Selective News Items

English National Ballet Needs You To Get Piratey – Le Corsaire & International Pirate Day

English National Ballet dancers practise their pirate poses ahead of International Pirate Day, the annual event held on September 19. From October 2013 English National Ballet’s world renowned dancers will premiere a new production of Le Corsaire (The Pirate) which will open in Milton Keynes (October 17) and then tour to Southampton, Oxford, Bristol, London, and Manchester.© David Jensen. (Click image for larger version)
English National Ballet dancers practise their pirate poses ahead of International Pirate Day, the annual event held on September 19. From October 2013 English National Ballet’s world renowned dancers will premiere a new production of Le Corsaire (The Pirate) which will open in Milton Keynes (October 17) and then tour to Southampton, Oxford, Bristol, London, and Manchester.
© David Jensen. (Click image for larger version)

Press Release – 19 September 2013


English National Ballet is encouraging people in the UK to join in with International Pirate Day*, the annual event held on September 19. All around the country, members of the public, schools and teachers are invited to get involved in a series of pirate themed activities, designed to stimulate an interest in all things piratey, and herald the arrival of the pirate ballet Le Corsaire.

From October 2013 English National Ballet’s world renowned dancers will premiere a new production of Le Corsaire (The Pirate) which will open in Milton Keynes (October 17) and then tour to Southampton, Oxford, Bristol, London, and Manchester.*

Le Corsaire is inspired by Lord Byron’s poem The Corsair (1814) and tells the story of Conrad, a dashing pirate, and his love for Medora, the beautiful harem girl. It is a swashbuckling drama of captive maidens, rich sultans, kidnap and rescue, disguise and conspiracy, love and betrayal, culminating in a shipwreck which is one of the most breath-taking spectacles in ballet.

Pirate Activities include:

  • Poetry Competition – an online competition in partnership with The Poetry Society  and the Young Poets Network
  • Pirate PackLe Corsaire resource pack for teachers, full of piratey dance and poetry writing activities for the classroom
  • Pirate Photograph Competition – a chance for schools to win tickets to watch a performance of Le Corsaire
  • Pirate Promotion Squad – coming to a city near you soon, members of the Pirate Promotion Squad will tour a Pirate Prop, giving people the chance to strike a ballet pose and win tickets – keep a look out!
  • Schools’ Link Workshops  – based on Le Corsaire, inspiring students with a piratey dance workshop at their school led by English National Ballet

For full details on how to enter or take part in any of the pirate activities please visit

Poetry Competition

The Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network is offering young people (under 25) the chance to submit a poem inspired by the epic love story of Le Corsaire, and win tickets. Join the Young Poets Network ( to enter; main competition runs 25 October-3 November 2013, with a teaser writing competition about the sea from 19-29 September.

Fleur Derbyshire-Fox, Director of Learning, English National Ballet said: “We are delighted to be working alongside The Poetry Society and Young Poets Network, to deliver a programme of activities and resources which engage schools and young people with this epic new production and explore the close connection between poetry and dance at the heart of Le Corsaire.”

Pirate Pack

English National Ballet has also collaborated with The Poetry Society to develop a Le Corsaire Resource Pack, providing teachers with a wide variety of dance and cross-curricular lesson ideas based on Le Corsaire, bringing all things piratey into the classroom. Details of the Schools’ Link Programme including how to book, and to download the Le Corsaire Resource Pack

Pirate Photograph Competition

Enter the national schools’ competition to be in with a chance to win tickets for a whole class to see Le Corsaire at your local theatre…just submit a picture of your class dressed in your best pirate outfits. Submit your entry at

Schools’ Link Programme

English National Ballet’s Schools’ Link Programme brings high-quality dance activities directly to local schools. This season its artists will deliver creative piratey dance workshops based on Le Corsaire, for students of all ages and abilities, which included 10 free tickets to see this epic production.

