano Laura Wright sang moving traditional ballad ‘A Red, Red Rose’ – a pledge of love, devotion and tenderness, with the National Youth Orchestra.
  • Her Majesty’s special and enduring relationship with The Commonwealth was celebrated in a specially commissioned performance: The Coronation Festival Commission: Family Tree.  Celebrating this rich heritage in a spectacular riot of movement and colour, it brought together over 70 young dancers from East London Dance, choreographed by Jeanefer Jean-Charles, and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures who featured courtesy of Big Dance.  Featuring the composition ‘One Day’ by Johnny Kalsi, music was performed by the thrilling and visceral Dhol Foundation drummers and presented by WOMAD.
  • A beautiful duet from two emerging stars of the opera world from the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation – Louise Adler and Phillip Rhodes – then brought a sense of romance to the occasion as they performed Là ci darem la mano’ from Mozarts Don Giovanni with the National Youth Orchestra.
  • ‘A Trifle Too Far! The Great Musical Cook-Off’ – young performers from the Sylvia Young Theatre School then performed a lively medley of popular West End musicals celebrating the creativity of everyday British life tenderly skewered in an original story about competitive cooking!  Featuring music from Sweeny Todd, On the Town, Mary Poppins and Chicago amongst others.
  • Special guest artist Katie Melua performed a brand new commissioned piece written by Mike Batt called ‘I Will Be There’ with the National Youth Orchestra.  Written by Mike for his Mother, the song, while describing his Mother, obliquely and indirectly references Her Majesty – making the point that a strong supportive maternal figure can be an incredible force.
  • Another special commission created by Matthew Bourne and choreographed by Drew McOnie ‘Style on Screen’ then took to the stage.  Performed by Matthew’s extraordinary company New Adventures, the fantastic dance-theatre segment celebrated Modern British style crossing from Carnaby Street to Saville Row championing some of Britain’s most iconic films from the Avengers to James Bond via some well-known cinematic soundtracks, climaxing in a vocal performance by special guest singing artist Scarlett Strallen.
  • ‘Generations: A British Pop Music Journey’ was performed by chart-topping band The Feeling with special guests Beverley Knight and Dominic West who celebrated music of the Commonwealth and Britain’s unique leadership role in pop music since the 1960’s,  taking the audience through their versions of some of the most loved and iconic songs of recent times.
  • The English National Ballet premiered a new short commission ‘Tempus’ which explored the theme of constancy amidst change, choreographed by English National Ballet rising star George Williamson with new music by Christopher Mayo.  Leading fashion designer Julien Macdonald OBE created some beautiful bespoke costumes for the dancers decorated in Swarovski crystals that dazzled under the lights.
  • Grammy Award winning composer & conductor Eric Whitacre performed ‘Bliss’ along with his Virtual Choir, Hila Plitmann, the Bach Choir and the National Youth Orchestra.  His awe-inspiring Virtual Choir brings together global social media with music making in the digital age.  Premiering his latest piece of work with characteristic innovation and spectacle the audience were given an exciting glimpse of the future for collaboration and performance.
  • Two national treasures then took to the stage.  Firstly, the UK’s best-selling classical artist Russell Watson performing ‘A Celebration in Song’ with the National Youth Orchestra – a special repertoire to commemorate the historic occasion.
  • Then one of the biggest names in classical music Katherine Jenkins took to the stage to perform a very special repertoire in honour of the event
  • The Grand Finale was performed by Welsh rising stars Only Boys Aloud with Katherine Jenkins with others from the cast joining and the National Youth Orchestra.  The moving finale paid a fitting theatrical tribute to Her Majesty and the tremendous cultural vitality of this Elizabethan age and led the Gala to a fitting and triumphant conclusion.

The Galas form part of the four-day Coronation Festival – a one-off event hosted by the Royal Warrant Holders Association – that is bringing together over 200 companies awarded the prestigious Royal Warrant of Appointment.   Visitors to the day time event are able to explore and enjoy the Gardens which feature four areas showcasing the very best of Food & Drink, Design & Technology, Homes & Gardens and Style, Pursuits & Pastimes.  As well as offering an array of shopping and sampling opportunities, there are interactive features, including a 400-seat cat-walk and live cooking demonstrations – to educate and inspire.

