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Jan McNulty

Birmingham Royal Ballet - Birmingham 2017/18 season

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Today I have received my renewal notice for my subscriptions.

 

The Birmingham season comprises:

 

27-30 September - mixed programme comprising Elite Syncopations, Concerto. Penguin Cafe

 

03-07 October - Aladdin

 

24 November - 13 December - Nutcracker

 

13-24 February - Sleeping Beauty

 

20-23 June - mixed programme - comprising Kin, new work, Upper Room

 

26-30 June - Romeo and Juliet

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Press release with details of the main stage 2017/18 tour:

 

 

  New season announcement
Birmingham Royal Ballet announce an exciting and diverse season for 2017/2018 Birmingham Royal Ballet is delighted to announce its 2017–18 season – 12 months of world-class dance and music in productions that range from traditional classical ballet, to works that celebrate some of the best choreographers of the 20th century, and to new ballets created for the Company.
 
Performances start in autumn 2017 and include the return of family favourite Aladdin. To celebrate the work of one of the great British choreographers, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, 25 years after his death, the Company performs a Mixed Programme that includes two iconic works: Concerto and Elite Syncopations. These appear alongside David Bintley’s iconic ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café,which is also performed in a second mixed programme with Michael Corder’s Le Baiser de la fée and Arcadia, a new ballet by the Company’s own Ruth Brill.
 
After the hugely popular and well-loved delights of Sir Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker in the run up to Christmas, we see the return of his glorious production of The Sleeping Beauty, classical ballet at its most exquisite. This is followed in the summer by an energy-filled mixed programme, featuring former Company dancer Alexander Whitley’s Kin. and the mesmeric In the Upper Room from dance legend Twyla Tharp, alongside a brand-new work.
 
The year comes to a close with another work from MacMillan, the powerful and dramatic Romeo and Juliet.
 
Alongside the main programme, Birmingham Royal Ballet continues to introduce new audiences of all ages to our world-class dance and music. Studio to Stage is an hour-long, entertaining and in-depth introduction to the world of ballet, demystifying the language, the artistry and the practicalities of all the leaps, legs and lifts. This inclusive, relaxed experience aims to prove that ballet really is for everyone.
 
Younger audience members continue to enjoy Birmingham Royal Ballet’s First Steps programme. These hour-long, interactive shows are specially 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. Further projects take place in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s touring venues across the country. From primary schools to care homes, community centres to museums, the Company unlocks amazing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.
 
Full dates and details of all performances appear on brb.org.uk as they go on sale
  ALADDIN
September – October 2017
 
Step onto a magic carpet and soar into the fantastical world of David Bintley’s Aladdin, with music by BAFTA award-winning composer Carl Davis, played live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. The classic story of Aladdin and his adventures with a magic lamp is brought to life in this glittering production, featuring lavish sets and costumes, stunning special effects and beautiful choreography. 
 
A delightful family show…it looks absolutely astonishing”     Daily Telegraph
 
Magic abounds when the Djinn of the Lamp appears, from a cave of dancing jewels to a larger than life Chinese lion. As our hero finds out, you can even become a prince overnight! Aladdin is a dazzling spectacle the whole family will enjoy.

 
Music: Carl Davis
Choreography: David Bintley
Sets: Dick Bird
Costumes: Sue Blane
Lighting: Mark Jonathan

The Lowry
Lowry Outlet, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ; Box Office: 0843 208 6000; www.thelowry.com
Wednesday 20  – Saturday 23 September
 
Birmingham Hippodrome
Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham B5 4TB; Box Office: 0844 338 5000; www.birminghamhippodrome.com
Tuesday 3 – Saturday 7 October
 
Theatre Royal, Plymouth
Royal Parade, Plymouth PL1 2TR; Box Office: 01752 267222; www.theatreroyal.com
Wednesday 25  – Saturday 28 October
 
Sadler’s Wells, London
Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4TN; Box Office: 020 7863 8000; www.sadlerswells.com
Tuesday 31 October  – Thursday 2 November
 

   

PENGUIN CAFÉ MIXED PROGRAMME (Birmingham)
September 2017


Get swept up in ragtime fun in Kenneth MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations, where a host of eccentric characters flirt, dance and vie for the limelight. This playful combination of comedic flair, riotous colour and Scott Joplin’s iconic music is guaranteed to please. 

