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As 2019 has just got underway and next seasons programme is due to be announced in three or four months perhaps now may be a good time to discuss what we'd like to see in Kevin O'Hares announcement. You never know, there may be a gap in his schedule that may benefit from a few suggestions. My main wish list is very brief and consists of Onegin, Onegin and Onegin! Not just because Onegin is one of my favourite ballets but of the horrible prospect of possibly losing it from the RB rep. If it isn't performed then as it hasn't been performed for several years. I keep thinking of all the potential new Onegins and Tatianas there are currently in the RB (not to mention Olgas and Lenskys) and imagine whom I'd like to see. It's a very long list! After Onegin I'd like to see more Ashton and possibly see the reinstatement of the Ashton double/triple bill. Also Sylvia filmed for the cinema with Vadim (and preferably Naghdi) as it should have been last time. This would also boost what seems to be the rather paltry, half hearted Fonteyn celebrations. Also If more obscure Ashton could be revived that would be a real bonus as there is a very real danger of losing more obscure works as time goes by. I sometimes feel our founder choreographer isn't appreciated by current management in his old company as much as he should be. Finally, though I have been concentrating on the Royal Ballet company as they are the company I see the most of and have the largest rep. and the most opportunity for choice there is no reason to limit the wish list to one particular company or indeed, country. Nothing to stop it being an international wish list.
20 sept Opening gala 23 sept - 15 oct: Hiroshi Sugimoto/Alessio Silvestrin : At the Hawk's Well; Forsythe Blake Works 26oct - 17 nov: New Crystal Pite (60 segments in 60 minutes) 3-31 Dec: Raymonda 9-31 Dec: Le Parc (Preljocaj) 31 Jan - 15 feb: Giselle 3 - 22 feb: Concerto Barocco, 4 Temperaments. Serenade 25-30 March: POB School Coppelia (Lacotte) 14 april - 8 May: New Alan Lucien Oyen 12-30 May Mayerling 4-7 JUne Nederlands Dans Theater 26 June - 14 July Play (Ekman)
BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET ANNOUNCES 2019/20 SEASON 10 productions, 11 venues, 127 performances, including first time collaborations with Ballet Black and newly appointed Director Carlos Acosta. It’s a season that’s bursting with brilliance! Birmingham Royal Ballet’s 2019/20 season marks an exciting period of transformation. For the first time in the company’s history, the season has been created in partnership with leaders from across the world of dance, including Ballet Black and Birmingham Royal Ballet’s newly appointed Director Carlos Acosta CBE, who bring fresh perspectives to the programme, and herald a new era and a bright future ahead. The 2019/20 season marks the transition between David Bintley’s Directorship and Carlos Acosta’s first season, which will be in 2020/21, and creates opportunities for the Company to experiment with new partnerships to grow and inspire audiences, as well as presenting some of its best loved classics including works by Director Laureate Sir Peter Wright. The first full-length production in the 2019/20 season is David Bintley and Galina Samsova’s exquisite production of Giselle (25 Sep – 2 Nov), swiftly followed by the welcome return of Sir Peter Wright’s stunning Swan Lake (29 Jan – 4 Apr). The end of the season marks a new beginning, as new Director Carlos Acosta is welcomed by Birmingham Royal Ballet’s inaugural performances of his ravishing comedy Don Quixote (19 - 27 Jun), which receives its first UK performances outside London. Carlos will also curate an energising and celebratory festival at Birmingham Hippodrome and Sadler’s Wells, London in June 2020. TWO BALLET NOW WORLD PREMIERES The 2019/20 season features two world premieres in the Ballet Now talent development programme. The first, by Queensland Ballet’s Jack Lister, appears alongside Cathy Marston’s critically-acclaimed The Suit(performed by Ballet Black) and Twyla Tharp’s sizzling tribute to ‘Old Blue Eyes’, Nine Sinatra Songs. This exciting mixed programme is performed in Birmingham and London (19 Sep - 30 Oct). Jack Lister said: “I’m really looking forward to working with BRB’s incredibly talented dancers and alongside such highly respected choreographers. To be given this platform for my first international