Highlights of the Gala were broadcast in a special programme ‘The Queen’s Coronation Festival Gala’ on BBC One on Saturday 13th July at x and a live broadcast on BBC Radio Two on Friday 12th July at 7.30pm.

English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen

The Royal Preview for the Coronation Festival Gala was held on Thursday evening on a balmy summers evening for invited guests only.

During the day the Royal Warrant Holders had displayed their wares, dotted across the gardens of Buckingham Palace, showcasing everything from Hunter wellies to Penhaligon’s perfume.

English National Ballet’s dancers were : Esteban Berlanga, Daria Klimentová, Vadim Muntagirov, Fernanda Oliveira, Zhanat Atymtayev, Bridgett Zehr, Ken Saruhashi, Ksenia Ovsyanick and Junor Souza. Their costumes were designed by Julien Macdonald OBE, covered in crystals and designed to dazzle.

English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
Daria Klimentova & Vadim Muntagirov from English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen

The event was sold out long before it opened, across several days last weekend. It’s the first (and we’re told, last) time that the Gardens of the Palace have been used in this way, showcasing the best of British business.

English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen

Hosted by the BBC’s Sophie Raworth and Gareth Malone, the Gala included performances from Katie Melua, who sang a hauntingly beautiful song by Mike Batt, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson and English Youth Ballet, as well as English National Ballet.

English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
Her Majesty The Queen arrives at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen

With Her Majesty The Queen in attendance, along with members of her family and the Middleton’s in the Royal Box, the gathered audience settled into the gathering dusk with champagne and expectation.

English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
Katie Melua at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
English National Ballet at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen
the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. Photograph : Theo Cohen

Read more about the Coronation Festival and enjoy the photography.

BREAKING BALLET NEWS | CORONATION FESTIVAL GALA ARTISTS REVEALED

coronation festival

BREAKING BALLET NEWS | CORONATION FESTIVAL GALA ARTISTS REVEALED

coronation festival

The Royal Warrant Holders Association today (Tuesday 30th April 2013), confirmed the names of artists that will take part in three magnificent Gala performances within the Gardens of Buckingham Palace this summer. The Galas form part of the Coronation Festival – a unique public event hosted by the Association which will celebrate the very best of UK Plc.

Home-grown UK artists Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson, Katie Melua, Laura Wright and pop rock band The Feeling top the Festival’s evening music programme which will also feature stunning performances by the National Youth Orchestra, English National Ballet and Grammy Award winning composer Eric Whitacre, plus a host of other artists, in a tribute to Her Majesty and the incredible era of change during her Reign.

The Coronation Festival Gala will encapsulate the Festival’s themes of excellence and innovation with a particular focus on youth, in a celebration of the past 60 years of Performing Arts.

The Fanfare Trumpeters from the Household Division will open the Gala evening followed by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, one of the most beloved international sopranos and a mentor to young artists, with The National Anthem. This will begin a musical journey through Britain and the Commonwealth since HM The Queen’s Coronation.

A series of scenes will celebrate music of the Commonwealth and reflect Britain’s unique leadership role in pop music since the 1960’s. British musical, film and television excellence will also be championed with some of Britain’s most iconic films, from The Avengers to James Bond, paid tribute to in a theatrical dance performance.

East London Dance, choreographed by Jeanefer Jean-Charles, and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures will feature courtesy of Big Dance along with the Dhol Foundation courtesy of WOMAD. Welsh rising stars Only Boys Aloud, young performers from the Sylvia Young Theatre School, opera singers from Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s Foundation, and talent of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain will also all come together representing the creative talent of the future.

Specially commissioned pieces will also be premiered. Mike Batt will create a piece for  Katie Melua, choreographer George Williamson will create a piece for English National Ballet, featuring Lead Principal Dancer Tamara Rojo  and composed by Christopher Mayo and Eric Whitacre’s pioneering ‘virtual choir’ will also feature in a fusion of tradition and innovation demonstrating the industry’s digital future.

