Marcelino Sambé and Francesca Hayward in Christopher Wheeldon's Like Water For Chocolate, The Royal Ballet ©2021 ROH. Photograph by Rick Guest

Like Water for Chocolate

117 June 2022
Main Stage
Ballet and dance

A modern Mexican classic of magic realism provides the basis for The Royal Ballet’s new full-length work, reuniting Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon with the creative team who transformed Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Winter’s Tale into dance, composer Joby Talbot and designer Bob Crowley.

Journey into Laura Esquivel’s captivating family saga where the central character’s emotions spill out through cooking to influence everyone around her in startling and dramatic ways. In this co-production with American Ballet Theatre, Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra acts as musical consultant for Talbot’s newly commissioned score, with Wheeldon working closely with Esquivel to reshape her richly layered story as an entertaining and engrossing new ballet.

Nominated for the FEDORA VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Prize for Ballet 2020.

Season Principal

Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet

Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon

generously supported by

Kenneth and Susan Green

Generous philanthropic support from

Julia and Hans Rausing, Richard and Delia Baker, Susan and John Burns, Sue Butcher, Sir Lloyd and Lady Dorfman, Charles Holloway, Lindsay and Sarah Tomlinson and the Royal Opera House Endowment Fund

A co-production between

The Royal Ballet and American Ballet Theatre



Tita lives with her family on a ranch in Mexico. She falls in love with a boy, Pedro, who lives nearby, but when they want to marry, family precedent prevents it: Tita must remain unmarried in order to care for her mother. Tita’s love for cooking is such that her own emotions are transmitted to others through the food she prepares, and as her moods change in response to events in her life, the consequences for all those around her become ever more startling… even fatal.


Cast may vary depending on date. Go to dates and prices to view casting.


ChoreographyChristopher Wheeldon

MusicJoby Talbot

DesignerBob Crowley

Lighting designerNatasha Katz

Video designerLuke Halls

Music consultantAlondra de la Parra

Inspired by the book byLaura Esquivel


There is lift access and step-free seating to most levels of the Main Stage auditorium, except the Orchestra Stalls, which are reached by a minimum of nine steps. There are more than 100 seats in the Stalls Circle, Balcony and Amphitheatre which are accessible without the need to negotiate steps. In addition, many seats in these areas and in the Donald Gordon Grand Tier and Orchestra Stalls are accessible by 10 steps or fewer. Find out more about accessing the Main Stage Auditorium.

If you have concerns about how our Covid-19 safety measures may affect your access requirements, please contact



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