commission and to collaborate with such a truly gifted creative team is a dream come true." Artistic Director & Founder of Ballet Black Cassa Pancho MBE said: “I'm thrilled that Ballet Black will be joining Birmingham Royal Ballet for their mixed programme in autumn 2019. It's a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with one of the most established British ballet companies, and for our own brilliant dancers to work alongside the world-class talent at BRB." The season’s second world premiere, choreographed by Daniela Cardim, is part of a mixed programme curated by incoming Director Carlos Acosta as part of his soon-to-be revealed festival. This bill is completed by George Balanchine’s exuberant Theme and Variations and Goyo Montero’s Chacona. Created for Uruguayan company National Ballet Sobre in 2017, Chacona is a thrilling, physical piece set to violin, guitar and piano which receives its UK premiere in this programme. This mixed programme is presented at Sadler’s Wells, London (11 – 13 Jun). Further programme announcements for the Carlos Acosta / Birmingham Royal Ballet festival will be revealed in due course. THE RETURN OF THE NUTCRACKER & EVENING OF MUSIC AND DANCE Sir Peter Wright’s acclaimed production of The Nutcracker returns to Birmingham Hippodrome for the festive season (22 Nov – 14 Dec), transporting the audience beyond the theatre to a realm of giant Christmas trees and dancing snowflakes. The acclaimed Royal Ballet Sinfonia takes centre stage once more for a spectacular Evening of Music and Dance (14 & 15 Feb) in Birmingham and Northampton. This popular annual gala includes well-loved gems and hidden classics selected by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia conductors alongside danced excerpts from Birmingham Royal Ballet’s repertory. FOR FAMILIES Birmingham Royal Ballet will once again be embarking on a spring tour (May 2020) to regional venues with a programme of work specially designed for families. Its mid-scale tour makes ballet even more accessible for younger audiences, whilst still delighting and entertaining adults. Further details to be announced. YOUNG AUDIENCES Younger audience members can enjoy Birmingham Royal Ballet’s First Steps programme. These hour-long, interactive shows are adapted for children aged 3+. A storyteller captures their imagination, introducing the music, leading characters and some of the technical magic – the perfect introduction to ballet. Alongside the main programme, Birmingham Royal Ballet continues to introduce new audiences from touring venues across the country to their world-class dance and music. From primary schools to care homes, community centres to museums, the Company unlocks amazing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. ENGAGEMENT & PARTICIPATION Following the success of Cinderella Dreams in 2017 and Sleeping Beauty Dreams in 2018 at Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham Royal Ballet will embark on Swan Lake Dreams; an ambitious engagement and participation project which will be performed on the main stage at Birmingham Hippodrome (23 February 2020), as well as at Mayflower Theatre in Southampton (2 February 2020) and Theatre Royal in Plymouth (31 March 2020). A cast of approximately 70 selected students from each of the three areas will be given the opportunity to train, rehearse and perform in a full-length ballet alongside Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers. Open to ballet students aged 9+, the Swan Lake Dreams project gives insight into the Company workings whilst aiming to develop talent and raise aspirations for dancers of all ages. Auditions will take place between July and October 2019 with intensive and weekly rehearsals from July through to the performances in 2020. The Company will partner with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, whose orchestra will accompany the Swan Lake Dreams Birmingham performance, conducted by Birmingham Royal Ballet’s principal conductor Paul Murphy. Julian Lloyd Webber, Principal of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire said: “I am delighted that the Conservatoire will partner with Birmingham Royal Ballet on their ground-breaking project Swan Lake Dreams. This is yet another example of the Conservatoire’s commitment to creating unique opportunities for our students to collaborate with world-class partners around the region and beyond. To