Popular classical artists and national treasures Russell Watson and Katherine Jenkins will lead the Gala to a rousing and triumphant finale featuring Only Boys Aloud in what will be a series of nights to remember.

Event organiser Media 10 Ltd has commissioned Raymond Gubbay Ltd to produce this unique night of entertainment.

The Gala concert will be staged in the Gardens of Buckingham Palace for three consecutive nights on the 11th 12th and 13th of July, for an audience of 6,000 guests per evening thanks to the Coronation Festival’s main event Partners, Jaguar Land Rover, GlaxoSmithKline and Bentley, who will each host one of the three evenings.

The Coronation Festival, hosted by the Royal Warrant Holders Association, brings together over 200 companies awarded the prestigious Royal Warrant of Appointment.  Exhibitors, representing a broad cross-section of companies – from traditional crafts and small local producers, to multinational companies – will showcase their products and services in a celebration of innovation, excellence and industry.

Public tickets are still available to purchase for the day-time Festival where visitors will be able to explore and enjoy the Gardens which will feature four areas showcasing the very best of Food & Drink, Design & Technology, Homes & Gardens and Style, Pursuits & Pastimes.  As well as offering an array of shopping and sampling opportunities, there will be interactive features, including a 400-seat cat-walk and live cooking demonstrations – to educate and inspire. An amazing day out in a unique environment.

Tickets for the Coronation Galas have sold out but the Gala will be broadcast on TV and radio. Full broadcast details will be issued to the public soon.

Daytime Festival tickets of £30 per person are still available for purchase via the Coronation Festival website.

The Festival will be open to members of the public from Friday, 12th to Sunday, 14th July. There will be a Royal Preview on Thursday, 11th July for invited guests only which will include members of the Royal Family, charities, patronages, media, Armed Forces, inward investors and overseas trade missions, and guests of the Royal Warrant Holders Association.

Event details

  • Opening times to the public between Friday,  12th July – Sunday 14th July 2013 are:9.30am – 4.00pm for day-time ticket holders; and 5.30pm – 9.30pm for evening ticket holders.  There is no evening event on Sunday, 14th July.
  • The Royal Warrant Holders Association is hosting The Coronation Festival, which will showcase over 200 of the companies who have supplied goods or services for at least five years to the Households of The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh or The Prince of Wales.
  • Royal Warrants have always been regarded as hallmarks of quality, excellence and service.
  • The Coronation Festival is being held in the 60th anniversary year of The Queen’s Coronation.
  • The Festival’s Charity partner will be the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, which helps financially disadvantaged crafts people to further their skills through the funding of higher education and training.
  • Media 10 are the event organisers for The Coronation Festival
  • Raymond Gubbay Limited is producing the Coronation gala.

Her Majesty The Queen hosts a reception co-produced by English National Ballet

the Buckingham Palace ballroom with ballet dancers on the floor
English National Ballet at the Palace Ballroom Photography throughout : Bex Singleton

Last night Her Majesty The Queen and Prince Phillip hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace in celebration of young people in the performing arts. The Queen holds receptions throughout the year and the guests are drawn from all walks of life.  Celebrity guests including Jools Holland, Duffy, Dame Helen Mirren, Ellie Goulding, Sheila Hancock, Kevin Spacey and Goldie met The Queen over champagne and canapés before taking their seats in the Ballroom with its mirrored doors, glittering chandeliers and opulent crimson banquettes.

the ballroom at Buckingham Palace
Chantel Roulston

Before the performance photographer Bex Singleton & I spent some time with four English National Ballet dancers who were thrilled to be dancing for The Queen and agreed that it was the most exciting night of their lives – Max Westwell, Chantel Roulston, Anjuli Hudson and Daniel Jones. These photographs were taken on the Grand Staircase, designed by John Nash for King George IV with a balustrade delicately patterned with acanthus, oak and laurel leaves in bronze casting. The bright light of the staircase is provided by a shallow dome of glass and I wanted our photographs to be suffused with the same sense of expectation that the design conveys.

