2011-12 season at Birmingham Hippodrome
21 March 2011
Celebrate the rich heritage of English ballet
Ticket Sales On-line: www.birminghamhippodrome.com
A world premiere by David Bintley
Ticket Sales: 0844 338 5000
Birmingham Royal Ballet is pleased to announce its 2011–12 season at its home theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome.
Birmingham Royal Ballet is fortunate to be part of a great English tradition of excellence and creativity, which has resulted in a unique style and repertory dating back to the 1930s. The Company has spent the last 20 years in Birmingham strengthening and augmenting this.
Given the current economic climate this is likely to be a tough year for the Company, but Birmingham Royal Ballet is prepared for this. By taking this opportunity to look back at some of the key works of the Company’s repertory in The Dream,
and Far from the Madding Crowd
, we celebrate the rich and varied storytelling tradition of this country.
2011-12 sees the build-up to a great sporting endeavour in the UK, the hosting of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Birmingham Royal Ballet trust this new season of ballet will demonstrate that this tradition of endeavour, perseverance and attainment is not just confined to the world of sport.
The following information lists the many exciting productions on offer, culminating in the world premiere of a new ballet by Director David Bintley in the summer of 2012 that will capture the spirit of the pre-Olympics period – hope, aspiration and sheer determination to perform.
AUTUMN SEASON 2011
Beauty and the Beast
28 September–2 October 2011
Checkmate | Symphonic Variations | Pineapple Poll
6–8 October 2011
Beauty and the Beast
is a gothic fairytale from David Bintley, the creator of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s smash-hit Cinderella
. A cruel Prince, cursed to spend the rest of his life living in a fantastical castle with the animals he callously hunted, finds salvation in the heart of a beautiful girl. Caught stealing a single rose, Belle’s desperate father exchanges his life for his youngest daughter’s freedom. In his distant castle the Beast, stripped of his handsome features, must win her heart, or spend the rest of his life in solitude. A beautiful girl, a hideous beast, a golden ballroom full of animals, two outrageously haughty sisters and a grumpy grandmother worthy of Roald Dahl, dance, prance and rage through the unfolding pages of Philip Prowse’s stunning storybook sets of forests and castles.
David Bintley’s rich choreography brings to life magical transformations, wild waltzes, soaring formations of birds and a relationship between Belle and the Beast that is at first terrifying, but ultimately serene and beautiful. Music is by Canadian composer Glenn Buhr with designs by Philip Prowse.
features three distinguished one-act ballets from the heart of this country’s rich heritage.
Ninette de Valois’ choreography for Checkmate
is a dramatic and stylised mix of lust, trickery and betrayal. A gallant Red Knight, devoted to his king, is seduced and destroyed by the ruthless Black Queen in de Valois’ story of a game of chess played between love and death. With a score by Sir Arthur Bliss, and designs by E. McKnight Kauffer, the ballet prophetically anticipated the merciless savagery of World War II and, at nearly 75 years old, is deservedly one of the earliest English ballets still in the repertory.
The pared-down purity of Frederick Ashton's
showcases technically brilliant dance from a master choreographer. Danced to César Franck’s exquisitely concise Symphonic Variations
for piano and orchestra, this ballet for six dancers is hailed as one of the greatest masterpieces of English ballet.
With the aid of a foot-tapping medley of the best of Gilbert and Sullivan, and the comic choreographic touch of John Cranko, Pineapple Poll
is a 3-D cartoon classic! When dashing Captain Belaye arrives in town, the female population, Poll included, swoon! Whilst half-heartedly dodging the attentions of Jasper, the local inn’s potboy, she finds herself leading a band of desperate, love-lorn ladies. When will the oblivious Captain Belaye notice his crew have mysteriously shrunk and
aren't at home in their beards?
WINTER SEASON 2011
25 November–11 December 2011
Let yourself get swept up in the excitement of Christmas with one of the most famous classical ballets of all time, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker
. In this unparalleled, world-famous production by Peter Wright, complete with sets and costumes by John Macfarlane, the designer of the Company's stunning Cinderella
, this is
one not to be missed. After sneaking downstairs at midnight to play with her new Nutcracker doll, Clara is swept up in a fantasy of toy soldiers, giant rats, snow fairies, magic and mystery. After saving her beloved Nutcracker from the King of the Rats, she is whisked away to an enchanted land and dances the night away in his arms, meeting a host of strange and exotic characters, before she is finally transformed into a beautiful ballerina. The night passes in a blur and she wakes up on
Christmas morning, at the foot of the Christmas tree, with memories that will stay with her forever, as the memory of this wonderful production will stay with everyone
who sees it.
SPRING SEASON 2012
22–25 February 2012
Daphnis and Chloë | The Two Pigeons
29 February – 3 March 2012
is a story of boots, booze, love and laughter from award-winning choreographer David Bintley.
