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Birmingham Royal Ballet Unveils 2008/09 Season
28 April 2008
Beauty and the Beast and Sylvia return to the repertoire
Raymonda Act III Premieres for Birmingham Royal Ballet
Birmingham Royal Ballet this week announces its 2008/09 season for performances at the Birmingham Hippodrome, aiming to present a selection of old favourites plus a number of ballets that have 'been away too long'. The season will combine full-length popular classics with heritage works, offering a varied and challenging selection of ballets with wide-ranging appeal.
The autumn of 2008 will see a return of David Bintley’s production of Beauty and the Beast. This bewitching production tells the tale of an impoverished merchant travelling wearily home. He stumbles upon a deserted castle and takes refuge from a raging storm. The merchant rests at the castle and is tended by invisible forces, but when he repays this kindness by stealing a single rose as a present for one of his daughters, a fearsome Beast appears and exacts a terrifying forfeit: the merchant must send his youngest daughter to stay with the beast in his great house.
The autumn also offers the chance to see Russian Steps – three ballets by some of the greatest Russian composers. Concerto, a pure dance piece and one of MacMillan’s most popular works, requires great confidence and athletic prowess from the dancers. The Firebird was Stravinsky’s first ballet for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and is set to the most famous of Stravinsky's ballet scores. Choreographed by Mikhail Fokine The Firebird is an enthralling story based on Russian legend that has delighted audiences for generations. Raymonda Act III is an opulent feast of dance and music depicting the famous celebratory wedding scene.
One of the most popular productions in the Company’s repertoire, The Nutcracker returns to delight audiences during November and December.
David Bintley will be slightly reworking his 1993 production of Sylvia when it returns to the Hippodrome in February 2009. The marital strife between the Count and his wife threatens to disrupt their anniversary celebrations and the Count’s infidelities endanger the burgeoning love between Amyntas and Sylvia, their servants. In an attempt to reconcile differences, Eros, the God of Love, takes them back to the age of a mythical Rome in order to teach them all a lesson about Love.
The beginning of March sees a great opportunity to see three very different ballets in the mixed programme Pomp and Circumstances. Serenade was originally made by Balanchine for the School of American Ballet as an exercise to show the difference between classroom work and performance. Set to Tchaikovsky’s 'Serenade for Strings', Serenade is a pure dance work for an almost entirely female cast. The composer Elgar and his close friends and family are the subject matter of Ashton's Enigma Variations. Portraying the time in which Elgar composed the magnificent score, the ballet presents the artist and his intimates in an English country house in the Cotswolds. ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café returns to enchant and thrill audiences with its morris-dancing fleas and dapper penguins.
In June, Sir Fred and Mr B. features two romantic ballets by two of the 20th Century’s greatest choreographic talents. The Two Pigeons tells the tale of two young lovers Pepino and his fiancée Gourouli. Pepino causes Gourouli much heartache when he leaves her after falling in love with a beautiful gypsy girl. The two lovers are eventually reunited, however, in scenes of delightful theatricality. Mozartiana is a sparkling piece of pure classical dance, tinged with humour set to lively music from the great ballet composer, Tchaikovsky.
Later in June, Birmingham Royal Ballet presents a mixed programme entitled Love and Loss, three visually stunning ballets. Galanteries has been heralded as one of Bintley’s greatest dance works and the Ashton and Balanchine influences are clear to see. The Dance House was originally created for the San Francisco Ballet by David Bintley as a personal and poignant tribute to a late friend. Frederick Ashton’s The Dream depicts one of Shakespeare’s funniest plays. A comical tale of fairies, mismatched lovers, and a mischievous sprite, Sir Frederick Ashton's enduring one-act ballet has delighted audiences since its premiere in 1964.
For further press information please contact:
Simon Harper, Media and PR Manager, on 0121 245 3562; Email: SimonHarper@brb.org.uk
or Claire Lishman, Media and PR Officer, on 0121 245 3549 Email: ClaireLishman@brb.org.uk
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