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Miracle in the Gorbals   La Fin du jour   Flowers of the Forest   Miracle in the Gorbals   La Fin du jour   Flowers of the Forest


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By season

Autumn 2015
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Belfast Grand Opera House
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By show

Ashton Double bill
Company Class
First Steps: a child's Swan Lake
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Variations Triple bill (tour)

Shadows of War

La Fin du jour | Miracle in the Gorbals | Flowers of the Forest

There are no performances listed for Shadows of War

Three one-act ballets each touched in some way by war.

Kenneth MacMillan's La Fin du jour captures the glamorous 'la plage' lifestyle of the depression era. A group of trendy, bright young things while away their days with swimming, golf and new-fangled aeroplanes. They studiously ignore the looming threat of war which will eventually call time on their careless enjoyment and high spirits.

Robert Helpmann's (Royal Ballet dancer and the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) 1944 ballet Miracle in the Gorbals was a great leap forward for British ballet. Set in a run-down and dangerous Glasgow suburb, it dispensed with all the frippery of traditional ballets, replacing it with a gritty realism that proved an enormous success. After the shock of a girl's suicide, the arrival of a mysterious stranger who is able to bring her back to life creates waves among the violent inhabitants of the tenements. This ground-breaking dance drama is being re-created by Dame Gillian Lynne (a member of the original cast), using original set designs by Edward Burra, a leading 20th-century British artist.

David Bintley's Flowers of the Forest is a ballet in two parts. Set to music by Malcolm Arnold,'Four Scottish Dances' presents a light-hearted and nostalgic, 'picture postcard' view of Scotland, whilst 'Scottish Ballad' strikes a more serious note, and is danced to a folk-inspired score by the young Benjamin Britten. The composer's pacifist views found voice in this piece, which takes its title from the famous ballad for the flower of Scottish youth slain on Flodden Field.

★ ★ ★ ★

The Daily Telegraph

★ ★ ★ ★

The Birmingham Mail

'Brazenly theatrical'
The Daily Telegraph on Miracle in the Gorbals

'This is a piece which takes you by the throat and shakes your everyday complacency until it rattles'
The Birmingham Post on Miracle in the Gorbals

'A resounding triumph'
The Worcester News on Miracle in the Gorbals

'A perfect ballet'
The Birmingham Post on Flowers of the Forest

'Gently elegant... beautiful'
The Birmingham Mail on La Fin du jour

Miracle in the Gorbals is supported (2014) by THE BLISS TRUST

Related stories

Resurrecting a Miracle
Video: Trailer for Shadows of War
Video: Studio rehearsals for Shadows of War


Flowers of the Forest

Music Malcolm Arnold; Benjamin Britten
Choreography David Bintley
Costumes Jan Blake
Lighting Peter Teigen

La Fin du jour

Music Maurice Ravel
Choreography Kenneth MacMillan
Designs Ian Spurling
Lighting John B. Read

Miracle in the Gorbals

Music Arthur Bliss
Choreography Gillian Lynne
After Robert Helpmann
Scenario Michael Benthall
Designs Adam Wiltshire
After Edward Burra
Lighting Peter Teigen
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