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English National Ballet To Perform In Princess Diana Anniversary Tribute Concert

Ruzan Haruriunyan's picture

English National Ballet is delighted to be dancing the most spectacular scene from Princess Diana's favourite ballet Swan Lake as part of the charity tribute concert in Wembley Arena on 1 July 2007.

Princes William and Harry will be hosting the concert in memory of their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales to mark the 10th anniversary of her death, and have invited English National Ballet to take part. All proceeds from the concert will go to Charities which include The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, of which English National Ballet is a benefactor.

English National Ballet is thrilled to be honouring Princess Diana in this way. The Princess was made Patron of English National Ballet in 1989 and remained so up until her death in 1997. The Company was fortunate enough to be the only arts organization with which she continued her involvement when she resigned from more than 100 other charities in 1996. She was the Company's greatest ambassador, one of our staunchest allies and a great friend of both the Company and many of its individual members of staff.

English National Ballet will perform the dramatic and moving arrival of the swans at the lakeside, taken from Derek Deane's sumptuous in-the-round production of Swan Lake. The evil sorcerer Rothbart summons all his powers and commands every swan to the lake. The result is a magnificent spectacle as 60 elegant swans flock the stage, a vision of perfect synthesis and beauty.

"The massed corps of 60 swans, immaculately together in their complex deployments, are a ravishing sight"¦This is a sumptuous spectacle in which quality is not sacrificed to quantity. The buzz of excitement in an audience of thousands is a real thrill."

The Sunday Times

Craig Hassall, Managing Director of English National Ballet commented, "Swan Lake was Diana, Princess of Wales favourite ballet, English National Ballet was her favourite ballet Company. We are delighted and honoured to be able to perform this tribute. As our Patron, Princess Diana was a great friend and constant supporter of English National Ballet and is remembered fondly by all the dancers and staff that came into contact with her during her many visits."

Diana, Princess of Wales was formally appointed as English National Ballet's Patron in 1989, lasting until her untimely death in 1997. She was actively involved publicly and privately with all aspects of Company life. Her involvement reflected her great love and understanding of ballet and, at her own insistence, she was determined her work should truly make a difference.

In 1998, a generous grant was awarded to the Company by The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, to be spread over three consecutive Financial Years. The grant enabled the Company to institute major new initiatives including new ballets, nation-wide audience development and a health and welfare programme for our dancers, continuing the invaluable work of our former Patron.

Princess Diana showed her friendship and love for the Company in many ways. On Valentine's Day in 1996 she made a surprise visit to English National Ballet's studios bringing a huge heart-shaped cake which was shared out amongst the delighted dancers and staff.

Following Diana's death in 1997, a dancer from the Company hung her ballet shoes at the gate of Kensington Palace as a personal tribute. This gesture inspired many of the floral tributes that subsequently covered the entrance and gates of the Palace.

Prince Andrew has since become Patron of English National Ballet and continues to offer his invaluable support. -- www.ballet.org.uk

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