The Royal Ballet celebrates young dance talent with the Next Generation Festival


The Royal Ballet brings together a host of young dance talent with its Next Generation Festival. This year, the festival will see performances from some of the world’s best junior companies and dance schools, including Brno National Theatre Ballet, New English Ballet Theatre, Norwegian National Ballet 2, The Royal Ballet School, German National Youth Ballet (Bundesjugendballett), ZooNation Youth Company, Rambert School, and the English National Ballet School.

Brno National Theatre Ballet will open the festival on 11 June. This will be their second appearance at the Royal Opera House this Season following their first visit for The Royal Ballet’s International Draft Works. They will perform four works by choreographers Markéta Štofčíková, Markéta Pimek Habalová, Mário Radačovaský and Carolina Isach.

New English Ballet Theatre and Norwegian National Ballet 2 share a programme on 15 and 16 June. New English Ballet Theatre present a new commission choreographed by Royal Ballet Principal dancer Matthew Ball, set to music by Claudio Monteverdi, alongside a performance of Baroque Encounters by Daniela Cardim. Norwegian National Ballet 2 will perform Kumiko Hayakawa’s Limerence, Paul Lightfoot and Sol Léon’s Step Lightly, and a new work entitled Where It Began by Anaïs Touret.

The Royal Ballet School return to the Next Generation Festival on 19 and 20 June with a wide programme of repertoire, including two world premieres from choreographers Gemma Bond and Ashley Page. The programme also includes choreography by Marius Petipa, Jerome Robbins and Frederick Ashton, alongside two works choreographed by current Royal Ballet School students.

The Royal Ballet is delighted to bring together a selection of dancers for a special performance: All About Us – Celebrating Diverse Voices in Ballet. On 22 June, dancers from the The Royal Ballet’s Chance to Dance Connect and Legacy companies will come together with students from The Royal Ballet School’s Primary Steps programme and the National Youth Ballet, with ballet dancer Joe Powell-Main to perform a mixed programme of works. NYB ambassador Powell-Main has choreographed a new work entitled Strength in Adversity to be performed by a small group of NYB dancers. The Chance to Dance Connect company will perform Bee the Ballet, a new work by Kristen McNally and Rachel Fuller Townsend, with additional choreography by Carolyn Bolton, which premiered at the Royal Opera House earlier this Season.

Following this will be two performances by the German National Youth Ballet on 25 and 26 June. They will perform BJB Songbook – What We Call Growing Up, a meditative work inspired by the poetry of well-known singer-songwriters from the latter half of the 20th-century that focuses on the themes of growing up in tumultuous times. Alongside this, they will also perform John Neumeier’s In the Blue Garden.

ZooNation Youth Company return to the Next Generation Festival on 29 June to perform a brand new commission, choreographed by their Artistic Director Chaldon Williams.

Rambert School will perform on 1 July, in a mixed programme including a selection of works by Arthur Pita, Impermanence, Adrian Look, Naia Bautista, Robbie Ordona, and Rambert School alumnus Faye Tan. They will also present three restagings of work by Akram Khan as a part of AKC Unplugged: excerpts from Kaash, Mud of Sorrow and Jungle Book Reimagined.

This year, the English National Ballet School will close the Next Generation Festival on 4 July. Their programme complements the Ashton Celebrated festival across the House with a performance of Ashton’s Les Patineurs, Andrew McNicol’s Of Space and Time, and two works by Pina Bausch: Tannhäuser-Bacchanal and The Nelkin Line, also feature. This performance marks the final show for English National Ballet School’s Artistic Director, Viviana Durante.

The works in the Linbury Theatre are complemented by an Insight in the Clore Studio: Next Generation Taking Shape. It will feature interviews with some of the dancers and choreographers participating in the Next Generation Festival, and will showcase some key pieces being performed throughout the festival.

The festival will also include A Forum for the Directors of Junior Ballet and Dance Companies, a gathering of artistic leaders of junior ballet and dance companies from around the globe who will explore how best to guide the next generation of dancers as they bridge their training to full-time professional dancer.