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BRB's annual Evening of Music and Dance - 17th Feb 2012

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Well, last Friday was an evening full of delight showing yet again why BRB's annual Evening of Music and Dance at the Brirmingham Symphony Hall is one of the highlights of my ballet-watching year!


Koen Kessels (BRB's Music Director) conducted the evening for the first time with obvious enthusiasm and enjoyment. The augmented orchestra sounded fantastic in this lovely concert hall. I very much enjoyed all the musical selections. Here is a run-down of the evening (I don't know enough about music to comment on the non-danced sections):


David Bintley compared the evening and was a delightful host full of amusing anecdotes. Long may he continue in this capacity at these evenings.

  • Shostakovich - Festive Overture in A major; op 96
  • Checkmate - Dance of the Four Knights and entry of the Black Queen - Victoria Marr incredibly regal and alluring - it was easy to see why Iain Mackay's Red Knight fell for her.
  • Lehar - Gold and Silver Waltz
  • Ansell - Plymouth Hoe - danced by students from Elmhurst School for Dance - brought the house down
  • Ravel - Daphnis and Chloe Suite no 2
  • Two Pigeons - reconciliation duet. Jenna Roberts and Robert Parker were just sublime together. Sitting on the front row, we were very close indeed and it was a joy to see not only the beautiful dancing and body language but the wonderfully subtle expressions on their faces. Obviously in this setting, this piece is completely out of context but Jenna and Robert managed to transport us to Paris and make us believe in them. I was moved to tears and I am sure a lot of the audience felt the same.
  • Saint-Saens - Bacchanale from Samson et Delila
  • Far from the Madding Crowd, Bathsheba and Troy duet - Elisha Willis and Iain Mackay - WOW, WOW, WOW.
  • Puccini - Intermezzo from Manon Lescaut
  • Coppelia - Ear of Corn dance - Laetitia lo Sardo and Joseph Caley and the ladies of the corps were an absolute delight in this piece.
  • Franck - Lento from Part 2 of Psyche
  • Le Corsaire pdd - Nao Sakuma and Chi Cao completed the evening in dazzling, virtuoso style. What always strikes me when these gala pieces are performed here (usually by Nao and Chi) is the control they have to use to stay within the tiny dancing area and how the dancers still manage to make them spectacular. Le Corsaire was no exception - Nao and Chi were enthralling and they brought the house down.

As you can see, it was an evening of many delights and I came out on a real high.

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