NEWS: The Royal Ballet Announce Kenneth MacMillan : A National Celebration

Taking place from the 10th October, this landmark festival will see the The Royal Ballet will be joined by Birmingham Royal BalletEnglish National BalletNorthern Ballet and Scottish Ballet and Yorke Dance Project paying tribute to the choreographer. 


From the 10th October until the 1st November, across a variety of evenings each of the companies involved will perform one of Kenneth MacMillan’s one-act masterpieces.

The Royal Ballet will perform The Judas Tree, MacMillan’s final creation for the Company and his most controversial that draws on themes such as the cruelty of the mob, fear and sexual violence.

Meanwhile, Concerto will be performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet. Created in 1966, and set to Piano Concerto No.2 by Shostakovich, it is an example of the pure precision and energy with which he imbued his early work.

Song of the Earth was created in 1965 for Stuttgart Ballet and will be performed this time around by the English National Ballet. It features themes of love, death and renewal, setting a simple narrative to Mahler’s haunting Das Lied von der Erde.

Northern Ballet will showcase Gloriaa piece which was inspired by Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth and was important to MacMillan, who lost his father at the Battle of the Somme.

The festival will also feature performances of Le Baiser de la fée (performed by the Scottish Ballet), Elite Syncopations ,Sea of Troubles (performed by Yorke Dance Project), and Jeux. 

Talking about the news, Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, said: “Kenneth created a new language and possibilities for dance. His influence reached far beyond the ballets he created for The Royal Ballet and that’s why it’s so exciting to be able to invite these companies to celebrate his work here at the Royal Opera House.”

Kenneth MacMillan: A National Celebration will take place at the Royal Opera House from the 10th October until the 1st November. For more information and to book tickets visit:


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