Having a magnificent historical backdrop and being a melting pot of cultures, London is one of the best known art hubs in Europe that you simply shouldn’t miss. Apart from spellbinding West End theatre performances and a thriving market for music, art enthusiasts from around the world are also drawn to illustrious ballets in London that charm tourists and locals alike. With various renditions performed almost every now and then, London is the place to be if you’re someone who enjoys an evening of rhythm and music over anything else. We’ll be listing popular ballets in London that definitely need to be on your upcoming London itinerary.
Must-See Ballets in London
ZooNation: Some Like It Hip Hop
Oct 23 - Nov 9
Kate Prince's ZooNation brings to you the revolutionary production that forayed hip-hop in theatre. Some Like It Hip Hop features an impressive display of modern dance set to the tunes of rap and rhyming couplets. The show is a blend of various musical genres and styles including R&B, soul, beatboxing, classic Schmaltz, and rap. Overseen by Kate Prince who is known for her work in shows such as The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Into The Woods, the show promises to be a crackling affair.
Some Like It Hip Hop borrows heavily from the Billy Wilder movie Some Like It Hot and Shakespearean comedic fragments and centres around various themes such as oppressive governments, cross dressing, and mistaken identities. In a scenario where free expression is banned, two young women decide to rebel against the bosses by dressing up in suits and displaying their skills in hip hop. The show is body flips, vaults, and headspins galore!
Duration: 2 hours
Natalia Osipova: Pure Dance
Sep 12 - Oct 26
If dancers moving around like graceful butterflies interest you, then Pure Dance featuring the phenomenal Natalia Osipova should be on your list. Making a limited return to the West End, Natalia will be joined by none other than David Hallberg, the Theatre Principal for American Ballet. The show also features a spectacular solo by him that has been choregraphed by Kim Brandstrup. Pure Dance also features several other dancing pairs whose skills will surely be a feast for the eyes.
This select program includes a hand-picked selection of contemporary and classical pieces such as 'The Leaves Are Fading' by Antony Tudor and 'Six Years Later' by Roy Assaf. It also features a Yuka Oishi and duets by Iván Pérez and Alexei Ratmansky. The artists for the show have been carefully chosen to complement Natalia and David's central performances.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Heartbeat of Home
Sept 4 - Oct 13
Wonderfully choreographed dance sequences showcasing the diversity of modern Ireland is what Heartbeat of Home is all about. Directed by John McColgan with music by Brian Byrne and lyrics by Joseph O'Connor, the dance sequences have been choregraphed by David Bolger. 35 top dancers hailing from different countries have been roped in for the show. The crew comes with a tonne of experience in ballet productions and is sure of providing entertainment at its absolute finest.
A breathtaking blend of Spanish, Argentine, African, Irish, and Eastern European styles of dance, David Bolger combines tap dance, flamenco, salsa, hip-hop, and tango in this impressive ballet. The dancers, who will narrate a 2-part story through their performances, will be ably supported by a 10-piece band playing hip-hop, Afro-Cuban, and Latin music.
Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes
Beats On Pointe: Masters of Choreography
May 21 - Jun 16
An exciting fusion of ballet with street dance, Beats On Pointe is back after its successful run last year. Watch a thrilling dance-off between two opposing worlds of dance, as 16 dancers come face-to-face in a fun-filled, musical evening of ballet along with street dance.
The energetic performance not only introduces viewers to the nuances of ballet and street style, but also brings in singing, beatboxing, freestyle acts along with a hint of comedy. Dance along with these talented artists until they finally find a common ground! Get grooving to an evening of feel-good classical music from the early 70s, that is sure to enliven your spirits.
Duration: 2 hours, including 1 interval
The show has closed
Apr 30 - May 18
After a Grammy nomination in 2016 and two sellouts in the past at Sadler’s Wells, the smash hit crew of INALA is back to knock the audience off their seats with their sensational music and dance. An enthralling confluence of South African and Western culture, INALA (translating to ‘abundance of goodwill’ in Zulu) puts together a celebration with a performance in ballet that signifies 20 years of democracy in South Africa.
The ambitious production performed by a crew of 26 exceptional dancers, singers, and musicians will be making its West End debut at the Peacock Centre. Described by the The Independent as ‘Stunning, contemporary South African music’, this is one performance that will leave you happy high post-show!
The show has closed
Popular Venues for Ballets in London
Located in the heart of the City of Westminster, Peacock Theatre is a 999-seat house that is an integral part of the renowned London School of Economics and Political Science. Founded in the 17th century, it has been a part of several performances before it was destroyed in a fire in 1809. Apart from hosting musicals, dance performances and other shows, Peacock Theatre also plays host to various other activities such as lectures, public talks, conferences and political speeches.
- Currently hosting: Fame
Named after the actor David Garrick, the Garrick Theatre opened its doors to the public in 1889. ‘The Profilgate’ by Arthur Wing Pinero was the first ever play to be staged at the Garrick Theatre. Later it began associating itself with comedy and screened lighter productions including ‘No Sex Please, We’re British’ amongst others. The auditorium has three levels — stalls, dress circle and grand circle. Today, the theatre hosts a variety of productions and seats about 732 people in all.
- Currently hosting: Bitter Wheat
Royal Opera House
Considered Britain’s oldest national opera as well as ballet company, the Royal Opera House is a tourist attraction apart from simply being a venue for ballets in West End. Opened in 1732, the theatre first hosted an array of plays, pantomimes and operas. After being burnt down in 1808, Royal Opera House was rebuilt in 1809 and later continued to serve the Royal Ballet till today. The iconic venue has always been recognised as a place with historic value and is deeply lauded for its elegant and cutting-edge architecture that is a favourite of many around the world.
London’s second oldest theatre, Sadler’s Wells is a creative organisation that is dedicated to dance and art. The theatre boasts of three centuries of theatrical heritage that hosts many well known productions throughout the year. Located in Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell in the London Borough of Islington, Sadler’s Wells has a capacity of seating a whopping 1,568 people today. Standing since 1683, the venue boasts of two performing spaces — the auditorium and the Lilian Baylis Studio. Equipped with rehearsal rooms and top-notch facilities, Sadler’s Wells is duly considered as United Kingdom’s foremost dance venue.
Home to a massive 2,200 seating auditorium, the London Palladium is considered to be a grand stage for musicals as well as several business conferences. Over the years, the auditorium has hosted an array of well known productions — including the smash-hit musical ‘Cats’. After it first opened in 1910, the London Palladium has always been the most sought-after venue for West End performances and ballets. Although refurbished, its stunning period architecture still remains a favourite amongst many a tourist visiting London.
- Currently hosting: Joseph
More West End Guides
For more West End information, here are links to some really informative posts!