sat 25/10/2014

Birmingham Royal Ballet

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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TV Preview: BBC Ballet Season

Do four programmes constitute a season?  Let's not quibble too much; though brief, the ballet season airing on BBC2 and BBC4 this week has some appealing offerings. Judging from the strong focus on famous names (Fonteyn, Bussell) and the best...

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The Sleeping Beauty, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler’s Wells

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Sometimes, of course, it’s even better to be both. And Birmingham Royal Ballet, in their all-too-brief London season, have been both lucky and good. Lucky, because they have Peter Wright’s little jewel of...

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Bintley Triple Bill, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler’s Wells

Is David Bintley the one that got away, the wrong turning the Royal Ballet took in the early 1990s? I have long thought so, and watching their current triple bill, the feeling only grows. Bintley trained at the Royal Ballet School, graduated into...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet, 2013-14 Season

A new ballet on Benjamin Britten's The Prince of the Pagodas headlines Birmingham Royal Ballet's announcement of its 2013-14 season. David Bintley is tackling a tricky score that Britten wrote originally for John Cranko in 1957, and later taken up...

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Aladdin, Birmingham Royal Ballet, London Coliseum

“Possibly the least ‘deep’ ballet I’ve ever made” - these are the words that David Bintley uses to describe his latest full-length work Aladdin, and they make rather a discouraging start to any evening. "Light" isn’t necessarily bad – work created...

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London and Birmingham ballet promotions, welcomes and farewells

The two Royal Ballets at Covent Garden and Birmingham have announced their end-of-season farewells and news for next season's dancers.The Royal Ballet's big-name departures at the end of this season have already been big news - Sergei Polunin's...

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