sun 22/09/2019

Birmingham Royal Ballet, Pointes of View, Birmingham Hippodrome | reviews, news & interviews

Birmingham Royal Ballet, Pointes of View, Birmingham Hippodrome

Birmingham Royal Ballet, Pointes of View, Birmingham Hippodrome

A brave look back at a heritage piece whose best feature is its music

Elisha Willis in Tharp's 'In the Upper Room': 'This is a thrilling, mesmerising dance'Photo © Bill Cooper/BRB

It can take almost as much courage for a ballet company to look backwards as forwards, and it’s one of the quirks of Birmingham Royal Ballet that you’ll find rare heritage ballets popping up in the mix. John Cranko’s The Lady and the Fool, a Fifties period piece, nestled capriciously like a matron en décolleté in the bosom of its season-opening bill fielding the semi-skimmed abstractness of Kenneth MacMillan’s Concerto and Twyla Tharp’s stunning Eighties sneaker ballet, In the Upper Room.

The Lady and the Fool needs a good slathering with period perfume and performers' relish. Perhaps Les Ballets Trockadero should do it

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Whatever one may think about the comparison between MacMillan and Cranko, whoever is the genius and who the craftsman: The work of a genius would never need (and never want) to rely so much on somebody else’s work as MacMillan’s „Romeo“ relies on Cranko’s.

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