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BRB/Royal Ballet Sinfonia - An Evening of Music and Dance 2013


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Birmingham Symphony Hall hosted BRB/Royal Ballet Sinfonia's annual Evening of Music and Dance last night (26th January 2013).  This evening has long been one of my anuual highlights and, IMHO, last night's was one of the best ever!

 

The Sinfonia, under the baton of Paul Murphy, made the most of being on the platform (as opposed to hidden in the pit) and sounded absolutely splendid in this fabulous concert hall.  The dancers have a space the size of a paper hanky to dance on and I think it is a testament to their skill that they are able to pull off the showstopper pieces so magnificently in such a tiny space.

 

The evening was hosted by Deborah Bull with enthusiasm and clarity.

 

I don't feel qualified to comment on the musical items which were:

 

Wagner - Ride of the Valkyries

Butterworth - The Banks of Green Willow

Dvorak - Carnival concert overture op 92

Elgar - The Wild Bears

Massenet - Meditation from Thais - sublimely played by Robert Gibbs

Walton - Coronation March: Orb and Sceptre

 

The musical pieces were interspersed with the danced items.

 

We were given a preview from Aladdin in the form of a pdd for the Princess and Aladdin and a Lion Dance.  The duet was romantic and engaging and ravishingly danced by Nao Sakuma and Cesar Morales.  The lion dance, performed by Mathias Dingman and James Barton, was great fun.  It certainly whetted my appetite for the premiere in a couple of weeks.

 

The next danced item was 3 extracts from Facade - Foxtrot, Popular Song and Tango.  All well danced but I must mention Callie Roberts and Rory MacKay hilariously ditzy and sexy in the Tango.  We also learned that Facade is part of midscale this year - yipeeee!  Ashton's choreography still comes over as fresh as a daisy after over 80 years.

 

This was immediately followed by MacMillan's Pavane exquisitely danced by Delia Matthews and Brandon Lawrence.  Delia and Brandon were incredibly well matched and made this difficult piece look easy.  Let's hope we see more of them together in the future.

 

Jenna Roberts and Iain MacKay were utterly sublime in the duet from Act 2 of Giselle.  Although they were dancing on a concert stage with no setting whatsoever they were totally believable in the roles and I was swept away by their performance.

 

Students from Elmhurst gave a delightful performance of The Ecstasy of Dancing Fleas and were enthusiastically received by the audience.

 

The final danced item, which rounded off the evening, was Nao Sakuma and Mathias Dingman giving a truly enthraliing account of Tchaikovsky PDD.  Nao, so delicate and precise danced with such verve and attack.  Mathias can only be described as absolutely sensational.  His hoppy-turny-things (technical term, not!) were jaw-droppingly awesome.  This was a spectacular end to a truly entertaining evening and deservedly brought the house down.

 

I can't wait for next year's now!

Edited by Janet McNulty
Edited to correct a couple of spelling mistakes
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I have to agree with you wholeheartedly Janet. This was the first time I had attended such an evening and I could have wept with delight and/or jumped up and down like an excited two year old several times throughout the performance.

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