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9 December, 2022

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English National Ballet

Kirsten Ho

Richard Bermange

Benjamin Kahn

Katie Mason

Molly Wright

Ioanna Vazelaki



In a not-so-distant future, where the delicate balance of nature is beginning to shift to a point of environmental no return, we meet three conflicting communities, their moral values seem to be very much at odds with each other.

Rites begins with a group of elders preparing a cultural ritual to celebrate and honour spring, rebirth and mother nature. They prepare the time honoured, generational custom by appointing a young girl of the community as the ‘Chosen One’, teaching her the ways of the land and pairing her with a young boy. When she questions the elders on why she must follow this ritual the elders recount the story of ‘The Greedy Bureaucrats’ pillaging the Earth of its natural resources and the atonement she must pay if she doesn’t comply and honour her ancestors.

The ‘Chosen One’ then rebels against them as she and the young boy escape, they are swept into an exciting new world, a community of young Freedom Fighters, challenging the conventions of society and willing to bring their message of impending ecological disaster, at whatever cost. We join this alliance as they train to fight, and prepare to bring their message to the tyrannical leaders. An unlikely friendship develops between the ‘Chosen One’ and their leader, Gretchen.

In their palatial headquarters, ‘The Greedy Bureaucrats’ plot and scheme to increase their wealth at the cost of all others and the national world. Upon the arrival of our Freedom Fighters, the petition for change is brought to the leaders, but it falls upon deaf-ears, as the bureaucrats laugh in their faces. Enraged by this act of wilful disregard, the ‘Chosen One’ gives an impassioned declaration of impending plight and paints a picture of how society must work together to build a better future.  Touched by the heartfelt words of sincerity, the leaders slowly come around to see this alternative vision of the future. All three communities are now joined together, connected by a collective ideal and a common thread, the ‘Chosen One’.