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Akram Khan's piece Dust during English National Ballet's dress rehearsal of Lest We Forget at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London on September 07, 2015. Photo: Arnaud Stephenson
Photograph: Arnaud Stephenson

English National Ballet is streaming ‘Dust’ for free, a powerful dance tribute to WWI

Alexandra Sims

We may be in lockdown, but English National Ballet isn’t about to let us forgo our highbrow culture fix. Last week, the world-class ballet company pranced in on the live-streaming scene with its ENB at Home programme, the highlight of which is the weekly Wednesday Watch Party where a past production is broadcast. 

After kicking things off with the colourful Frida Kahlo-inspired production ‘Broken Wings’, its second offering is a more sobering watch. From 7pm tonight, Akram Khan’s ‘Dust’, a 2014 ballet commemorating the centenary of the First World War, will be available to stream on ENB’s Facebook and YouTube channels. 

The ballet was one of three productions created by leading choreographers for the company as a tribute to the hundredth anniversary of the conflict. In an interview, Khan said his production was inspired by ‘the men living in trenches’ and ‘the dramatic shift in how society regarded women’ during the war. 

In Time Out’s review of the 2014 premiere, we said: ‘Khan’s “Dust” crowns the evening for sheer visceral impact – the first image is that of Khan’s flailing body in front of a bank of dry earth that alludes to the grim finality of the trenches. This is about war’s agony – spiritual, emotional and physical – stridently embodied by an ensemble of dancers whose focused muscular movements and harrowing expressions sum up the emotional void of conflict more potently than any other aspect of the evening.’ Better get the tissues ready.

Watch ‘Dust’ from 7pm tonight on ENB’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The performance will be available until Fri May 1 at 8pm.

Find more amazing theatre, dance and opera streaming right now

Check out the Royal Ballet’s leaping live stream line-up.

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