"Rae Smith" tag
Iain Mackay (Prospero) in David Bintley's The Tempest.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – The Tempest – London

★★★✰✰   Bintley has treated Shakespeare’s drama as a masque, full of spectacle, music and dancing, with elusive characters that are more allegorical than realistic. It doesn’t work as a narrative ballet because the sub-plots are too complicated…

Tyrone Singleton (Caliban) in David Bintley's The Tempest.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – The Tempest (premiere) – Birmingham

★★★✰✰   In a nutshell Bintley’s Tempest is a visual triumph but feels slight choreographically and you’d be well advised to mug up on the story before seeing it.

Momoko Hirata (Princess Belle Sakuma) and Joseph Caley (Salamander Prince) in The Prince of the Pagodas.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Prince of the Pagodas (Caley/Hirata) – London

In his programme note, Bintley claims to have foregone sexual romance in favour of ‘something more mystical and subtle’, connected with Japanese veneration of its Imperial family. It doesn’t resonate in this royal kingdom.

Artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet as Yokai in The Prince of the Pagodas.© Roy Smiljanic. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Prince of the Pagodas (Bracewell/Roberts) – London

One of Bintley’s other notable commitments as Director is the rapid development of young dancers. For a graduating dance student, hungry for big roles, BRB is the company to aim for….

Artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet as Yokai in The Prince of the Pagodas.© Roy Smiljanic. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Prince of the Pagodas – Salford

Bintley has created a solidly entertaining family work that never bores but never soars to another emotional level, either…

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