alleviate barriers to participation, Birmingham Royal Ballet launched its Dreams Bursary Fund in 2018 which supports talented young dancers aged 8 -18 to fulfil their potential - whatever their background. This carefully targeted resource provides talented children with financial support to take part in any Birmingham Royal Ballet dancer development or Birmingham Royal Ballet Dreams opportunity, giving them the best possible chance to let their talent flourish and grow. The Dreams Bursary Fund is open to donations from individuals, organisations and other fund-giving organisations. Held exclusively to support access to ballet participation, a number of bursaries are considered every year and can include, but are not limited to, support for attendance, transport, accommodation and dancewear. Dance Track, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s talent identification and training programme, is now in its 22nd year, working with 50 primary schools across Birmingham. Each year the Dance Track team engages with in excess of 2,500 children age 5 and 6. The programme offers free weekly classes and uniforms plus opportunities to see Birmingham Royal Ballet in rehearsal and performance. 80 children showing particular aptitude and enjoyment in their dance classes are invited back for a further year of training, where they are prepared for auditions at Elmhurst Ballet School and The Royal Ballet School associate schemes. 135 children from north, south and central Birmingham currently attend weekly classes and 32 children attend Dance Track Plus classes. Many of the children have performed in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s productions in Birmingham and at the Royal Albert Hall, London. In the last 15 years, 17 children have been accepted into full-time vocational schools around the country. Dance Track would not be possible without generous donations from multiple trusts, foundations and individual donors and this pioneering programme continues throughout the 2019/20 season. Established in 2002, Freefall Dance Company provides high-quality training and performance opportunities for talented adults with severe learning difficulties, challenging stereotypical views of both dance and people with learning disabilities. The Company meets weekly at Birmingham Royal Ballet studios to hone their ballet technique, prepare for performances and develop leadership and facilitation skills for their own education and outreach projects. Each year, Freefall showcases its work through performances as well as at international dance-for–screen festivals with ground-breaking performance films. Freefall’s initial film in 2012, Freefall, reached an estimated 1.5million people on live-site screens across the country. Its second film One Fine Day followed in 2014 with the film being shown at over ten festivals across Europe and North America. The third film We Are Here premiered in 2017 and incorporated BRB’s principal dancers Iain Mackay and Jenna Roberts. In the 2019/20 season, Freefall Dance Company will collaborate with current Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet David Bintley and award-winning film director Ross MacGibbon on a new landmark dance-for-screen project. Further details to be announced. Mixed Programme New Lister | The Suit | Nine Sinatra Songs September – October 2019 New Lister – a co-production with the Queensland Ballet Choreographer: Jack Lister Composer: Tom Harrold Designer: Thomas Mika Lighting: Alex Berlage The Suit Choreography: Cathy Marston Music: Philip Feeney Designs: Jane Heather Lighting: David Plater Dramaturgy: Edward Kemp Nine Sinatra Songs Choreography: Twyla Tharp Songs sung by: Frank Sinatra Scenic Design originally by: Santo Loquasto Original costumes by: Oscar de la Renta Lighting originally by: Jennifer Tipton Birmingham Hippodrome Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4TB; 0844 338 5000 birminghamhippodrome.com Thursday 19 – Saturday 21 September Sadler’s Wells, London Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN; 020 7863 8000 sadlerswells.com Tuesday 29 – Wednesday 30 October Giselle September – October 2019 Choreography: Marius Petipa, Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, David Bintley Music: Adolphe Adam Production: David Bintley, Galina Samsova Designs: Hayden Griffin Lighting: Mark Jonathan Birmingham Hippodrome Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4TB; 