Edward II notes
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Music John McCabe
Choreographer David Bintley
Design Peter J. Davidson
Costume Jasper Conran
Lighting Peter Mumford
'Has a considerable and fully deserved reputation as something special. Above all else, it is a rarity; an intelligent, full-length story ballet for adults.'
Manchester Evening News
'Sweeps you up in its headlong rush like a tautly plotted thriller. John McCabe's score rumbles and pounds, re-enforcing the drama's every twist, and Peter J. Davison's sets prove wonderfully sinister. Do see Edward II: there is a lot of violence and dying, but you will enjoy it.'
'Bintley's sprawling, profoundly compelling ballet has shocked many a dance-goer. [He] conveys his tragedy through deftly varied, virtually non-stop choreography. What makes it work is the cogent clarity of its storytelling – despite the complexities of its historic narrative.'
'As with everything Bintley does, he has a sure sense of theatre, a sensitive response to the music, imaginative choreography that catches exactly the mood and emotions of his characters, and amazing opportunities for his dancers to dominate the stage.'
'Bintley makes deft and dangerous use of the ballet body to tell a horrific story, to express feelings that veer from passionate to love to vengeful hatred and to develop characters that play on the imagination. [He] has reasserted the power of narrative ballet to enthral, unfurling the drama in highly-charged solos and pas de deux, and setting the scenes in thrilling group dances.'
'This is a bloodthirsty tale, but Bintley tackles the story of a homosexual king and his sticky end with sensitivity, intelligence and flashes of coarse wit. The result is a powerful piece of theatre bravely conceived and splendidly danced.'
'Edward II is very much a man’s ballet, its tenderness as well as its strength in the homoerotic pas de deux… Bintley's best full-length work so far'
'The love that dares not speak its name certainly dares to go into its dance... David Bintley's sense of theatre is everywhere sure. His choreography explores the idea of homoerotic passion without reserve: it is a language that shows how love-making between two men must differ from the dance clichés of heterosexual attraction – both men retain their masculinity – and it is credible and moving.'
'His production team have all added to the sweeping power. Composer John McCabe's score throbs with energy and Jasper Conran's costumes cut an edge that pits the medieval against the modern. Peter Mumford's dazzling lighting of Peter J Davison's elegant and monolithic set designs helps keep the trajectory of the story plunging forward without a pause. It's all a bit like a speeding train on a headlong rush towards an inevitable calamity.'
'Birmingham Royal Ballet has never looked better. The performances all round were splendid and a large and enthusiastic audience showed its appreciation with shouts as well as clapping as the final curtain fell.'
'It is the quality of the choreography and performances, the startling sets and lighting and John McCabe’s powerful score that linger in the memory rather than the sex and the violence. David Bintley has created an epic production.'
'This is a tremendous narrative ballet, a million miles from the picturesque sensualities of the usual full-length classics, and everyone with the slightest interest in dance drama should see it. Certainly it contains horrifying moments, and depicts relationships that some will find offensive. But as a piece of theatre it is overwhelming.'
Plymouth Evening Herald
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