tue 09/02/2016

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Best of 2015: Dance & Ballet

It was business as usual in the British dance world in 2015. Looking back over the year, theartsdesk's dance critics see the industry's many talented, capable people continuing to do their jobs well, but we don't recall being shaken, stirred or...

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Swan Lake, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Swan Lakes are not created equal. In fact they are not even created the same: ballet is the art form with the evanescent repertoire, in which First Folios – or any folios – are singularly scarce. Even with a classic as beloved as Swan Lake...

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The King Who Invented Ballet, BBC Four

Someone more unlike Louis XIV than David Bintley is hard to imagine. The latter comes across on TV as the most pleasant, unthreatening, mild-mannered of Everymen; unthinkable that he would order the massacre of Protestants or proclaim, “l’État, c’...

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We Made It: Ballet costumier Anna Willetts

This year Birmingham Royal Ballet celebrates 25 years in the city, during which time the company has presented more than 130 different ballets. Over the years, Birmingham Royal Ballet has worked with some of the biggest names in theatrical design,...

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10 Questions for Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes

Though perhaps not quite the "long strange trip" once hymned by the Grateful Dead, Leif Ove Andsnes's Beethoven Journey has been a marathon undertaking. It has spanned four years, during which the Norwegian pianist and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra...

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Serenade/Carmina Burana, Birmingham Royal Ballet, London Coliseum

Serenade seems to be one of George Balanchine’s most evanescent works, a floating, delicate skein of movement that is over almost before it begins, leaving nothing but memory behind. In reality, it is tough as old boots, a warrior of a ballet, one...

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Shadows of War, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Another week, another war commemorative; it’s the story of all the arts in 2014. But – because you can always rely on David Bintley and Birmingham Royal Ballet to be different – last night’s programme at Sadler’s was overshadowed by the Second World...

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Les Rendezvous/Dante Sonata/Façade, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Hippodrome

“The touch is light. We like it so,” wrote Ninette de Valois in one of her later poems. You didn’t know the founder of the Royal Ballet wrote poetry? Don’t worry, you’re not missing much – except the occasional phrase which can serve as an epigraph...

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Concert Dansé, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

On the back wall of Birmingham Symphony Hall’s great oval space, two musicians are poised on a glass balcony that gives the illusion of not being there at all. A small square of warm light picks them out, vivid against the hall’s darkness. So framed...

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Quatrain/Kin./Les Rendezvous, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Crescent Theatre

It is proof, as if more were needed, of how very right-on Birmingham Royal Ballet’s director David Bintley is, that he chose to open the International Dance Festival currently taking place in that city with two specially commissioned ballets...

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The Prince of the Pagodas, Birmingham Royal Ballet, London Coliseum

When three good choreographers can’t get a ballet right, there must be something wrong with either the story or the music. In the case of the Prince of the Pagodas (a Poirot mystery waiting to be written, that, but I digress), it’s hardly the music...

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BBC Ballet Season

There’s been reasonable diversity in the ballet shown on the BBC in recent years – from full-length broadcasts of Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty and The Red Shoes to the compelling 2011 fly-on-the-wall The Agony and the Ecstasy. That’s why it was...

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