English National Ballet to host workshops in Milton Keynes

English National Ballet: Max Westwell in character
English National Ballet: Max Westwell in character

Discover a treasure trove of theatrical treats when English National Ballet comes to the new city next month.

The UK’s leading touring ballet company will premiere a new production of ‘Le Corsaire’ (The Pirate), one of the great 19th Century classics, on 17 October at Milton Keynes Theatre.

Le Corsaire is a thrilling ballet in three acts which is loosely based on Lord Byron’s poem ‘The Corsair’ and tells the story of Conrad, a dashing pirate, and his love for Medora, a beautiful harem girl.

To accompany their visit, the English National Ballet team are bringing a fantastic array of captivating behind-the-scenes activities to engage fans with the dancers’ swashbuckling performances onstage.

Youngsters aged 14 -18 can experience a creative workshop inspired by the romance and betrayal of Le Corsaire on Tuesday 15 October.

From 5.30pm until 6.45pm, young dancers will be taught extracts from the ballet with English National Ballet artists in a youth ballet workshop at Milton Keynes Theatre (£10 – open level).

Ballet-lovers aged 18 and up need not feel left out as the company will provide a ballet class focusing on core technical elements including flexibility, strength and alignment in their open level adult ballet workshop at 7pm, also on Tuesday 15 October (£12).

After the class, participants will learn repertoire extracts from the production until 8.30pm.

Budding ballerinas and eye-patch wearing shipmates – as well as accompanying adults - can dive into an energetic morning of dance and design in hands-on creative workshops inspired by the epic pirate adventure on Saturday 19 October.

From 9.30am until midday, set sail for the seven seas and make the most of this family dance and design adventure – tickets are £30 for two people (one child aged between 5 to 16 and one adult), additional single adult of child places are £17.50.

Promising artists can seize the exclusive opportunity to draw dancers in company class on Friday 18th October, between 10am and 1pm.

This open level live drawing event is £20 and suitable for participants aged 16 years and up (participants must provide their own dry drawing materials).

Facilitated by a specialist visual artist, the sitting will focus on capturing the body in motion and includes refreshments as well as professional feedback on the work created.

Dance fanatics, bloggers and tweeters have the unique opportunity to develop the skills required to critique dance performances through the written word at the Dance is the Word event, also on Friday.

From 5pm until 6.30pm, acclaimed dance critic Donald Hutera will share his wisdom with those attending (participants must be aged 16 and up).

The session is £25 and includes a ticket to the evening performance of Le Corsaire.

Finally, ballet fans can whet their appetite for the exhilarating dancing in Le Corsaire by watching the dancers warm up and stretch in Company Class on Saturday 19 October between 11.30am and 1pm.

See the exercises at the barre build and lead to dazzling displays of virtuosity in the centre work – ‘keep a weather eye open’ and don’t miss this chance to watch first-class dance for only £12.

>All bookings can be made at www.ballet.org.uk or visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes.