Music from the period of World War II is the setting for three new and recent works from leading figures of contemporary ballet, all closely associated with The Royal Ballet. Kim Brandstrup created his Ceremony of Innocence for the Britten centenary. It was first performed at the 2013 Aldeburgh Festival by dancers of The Royal Ballet, and is presented by the Company in the work's London premiere. Brandstup sets Britten's brilliant early work Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge (1937) in an elegiac study of lost youth, with exquisite video designs by Leo Warner.
Royal Ballet Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett has won acclaim worldwide for his sharply distinctive aesthetic. He creates a new, dark narrative work for The Royal Ballet, setting Leonard Bernstein's brooding Symphony no.2, 'The Age of Anxiety' (1949).
The programme closes with Royal Ballet Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon's Olivier Award-winning Aeternum, created on The Royal Ballet in 2013. Like Brandstrup, Wheeldon also marked the Britten centenary, setting the composer’s harrowing Sinfonia da requiem (1940). In Wheeldon's hands it becomes a powerful tribute to the fallen.