"Birmingham Royal Ballet" tag
Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb in The Nutcracker.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★★   When Peter Wright’s production of The Nutcracker for the Royal Ballet was given its premiere on 20th December 1984, gala guests were treated to free champagne and souvenir booklets. No expense was spared…

© Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

2017 National Dance Awards – Announcement of Nominations

The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle is pleased to announce the nominations for the 18th National Dance Awards…

Tzu-Chao Chou in ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Arcadia, Le Baiser de la fée, ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café – London

★★✰✰✰   Bintley’s ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café saves a dispiriting evening by providing nimble demi-character dancing with a timely message, first delivered nearly 20 years ago.

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Aladdin – London

★★★✰✰   Aladdin never fully finds its feet, but there’s a lot to like about the show, from the cheery group numbers to the striking visuals.

George Williamson.© Arnaud Stephenson. (Click image for larger version)

5 Questions to George Williamson – freelance choreographer and recipient of the first BRB Ballet Now commission

Ballet Now is an initiative between Birmingham Royal Ballet and Sadler’s Wells to develop the (classical) choreographers, composers and designers of the future. It’s a 5-year programme with 2 commissions each year, made possible by the Oak Foundation, matched BRB funding and driven by a Creative Consortium.

Cesar Morales.© Andres Cabezas. (Click image for larger version)

Cesar Morales – Principal Dancer, Birmingham Royal Ballet

So how did a good Chilean boy end up dancing ballet in Europe…

MacMillan Celebrations – Gloria (NB), The Judas Tree (RB), Elite Syncopations (RB+Guests) – London

★★★★✰   Elite Syncopations: Dancers from all five major British ballet companies took part, some doubling up roles in identical outfits so that identifying dancers was confusing. The stand-out solo in both the casts I saw was to the Calliope Rag, Monica Mason’s original role…

Constance Devernay and Sophie Martin in Le Baiser de la fee (The Fairy's Kiss).© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

MacMillan Celebrations – Le Baiser de la fee (SB), Concerto (BRB), Jeux (RB) – London

  In the first of the mixed bills celebrating Kenneth MacMillan’s ballets, 25 years after his death, “Le Baiser de la fée” intrigued me because the questions it posed about his development as a choreographer…

Scottish Ballet's Mia Thompson in Le Baiser de la fee (The Fairy's Kiss).© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – MacMillan Celebrations – Concerto, Le Baiser de la fee, Elite Syncopations

Featuring dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Northern Ballet. Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Jessica Lang.© Kazu. (Click image for larger version)

Jessica Lang – Catching up with the Choreographer and Director

Answer: “Do it!” Question: “What advice would you give to a young dancer who aspires to choreograph?”

Javier Torres, Antoinette Brooks-Daw and Riku Ito in Kenneth MacMillan's Gloria.© Lauren Godfrey. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – MacMillan bill: Las Hermanas, Concerto, Gloria – Bradford

★★★★✰   Gloria was Nixon’s first choice because he felt it showed MacMillan at his moving best. It contrasts Poulenc’s choral setting of the Latin text from the mass in praise of God with the toll of human lives in the First World War.

Gary Harris' costume sketches for The Fairy's Kiss.© Gary Harris. (Click image for larger version)

Bringing back Kenneth MacMillan’s Le Baiser de la fée – The Fairy’s Kiss

Scottish Ballet will be performing Kenneth MacMillan’s “Le Baiser de la fée” as part of the celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of his death. It will be the first revival of the ballet in 30 years – Jann Parry on the return of an important work.

Emily Hoff in The Conservatory.© Johan Persson / RBS. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Annual Main Stage Performance 2017 – London

★★★★✰   It was a well-balanced programme, featuring different kinds of discipline for future corps de ballet dancers, and honouring veteran choreographers as well as contemporary ones.

News – Royal Ballet Promotions, Joiners and Leavers, 2017/18 Season

Hightlight – Yasmine Nagdhi promoted to Principal dancer. Full press release with all Promotions, Joiners and Leavers

Maureya Lebowitz as Swanilda in Coppélia.© Roy Smiljanic. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Coppelia and Three Short Story Ballets – Bristol and Birmingham

★★★✰✰   I went to Bristol to catch Coppelia and the specific lead casting of Celine Gittens and Tyrone Singleton – who have now totally transitioned from being rising stars to fully risen Principals.

Brandon Lawrence in Arcadia poster image.© Richard Battye, BRB. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Arcadia (premiere), Wink – Cheltenham

★★★✰✰   The South tour is particularly interesting this year because it features a new piece by Ruth Brill, a first artist within the company, and this is her first major commission.

Tamara Rojo in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Broken Wings.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2016 – London

Lynette Halewood with her personal selection of London dance memories from the past year…

Reina Fuchigami, Arancha Baselga and Ruth Brill in The Nutcracker.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Birmingham Royal Ballet in The Nutcracker

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Lauren Cuthbertson in The Nutcracker.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★★   The Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker has undergone various changes since its gala premiere in 1984, not least in the central roles of Clara and Drosselmeyer…

Yijing Zhang, Céline Gittens, Matthias Dingman and Tyrone Singleton in Jessica Lang’s Wink.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Wink, The Moor’s Pavane, The Shakespeare Suite – London

★★★★✰   Wink, best seen from above, is a valuable addition to BRB’s repertoire. So is José Limon’s The Moor’s Pavane, created in 1949.

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