Youthful energy and technical precision collide in MacMillan’s Concerto. Set to Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto, MacMillan’s sprightly and vigorous choreography conveys the infectious joy of dancing.

Finally, a colourful host of endangered animals seek shelter from the storm at the Penguin Café. Featuring a morris-dancing flea, a ballroom-dancing ram, a woolly monkey and many more, ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café is a witty and poignant look at man’s effect on the world.

Performances feature live music from the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, conducted by Paul Murphy and Philip Ellis.


Elite Syncopations
Music: Scott Joplin and others
Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Designs: Ian Spurling
Lighting: John B. Read

Concerto 
Music: Dmitri Shostakovich
Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Designs: Jürgen Rose
Lighting: John B. Read
 
‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café
Music: Simon Jeffes
Choreography: David Bintley
Designs: Hayden Griffin
Lighting: John B. Read
 
Birmingham Hippodrome
Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham B5 4TB; Box Office: 0844 338 5000; www.birminghamhippodrome.com
Wednesday 27 – Saturday 30 September
 

 

  PENGUIN CAFÉ MIXED PROGRAMME (London)
November 2017
 
A colourful host of endangered animals seek shelter from the storm at the Penguin Café. Featuring a Morris dancing flea, a ballroom-dancing ram, a woolly monkey and many more, ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café is a witty and poignant look at man’s effect on the natural world.
 
In Le Baiser de la fée a young boy’s life is marked from the moment a fairy saves his life in the snow, unleashing magical joys and sorrows in choreographer Michael Corder’s beautiful interpretation of this classic Hans Christian Andersen tale.
 
Arcadia witnesses the ancient god Pan unleashed, as Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Ruth Brill first mainstage commissioned piece to a new score composed by renowned saxophonist John Harle is given its London premiere.
 
Performances feature live music from the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.
 
‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café
Music: Simon Jeffes
Choreography: David Bintley
Designs: Hayden Griffin
Lighting: John B. Read
 
Le Baiser de la fée
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Choreography: Michael Corder
Designs: John F. Macfarlane
Lighting: Paule Constable
 
Arcadia
Music: John Harle
Choreography: Ruth Brill
Designs: Atena Ameri
Lighting: Peter Teigen
 
Sadler’s Wells, London
Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4TN; Box Office: 020 7863 8000; www.sadlerswells.com
Friday 3 – Saturday 4 November
 

    Sir Peter Wright’s production of
THE NUTCRACKER
November – December 2017
 
This world-famous production by Sir Peter Wright, with exquisite designs by John Macfarlane, is acclaimed as one of the best in the world.
 
Join Clara as she is swept into an enchanting winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes and a Sugar Plum Fairy. Her magical Christmas tree and her handsome prince with his army of toy soldiers are an unforgettable delight. In this most festive ballet, gigantic sets, lavish costumes, 60 dancers and a full orchestra combine to make the perfect Christmas treat for the entire family.
 
Performances feature live music from the Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted for these performances by Koen Kessels, Paul Murphy and Philip Ellis.
 
“No other version comes close” The Sunday Times
 
Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreography: Peter Wright, Lev Ivanov, Vincent Redmon
Production: Peter Wright
Designs: John F. Macfarlane
Lighting: David A. Finn
 
Birmingham Hippodrome
Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham B5 4TB; Box Office: 0844 338 5000; www.birminghamhippodrome.com
Friday 24 November – Wednesday 13 December
 

            THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
January – March 2018
 
The curse of a wicked fairy, one touch of a spindle, and a beautiful princess falls into a deep, enchanted sleep which can only be broken by a kiss from a prince. The Sleeping Beauty is transformed into one of the grandest ballets ever created, with a classical score by Tchaikovsky and original choreography by Marius Petipa. Enter the opulent world of Imperial Russian ballet, with its marvellous mixture of virtuoso dance, fairy tale characters and dazzling spectacle that has delighted audiences for over a hundred years. An enchanting production for all the family.
 
Spectacular” The Times
 
Performances feature live music from the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, conducted by Paul Murphy and Philip Ellis.
 
Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreography: Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov, Peter Wright
Production: Peter Wright
Designs: Philip Prowse
Lighting: Mark Jonathan
 
Mayflower Theatre
22-26 Commercial Rd, Southampton SO15 1GE; Box Office: 023 8071 1811; www.mayflower.org.uk
Wednesday 31 January
 – Saturday 3 February
 
Birmingham Hippodrome
Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham B5 4TB; Box Office: 0844 338 5000; www.birminghamhippodrome.com
Tuesday 13  – Saturday 24 February
 
The Lowry
Lowry Outlet, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ; Box Office: 0843 208 6000; www.thelowry.com
Wednesday 28 February  – Saturday 3 March
 
Wales Millennium Centre
Bute Place, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff CF10 5AL; Box Office: 029 2063 6464; www.wmc.org.uk
Wednesday 14  – Saturday 17 March
 
Theatre Royal, Plymouth
Royal Parade, Plymouth PL1 2TR; Box Office: 01752 267222; www.theatreroyal.com
Wednesday 21 – Saturday 24 March
 

    IN THE UPPER ROOM MIXED PROGRAMME
June 2018
 
Alexander Whitley’s Kin is an athletic, abstract piece danced to a pulsing hypnotic score by Philip Kline. Kin celebrates the raw kinetics of dance, the virtuosity of ballet technique and the potential for movement to bring us together in different ways.
 
In the Upper Room is an exhilarating ballet by American dance phenomenon Twlya Tharp. Dancers in sneakers and striking red pointe shoes dominate the stage with energy, flair and finesse.
 
The final ballet is a new work created as part of Ballet Now, supported by the Oak Foundation – a unique five-year programme developing choreographers, composers and designers to create new and innovative works for the world stage.
 
Kin. features live music from the Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted for these performances by Koen Kessels, Paul Murphy and Philip Ellis.
 
In the Upper Room
Music: Philip Glass
Choreography: Twyla Tharp
Designs: Norma Kamali
Lighting: Jennifer Tipton
 
Kin.
Music: Phil Kline
Choreography: Alexander Whitley
Designs: Jean-Marc Puissant
Lighting: Peter Teigen
 
Birmingham Hippodrome
Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham B5 4TB; Box Office: 0844 338 5000; www.birminghamhippodrome.com
Wednesday 20 (PRESS NIGHT, 7.30pm) – Saturday 23 June
 

    ROMEO AND JULIET
June – July 2018
 
Love at first dance, forbidden passions, dangerous secrets and star-crossed fate combine in this exhilarating ballet. Prokofiev’s glorious score, played live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, sets hearts alight in Kenneth MacMillan’s enduringly popular Romeo and Juliet.
 
In the most famous love story ever told, a dangerous cocktail of arrogant youth, simmering tension and deadly feud erupts, leaving two young lovers at the mercy of powerful families and their own hearts. From the balcony scene’s ecstatic pas de deux, exploring love in all its soaring wonder, to the lovers’ heart-breaking end, Romeo and Juliet is dance at its most poignant and beautiful.
 
All performances feature live music from the Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted for these performances by Koen Kessels, Paul Murphy and Philip Ellis.
 
Music: Sergei Prokofiev
Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Designs: Paul Andrews
Lighting: John B. Read
 
Birmingham Hippodrome
Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham B5 4TB; Box Office: 0844 338 5000; www.birminghamhippodrome.com
Tuesday 26 – Saturday 30 June
 
Bristol Hippodrome 
St Augustine's Parade, Bristol BS1 4UZ; Box Office: 0844 871 3012; www.atgtickets.com/venues/bristol-hippodrome
Wednesday 4  – Saturday 7 July
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Thank you! Do you know when they normally announce the Midscale tours? I can't see any mention of them for 2018.

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Oh well, I'd been hoping they might bring Cinderella to London, but possibly Sadler's Wells isn't particularly suitable for it?  Some solid enough bankers in there.  Can't remember Corder's Baiser - how old is it?

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Oh well, I'd been hoping they might bring Cinderella to London, but possibly Sadler's Wells isn't particularly suitable for it?  Some solid enough bankers in there.  Can't remember Corder's Baiser - how old is it?

