Wednesday, 16 June 2010

English National Ballet celebrate their 60th Anniversary year with an exclusive party at The Dorchester

Stunning Jo Wood and her Mum
Dorchester photography throughout :  Robert Griffin

Yesterday evening, as the sun slowly dipped over Hyde Park, English National Ballet celebrated its 60th Anniversary London season with an exclusive celebrity party at The Dorchester, followed by a performance of Swan Lake in-the-round at the Royal Albert Hall.

Actress Helen Worth chats to Venus Villa and Araminta Wraith

As you’ll hear, the word “breathtaking” cropped up time and again when I talked to guests about the show.

ENB Press Manager Rachel Branton in a stunning dress, chats to Alison Meir and Paul Wendt

One of London’s most elegant venues, the ambience at The Dorchester is set the minute you arrive, with liveried doorman smartly opening limousine doors, escorting invited guests past the waiting paparazzi.

Inside, guests enjoyed a party atmosphere, sipping champagne.

Olivia Hallinan and Araminta Wraith

The circulating canapés were popular with guests including Florence Welch, Damian Lewis, Jo Wood, Tom Chambers and his wife Clare, Henry Holland, Rupert Graves with his lovely young daughter, a heavily pregnant Nicola Stephenson, Olivia Hallinan and Beverley Knight.

Araminta Wraith and Venus Villa

But this is a Swan Lake party, and so two English National Ballet dancers, the lovely Venus Villa (First Artist) and Araminta Wraith (Artist), attended the party wearing their beautiful Swan tutus.

Singer Beverley Knight

In addition, both dancers sparkled in designs by jeweller Peter Lang, who is the first choice for Australian fashion stylists and magazine editors (with celebrity fans such as Kylie Minogue, Liv Tyler, Jerry Hall and Nicole Kidman) and who is launching his first European collection, coinciding with Autumn/Winter 2010.

Actor Damian Lewis

The tutus attracted much attention, especially from actress Helen Worth, and you can read the ‘story of a Swan Lake tutu’ here.

Venus Villa, Rupert Graves and his daughter

Guests were treated to an exclusive English National Ballet goodie bag, containing, among other treats, Brown and Harris products.

Brown & Harris support BALLET NEWS

Dawn McDaid, creator of Brown & Harris says, “We are genuinely very proud to sponsor English National Ballet and are thrilled to be involved in such a fantastic organisation. We are so pleased to be able to help support its events such as the Swan Lake Celeb Party that was hosted so beautifully yesterday evening. The performance of Swan Lake was breathtaking and we are so pleased to be able to give something back to the talented dancers by gifting them with our products.”

Radiant actress Nicola Stephenson

A routemaster bus then whisked the guests to the Royal Albert Hall to watch a performance of English National Ballet’s Swan Lake in-the-round.

Douglas Booth

The Company’s young star, Vadim Muntagirov, danced the Principal role, with Guest Principal Polina Semionova as his Odette/Odile.

Henry Holland

You can read a review of the First Night performance (casting was Muntagirov/Daria Klimentová) here.

Olivia Hallinan and guest

After the show actor Damian Lewis said “I thought the performance was stunning and beautiful. The two Principals were exquisite. I’ve never seen so many swans on stage before and it was breathtaking to watch.”

Venus Villa discusses Peter Lang's jewellery designs

This production of Swan Lake has been choreographed by Derek Deane to fill the vast ovalness of the Royal Albert Hall stage.

There are 60 swans on stage together; probably the only time you’ll see so many beside an atmospheric, moonlit lake.

Actors Charlotte Riley and Tom Hardy were among the guests and afterwards Charlotte said, “it was truly magical and beautiful, we had the most fantastic evening.”

Florence Welch

There are a couple of performances left – the run closes on Saturday, so be quick if you don’t want to miss this treat.

More photographs are available from Robert Griffin, so please do get in touch if you'd like to know more.

ENB Managing Director, Craig Hassall with Araminta Wraith

The last word has to go to English National Ballet's Managing Director, Craig Hassall, as he invited guests to board the routemaster bus and join him at the Royal Albert Hall, explaining the magic of Swan Lake in-the-round.


  1. talk about red hair on the one lady . thanks for keeping us updated .

  2. Nice faces from an exclusive event! Thanks for the information and the pictures.

  3. What a fabulous event!
    Great pics!


  4. Oh my goodness I am sure it was and is constantly talked about and what a memory. Sandi

  5. Great photos, looked like a wonderful night!

  6. Hello there dear journalist! Your blog brings back fond memories as I danced long ago...the photos are wonderful of these young ladies and their opportunity to fulfill a short-lived, but yet wonderful dream. Thank you for coming by today! I will be back in 10 days! Anita

  7. Oh, wow! What an event! I love how you have presented all of the information.

    Please come join my *Cupcake Challenge*, I promise it will be loads of fun!!

  8. Looks like such a lovely night, thanks for the inside scoop!

  9. Everyone looks so elegant and demure. What a gorgeous event! :)

  10. Wow you really got some beautiful shots here! Everyone was so dressed up and lovely.

  11. What a wonderful post and great photographs too.
    Exciting evening?


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