0844 338 5000 birminghamhippodrome.com Wednesday 25 – Saturday 28 September Theatre Royal Plymouth Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR; 01752 267222 theatreroyal.com Wednesday 23 – Friday 25 October Sadler’s Wells, London Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN; 020 7863 8000 sadlerswells.com Friday 1 – Saturday 2 November Peter and the Wolf October 2019 Choreography: Ruth Brill Music: Sergei Prokofiev Designs: Spike Kilburn Lighting: Peter Teigen Theatre Royal Plymouth Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR; 01752 267222 theatreroyal.com Saturday 26 October Sir Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker November – December 2019 Choreography: Peter Wright, Lev Ivanov, Vincent Redmond Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Production: Peter Wright Designs: John F. MacFarlane Lighting: David A. Finn Birmingham Hippodrome Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4TB; 0844 338 5000 birminghamhippodrome.com Friday 22 November – Saturday 14 December On sale now Swan Lake January – May 2020 Choreography: Peter Wright, Lev Ivanov, Marius Petipa Music: Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky Production: Peter Wright, Galina Samsova Designs: Philip Prowse Lighting: Peter Teigen Mayflower Theatre, Southampton 22-26 Commercial Rd, Southampton, SO15 1GE; 023 8071 1811 mayflower.org.uk Wednesday 29 January – Saturday 1 February On sale 30 January 2019 Birmingham Hippodrome Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4TB; 0844 338 5000 birminghamhippodrome.com Wednesday 19 February – Saturday 29 February The Lowry, Salford Lowry Outlet, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ; 0843 208 6000 thelowry.com Wednesday 4 – Saturday 7 March Sunderland Empire High Street West, Sunderland, SR1 3EX; 0844 871 7627 atgtickets.com/venues/sunderland-empire Thursday 12 – Saturday 14 March Theatre Royal Plymouth Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR; 01752 267222 theatreroyal.com Wednesday 1 – Saturday 4 April An Evening of Music & Dance February 2020 Symphony Hall, Birmingham Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2EA; 0121 780 3333 thsh.co.uk Friday 14 February, 7.30pm Royal & Derngate, Northampton 19-21 Guildhall Rd, Northampton NN1 1DP; 01604 624811 royalandderngate.co.uk Saturday 15 February, 7.30pm Mixed Programme Theme and Variations | Chacona | New Cardim June 2020 Theme and Variations Choreography: George Balanchine Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Designs: Peter Farmer Lighting: Peter Teigen Chacona Choreography: Goyo Montero Music: Johann Sebastian Bach Costume design: Verena Hemmerlein New Cardim Choreographer: Daniela Cardim Composer: Paul Englishby Designer: April Dalton Lighting: Peter Teigen Sadler’s Wells, London Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN; 020 7863 8000 sadlerswells.com Thursday 11 – Saturday 13 June Don Quixote as part of the Carlos Acosta Festival June 2019 Choreography: Carlos Acosta after Marius Petipa Music: Ludvig Minkus Arranged and orchestrated by: Martin Yates Production: Carlos Acosta Designs: Tim Hatley Lighting: Hugh Vanstone Birmingham Hippodrome Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4TB; 0844 338 5000 birminghamhippodrome.com Friday 19 – Saturday 27 June NOTES TO EDITORS: Birmingham Royal Ballet Based at Birmingham Hippodrome since 1990, Birmingham Royal Ballet is the United Kingdom’s leading classical ballet touring company performing a range of traditional, classical and heritage ballets as well as ground-breaking new works with the aim of encouraging choreographers of the future. The company’s Director is the award-winning David Bintley, CBE and Music Director is Koen Kessels. Birmingham Royal Ballet performs at Birmingham Hippodrome for approximately ten weeks of the year and the remainder of the year tours throughout the United Kingdom and overseas. The Royal Ballet Sinfonia is Britain's busiest ballet orchestra, playing for Birmingham Royal Ballet's wide-ranging programme in the UK and abroad. The Sinfonia also plays frequently for The Royal Ballet and many of the world's other leading ballet companies, including regular performances with; The Royal Ballet, Paris Opéra Ballet, New York City Ballet, Australian Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Kirov, Norwegian Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and La Scala Ballet.