National Poetry Day 2013

By coincidence the theme for National Poetry Day 2013 (Thursday 3 October) is ‘water’, providing further links with Le Corsaire which ends in a shipwreck hailed as one of the most breath-taking spectacles in ballet. Young people can take part in the Young Poets Network teaser challenge and submit lines of poetry or prose on the theme of the sea. It’s easy to take part, just visit the Young Poets Network website to find out more and register to keep updated:

ENB poster image for <I>Le Cosaire</I>.<br />© English National Ballet. (Click image for larger version)
ENB poster image for Le Cosaire.
© English National Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet’s Artistic Director Tamara Rojo said: “Le Corsaire is a true epic story that offers drama, an exotic landscape and the best pyrotechnics of the classic technique. It’s a men’s ballet, with heroic and passionate characters and with the famous pas de deux that made a legend of Nureyev when he first performed in England with Dame Margot Fonteyn. This is a unique and unmissable opportunity as it has never before been performed by a British company.”

Generously supported by Swarovski and Le Corsaire Le Corsaire appeal donors and the New Commissioning Fund

*International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19) is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, U.S., who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate.For example, an observer of this holiday would greet friends not with “Hello,” but with “Ahoy, matey!”


For further information about English National Ballet performance schedule and to book visit You can find English National Ballet on Facebook and Twitter @ENBallet #ENBLeCorsaire. Please note performance details are subject to change

Notes to Editors

Creative Credits
Staged by Anna-Marie Holmes after Marius Petipa and Konstantin Sergeyev
Music by Adolphe Adam, Cesare Pugni, Leo Delibes, Riccardo Drigo and Prince Oldenbourg

Libretto by Jules-Henri de Saint-Georges and Joseph Mazilier in a version by Anna-Marie Holmes

Based on The Corsair (1814) by Lord Byron

Sets and Costumes by Bob Ringwood
Lighting by Neil Austin

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote a “more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”. Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally. With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, the Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages. It publishes the magazine Poetry Review, runs the National Poetry Competition, the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and the youth performance poetry championship SLAMbassadors UK.

Young Poets Network is the Poetry Society’s online resource for young poets aged 25 and under, with a special focus on 13-19 year olds. Young Poets Network offers regular writing workshops and challenges, features about poets and poetry, new writing, and listings of magazines, competitions and groups which particularly welcome young writers. Contributors include Clare Pollard, Jo Shapcott, Colette Bryce, Ross Sutherland and Karen McCarthy Woolf.

Alfa Banking Group Alfa Bank is sponsoring English National Ballet’s production of Le Corsaire in its London season.  Petr Aven, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Alfa Banking Group, said: “I am delighted that we are partnering with one of Britain’s greatest dance companies. Alfa Bank strongly supports building ties between the UK and Russia, be they in the business, economic or cultural spheres. Alongside bringing inspiring Russian work, like Le Corsaire, to British audiences, I hope this sponsorship will also shine a light on English National Ballet’s young Russian dancers.”

Alfa Banking Group

Alfa Banking Group, the largest private commercial and investment banking group in Russia and the CIS, has entered a strategic partnership with leading classical dance company, English National Ballet. The sponsorship with English National Ballet extends Alfa Bank’s existing work of building cultural ties between Russia and the UK, as well as other nations. The bank has previously sponsored concerts and art exhibitions in the UK, the USA and elsewhere. Alongside sponsoring A Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev and Le Corsaire, Alfa Bank will work with English National Ballet to foster creative exchanges between Russia and the UK in the classical dance space, and highlight and promote English National Ballet dancers from Russia and the CIS.

For Casting of Le Corsaire at the various theatres see:


DanceTabs Contributors

Regular contributors…

Claudia Bauer | Foteini Christofilopoulou | Gay Morris | Graham Watts | Heather Desaulniers | Jann Parry | Josephine Leask | Karen Greenspan | Lynette Halewood | Marina Harss | Oksana Khadarina | Siobhan Murphy | Susanna Sloat | Valerie Lawson | Bruce Marriott (Ed)

The above list is composed of those whose work we feature regularly and have generally contributed in the last few months.

>> Complete list of DanceTabs Contributors and more info.

DanceTabs Tweets