Meet Henry Hobson, boot-maker. If he could see through the alcoholic haze, he would realise he had three beautiful daughters, a talented assistant and a successful business. If he’s not careful though, he’ll lose the lot. He drinks his profits and refuses to let his daughters marry.
Meet Maggie, Henry’s eldest daughter. A fierce woman, and with her sheer stubbornness, determination and the occasional choice word, she keeps her father and his business sailing in the right direction. Her heart is as hard as her tongue is sharp, but perhaps there is one man who can bring about a most out-of-character change...
Meet Will Mossop, Henry’s talented boot-hand, the unacknowledged success behind Hobson’s business and a man for whom the phrase ‘wouldn’t say boo to a goose’ was surely invented! One night after work, he creeps out from his basement workroom to try on some of the wonderful shoes he has made.
Everything is going swimmingly until Maggie singlehandedly turns the wide-eyed cobbler’s world upside down. When Hobson’s Choice
was premiered in 1989 at the Royal Opera House, David Bintley’s earthy comedy received a standing ovation the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the premiere of Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée
With one of those scores you can’t help but whistle by Paul Reade, composer of theme tunes for The Antiques Roadshow
and The Flumps
, the ballet has remained hugely popular ever since.
is a double-bill featuring two uplifting stories of young love’s survival when tested to breaking-point.
Daphnis and Chloeuml;
is set on an island paradise in ancient Greece: lost in their love for each other, Daphnis and Chloë struggle against jealous rivals and pillaging pirates to be together, but ultimately only the power of the god Pan can reunite them. Considered by many to be Maurice Ravel’s greatest orchestral score and with choreography by Frederick Ashton, Daphnis and Chloë
is one of the many great ballets from the outstanding legacy left by Sergei
Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes.
The Two Pigeons
, Frederick Ashton’s poignant Parisian idyll tells of a young man, growing up and finding himself frustrated with the immaturity of his fiancée. He flies the nest, leaving her to her tears, and falls in with a group of wild gypsies. The young girl pursues him and battles for his heart with a gypsy beauty. The beauty’s jealous lover beats the young man to within an inch of his life. Realising what he has given up, he returns to his apartment in Paris, into the
forgiving arms of his sweetheart. The closing reconciliation pas de deux
, which features two live pigeons, is a true tear-jerker and a favourite in galas the world over. A romantic score by André Messager perfectly complements the drama and emotion of the dance.
SUMMER SEASON 2012
Far from the Madding Crowd
20–23 June 2012
The Grand Tour | Faster, Higher, Stronger | The Dream
27–30 June 2012
Passions run out of control in David Bintley’s balletic adaption of Thomas Hardy’s famous novel, Far from the Madding Crowd.
An enrapturing story of lust, deceit and murder, with one woman at the centre of it all. Bathsheba Everdene sends ripples through the lives of three men as they compete for her love. The dependable farm-hand Gabriel Oak, the dignified but obsessive William Boldwood and the dashing but deceitful Sergeant Francis Troy all vie for the heart of the woman they love…Bathsheba’s complex relationships with all three leads one to death, one to madness and the other to true love.
Adorned in stunningly detailed period costumes and sets by designer Hayden Griffin, and with an evocative score by Paul Reade, composer of the Company’s Hobson’s Choice, Far from the Madding Crowd
makes a very welcome return to the stage. If you are a fan of the world of Gone with the Wind, Cranford
or The Forsyte Saga
, this is a ballet for you.
features three one-act ballets combining the old and the new.
All aboard for the roaring 1920s! The Grand Tour
sees our heroine, a doughty American spinster, embarking for Europe. She can’t believe her luck when she finds herself on board with a feast of famous faces. However, it turns out that Noël Coward, Gertrude Stein and George Bernard Shaw, to name but a few aren’t the friendliest of shipmates. Choreographer of many films and hit Broadway shows, American Joe Layton creates a genuinely funny take on the eccentric celebrities of the
Accompanied by unique orchestral renditions of Noël Coward songs, the critically acclaimed The Grand Tour
makes a long-overdue return to the stage.
Faster, Higher, Stronger
is a brand-new ballet from the award-winning team behind E=mc2
. After winning the last-ever ITV South Bank Show Dance award in 2010 with E=mc2
, Company Director David Bintley embarks on a second collaboration with renowned Australian composer Matthew Hindson. This ballet of speed, power and athleticism will be a fitting creation for the lead up to London 2012.
The course of true love never did run smooth... certainly not in Frederick Ashton’s The Dream
where a group of mischievous fairies are involved! Having argued with beautiful Titania, Oberon, king of the fairies, seeks a suitable revenge. He orders Puck to transform a dopey local peasant into a donkey and cause Titania to fall in love with it. This he does, but things soon get out of hand – the over-use of a love potion hilariously embroils four poor mortals in the fairies’ games.
Mendelssohn’s tuneful and instantly recognisable music becomes the basis for Ashton’s elfin comedy, as he shows his mastery of dance, theatre and humour.
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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