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Shadows of War



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

Birmingham Hippodrome 8 - 11 October 2014
Sadler's Wells Theatre 17 - 18 October 2014
Theatre Royal Plymouth 28 - 29 October 2014

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.

'MacMillan at his best'
The Guardian on La Fin du jour

'Rare and beautiful'
The Birmingham Post on La Fin du jour

'A marvellous instance of Bintley's particular genius'
The Birmingham Post on Flowers of the Forest

'A sensational modern allegory, brilliantly executed and staged'
The Daily Express, c1947, on Miracle in the Gorbals


Miracle in the Gorbals is supported (2014) by THE BLISS TRUST and Birmingham Royal Ballet's Director's Appeal

Credits


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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