the grand staircase at Buckingham Palace
Daniel Jones, Chantel Roulston, Max Westwell & Anjuli Hudson on the Grand Staircase at Buckingham Palace

four ballet dancers pose on the Grand Staircase at Buckingham Palace

The Romeo & Juliet inspired 30 minute performance of music, song, drama and dance, produced by English National Ballet and Dramatico Entertainment was introduced by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa DBE, ONZ, AC, who emphasised the importance and immense benefit of these receptions, began with the Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture by Tchaikovsky, gloriously played by the Docklands Sinfonia and conducted by Mike Batt. 

the ballroom at Buckingham Palace filled with ballet dancers

New Zealand born Soprano Ana James followed with Je Veux Vivre from Gounod’s opera Romeo & Juliet and the other singers of the night included X-Factor winner Joe McElderry showing his credentials with Something’s Coming from West Side Story which suited his crystal clear voice and sense of drama.  McElderry was accompanied by dancers from the National Youth Music Theatre (who later returned to dance alongside Rumer) in a routine choreographed by Cristian Valle. 

the ballroom at Buckingham Palace filled with ballet dancers
Erina Takahashi & Daniel Kraus
the ballroom at Buckingham Palace filled with ballet dancers
Erina Takahashi & Daniel Kraus

Romeo’s Dream, rapped by Ironik (featuring Sara-Jane Skeete) and flanked by dancers Flawless and Alleviate gave a different take on the theme, and Rumer’s Love Story was beautifully sung. Alleviate, dancers Nicolette and Renako, reached the final three in Sky 1’s Got To Dance, and they are accomplished dancers dressed in white with a well-crafted & gentle routine that gave balance to the drama and richness from other performers.

the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace
Erina Takahashi as Juliet and Daniel Kraus as Romeo with James Streeter as Tybalt

English National Ballet took to the ballroom floor in considerable style with The Dance of the Knights from Rudolf Nureyev’s Romeo & Juliet. Their elaborate costumes in burnt umber, carmine, chamoisee & sinopia created symmetry with the sunglow gold and vermillion of the Palace Ballroom. 

the ballroom at Buckingham Palace
Laura Bruña & Daniel Jones

As Jane Haworth swept upstage, nobility ringing out, English National Ballet’s dancers – Zhanat Atymatayev, Kerry Birkett, Laura Bruña, Barry Drummond, Shevelle Dynott, Anjuli Hudson, Amber Hunt, Daniel Jones, Natalia Kremen, Van le Ngoc, Jenna Lee, Alison McWhinney, Grant Rae, Chantel Roulston, Max Westwell, Stephen Wilson, Nathan Young and Jia Zhang – danced their hearts out to Prokofiev’s stirring chords.

the ballroom at Buckingham Palace

a ballet dancer in the Buckingham Palace ballroom
Natalia Kremen

James Streeter provided the menace around the edges as Tybalt, with Erina Takahashi and Daniel Kraus as Romeo and Juliet, breaking through the massed ranks to dance a delicately perfumed pas de deux.

the ballroom at Buckingham palace
Erina Takahashi & Daniel Kraus

The performance was perfectly balanced with exemplary acting from Anne Reid, Bryony Hannah and Amy Robbins in Act 1 Scene 111 from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and from Act 1 Scene V by Daniel Kaluuya (Skins) and Tamsin Egerton (currently starring as Guinevere opposite Joseph Fiennes) as the star-crossed lovers, with golden masks.

the ballroom at Buckingham Palace
The dancers of English National Ballet

Watch : Earlier in the day, Big Dance had organised a Royal flashmob outside Buckingham Palace, and you can watch the video courtesy of The Daily Telegraph and ITN.

Read : 6 Things You Don’t know about royal ballet weddings.

Take : a 360 degree virtual tour of the Grand Staircase at Buckingham Palace.

the Grand Staircase at Buckingham Palace with four ballet dancers
Daniel Jones, Chantel Roulston, Max Westwell & Anjuli Hudson on the Grand Staircase at Buckingham Palace
four ballet dancers on the Grand Staircase at Buckingham Palace
Daniel Jones, Chantel Roulston, Max Westwell & Anjuli Hudson