 

 

 

About 10 years old I think.  I didn't like it...

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Nice rep with the only pity IMHO that they are not reprising the stunning King Dances I want to see it again (preferably with William Bracewell who was fabulous as the King).

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Sunderland appears to have been dropped from the schedule. Has anywhere else been similarly removed?

 

At first sight Salford seems to be the furthest north BRB intends to travel and the eastern half of the country seems similarly to be ignored? Has anywhere new been added?

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Not new but the company don't go to Cardiff every year.

 

I am devastated about Sunderland because I love going there to see the company.  I suspected they may not go in the Autumn because I doubted Bayadere would fit but had fully expected them to go back in the Spring.  I do hope it is only a temporary measure and that they will be back in Autumn 2018.  

 

Durham and York have been the mainstays of midscale north and I don't think that will change.

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For Sunderland's (and neighbouring areas') sake, I certainly hope so, but you have said over the years that it appeared to be difficult to get audiences, and they had to offer very cheap tickets, didn't you?  Perhaps when push comes to shove it's got beyond being affordable :(

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I cannot say i am that inspired by this programme but it could be redeemed by some interesting castings.

 

Time for me to have my regular whinge that by the time the casting comes out all the good seats will have gone.

Edited by Two Pigeons

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Southampton and Bristol have only become regulars these last two years.

 

Corder's Baiser was created in 2008. I wasn't keen on it myself, not sure if it was the music or the choreography. I quite liked the costumes but I can't remember the set at all. 

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Southampton and Bristol have only become regulars these last two years.

 

And both are day-trippable from London, about which I am delighted :) (Mind you, the last time I went to Bristol, for ENB's Giselle, the coach took 3 hours on the way back :( )

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And both are day-trippable from London, about which I am delighted :) (Mind you, the last time I went to Bristol, for ENB's Giselle, the coach took 3 hours on the way back :( )

As you know, Alison, I regularly make that trip the other way round. No matter which way you are doing the journey, I find it's the getting into or out of London, An hour from Victoria to Hammersmith is not unusual

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It's just not true that it's difficult to get good audiences in Sunderland, although it is the biggest theatre in the region, so more difficult to fill, and if it were located in nearby Newcastle audiences would be better still (there's not much love lost between the 2 cities). The seats are no longer cheap.... and it's an ATG theatre, which doesn't help. Nor does the inability of BRB to get key information about the following season to the theatre to enable audiences to book while they are attending BRB performances. In the autumn, booking for the spring started the week after the BRB performances finished so people had to contend with the high ATG booking fees, dreadful ATG website and long delays in answering the phone, when they could have just booked with the friendly box office staff while at the theatre. This delay has happened at least once before, more, I think.

 

I'm not sure yet that Sunderland has been dropped, there have been times in the past that dates for Sunderland have been released later than those for other theatres because agreements having been finalised. I have had a long term debate with BRB over Sunderland, over decades (it's my nearest theatre for BRB main rep, albeit 60 miles away) but management always insist that they won't drop it. We shall see!

Edited by SheilaC
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Not a good season IMO, with four ballets that I don't like or I'm bored with seeing - viz In The Upper Room, Aladdin, R&J and Sleeping Beauty.

 

The London Peguin Cafe program is more interesting than the Brum one. I wonder why the change?

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I am afraid that as we shall be celebrating the Petipa bicentenary in 2018 it may be rather difficult to avoid Petipa ballets in the 2017-18 and the 2018-19 seasons. As far as Sleeping Beauty is concerned Sir Peter Wright's production has some Petipa choreography in it which is not something that can necessarily be said about productions of Swan Lake where it is the white acts generally attributed to Lev Ivanov rather than those sections of the ballet by Petipa which generally make it onto the stage relatively unscathed..It will be very amusing if the RB's contribution to the bicentenary is its new production of Swan Lake as most of the iconic choreographic text is by Ivanov rather than Petipa and if the stager has been given a free hand who can say what whether we shall actually see any of Petipa's choreography on stage apart., perhaps, from the pas de trois?

 

I think that I shall wait until the casting is announced before I decide whether or not BRB's forthcoming season is in fact going to be as boring as it may appear when we only have the bare bones available. I can think of several casts for Sleeping Beauty and for Romeo and Juliet that would persuade me that a trip to Birmingham was necessary.

