London City Ballet returns under the Artistic Direction of Christopher Marney

London City Ballet returns under the Artistic Direction of Christopher Marney

After a hiatus of almost 30 years, the London City Ballet will return to the stage again under the direction of Christopher Marney, former dancer, and director of the Joffrey Ballet Studio Company of Chicago. The company will begin touring in the UK and internationally in summer 2024, including a week of performances on Sadler’s Wells stage in the autumn.

The full company repertoire will be announced early in 2024 and will include a new creation by Olivier-award winner Arielle Smith and the revival of Kenneth MacMillan’s 1972 one-act ballet Ballade unseen in Europe for over fifty years.

Formerly the resident company of Sadler’s Wells, and internationally recognised as one of the world’s leading dance collectives, the prolific touring company was famously patronised by Diana, Princess of Wales. The original London City Ballet closed its doors in 1996 after 18 years of operations under its Director and Founder Harold King.

London City Ballet’s inaugural tour will include many of the former company’s beloved venues in the UK and around the world in Italy, Portugal and the USA. With full dates and venues to be announced it will begin at Bath Theatre Royal in summer 2024. 

Christopher Marney has spent over a year constructing the company with historical insights from London City Ballet’s former Administrative Director, Heather Knight. The company will move into purpose-built dance studio and office space in Angel, Islington from Spring 2024 and work to a touring model of six-months per year for an initial three year period. Kate Lyons (New Adventures) will be the company’s Rehearsal Director and Sean Flanagan (Balletboyz) takes the position of General Manager.  

Christopher Marney, Artistic Director, London City Ballet said: ‘With immense respect for Harold King and the lives he changed I felt that London City Ballet’s rich history was too important to be forgotten. The company informed my own career and seeing them as a young child provided me with my first experience of dance, spurring my enthusiasm for the artform. The world has changed since its closure in 1996 and I am committed to creating a diverse and progressive company of dancers that speaks to a new generation and one that honours the leaders who paved its way. Where new work is important, an ethos of the company will be across ‘resurrection’. I am deeply drawn to reviving past works of influential choreographers which may have fallen out of the repertoire of mainstream companies and breathing life into those lost ballets. I am extremely grateful to Alistair Spalding for providing a platform for the company and believing in my vision for reaching audiences regionally who may not always have access to the repertoire I am enthusiastic to share’. 

Sir Alistair Spalding CBE, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Sadler’s Wells said: “I am thrilled to welcome London City Ballet back to Sadler’s Wells, and look forward to presenting the company on the Sadler’s Wells stage again after 30 years!” 

For the next three years London City Ballet is generously supported by private subsidy. 

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