Edited by FLOSS
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The London Peguin Cafe program is more interesting than the Brum one. I wonder why the change?

 

Sadlers Wells likes new productions so that is why Arcadia is there. Maybe BRB think La Baiser is a better fit with Arcadia and Penguin Cafe than one of the Macmillan  pieces. Or maybe BRB feel that they don't need to celebrate Macmillan in London as there is a resident company there that can do that.

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We will have had Arcadia and Baiser in Birmingham by then.  They are both being performed at the Hippodrome in June.

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I hope that the production of a proper subscription leaflet this year is a sign of better things to come.

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According to their newsletter the Bristol R&J has been replaced with Fille - I had wondered what had happened to the R&J as all references had disappeared from the BRB website. Possibly it's because ENB are presenting the Nureyev R&J there next month, and I guess that it's due at the RB in 18/19 unless normal service is very much interrupted.

 

I'm disappointed in a way, but I'd never pass up an opportunity to see Fille - multiple viewings might be in order :)

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I assume it's because of the clash with ENB.  It's a shame, because I far prefer BRB's to ENB's, but hoping Fille will prove a success :)

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I didn't think I'd seen notification of this previously.  Retrieved from my junk mail folder, a BRB news email including:

 

"Summer season at Sadler's Wells
In the summer we return again to London and Sadler's Wells, bringing Romeo and Juliet with us alongside a bill comprising a new piece for Birmingham Royal Ballet. The first of our Ballet Now commissions, choreographed by George Williamson, will be performed as part of a mixed programme at Sadler’s Wells from 15 to 16 June 2018, with In the Upper Room and Kin. Tickets for these exciting performances go on sale at 10am on Monday 20 November; full dates and times can be found here."

 

Can't remember whether it clashes with ENB's Sleeping Beauty: I do hope not.

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Can anyone tell me the running time for the BRB Sleeping Beauty?  For some reason the website's only giving the lengths of each act, which doesn't help when I'm trying to find a cheap train ticket!  (I've tried the Hippodrome website but that doesn't seem to say anything either.)

 

Or am I being stupid?

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I haven't seen it for about 4 years but it goes on pretty close to 10.25-10.30.  

 

With this production we have The Prologue, interval, Act 1, short pause, Act 2, interval, Act 3.

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So it's not long now to the start of the Sleeping Beauty season.  Today I just popped onto the website and I love the Sleeping Beauty header which is a short video clip rather than a photograph.

 

Enjoy:

 

https://www.brb.org.uk

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26 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

So it's not long now to the start of the Sleeping Beauty season.  Today I just popped onto the website and I love the Sleeping Beauty header which is a short video clip rather than a photograph.

 

Enjoy:

 

https://www.brb.org.uk

 

Daily Prophet ready press release :-)

 

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On 27/11/2017 at 00:17, alison said:

"Summer season at Sadler's Wells

In the summer we return again to London and Sadler's Wells, bringing Romeo and Juliet with us alongside a bill comprising a new piece for Birmingham Royal Ballet. The first of our Ballet Now commissions, choreographed by George Williamson, will be performed as part of a mixed programme at Sadler’s Wells from 15 to 16 June 2018, with In the Upper Room and Kin. Tickets for these exciting performances go on sale at 10am on Monday 20 November; full dates and times can be found here."

 

Can't remember whether it clashes with ENB's Sleeping Beauty: I do hope not.

 

I'm afraid it clashes completely with ENB's Sleeping Beauty.  Which in turn clashes with the latter part of the RB Swan Lake run :(

 

Even so, I was very surprised to go on the Sadler's website just now and find that there are only 3 scheduled performances of R&J.  What on earth???!!

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1 hour ago, alison said:

 

I'm afraid it clashes completely with ENB's Sleeping Beauty.  Which in turn clashes with the latter part of the RB Swan Lake run :(

 

Even so, I was very surprised to go on the Sadler's website just now and find that there are only 3 scheduled performances of R&J.  What on earth???!!

 

I think the rest of the week is taken up with the mixed programme.  Standard format of a touring week for areas still lucky enough to get mixed programmes.

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