Jump to content

Birmingham Royal Ballet - Sleeping Beauty, Spring 2024


Recommended Posts

Not really what I was thinking of, but:

 

"Please note there is an increased number of roadworks currently taking place in the proximity of Mayflower Theatre and MAST Mayflower Studios. We strongly advise anyone visiting us to allow enough time to get to our venues." :(

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If anyone has access to the printed copy of the Telegraph a friend has just sent me a photograph of the picture of Ms Hirata as Aurora.  She seems to have changed her first name!

 

I'll let people guess for a while...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 09/02/2024 at 13:24, Jan McNulty said:

If anyone has access to the printed copy of the Telegraph a friend has just sent me a photograph of the picture of Ms Hirata as Aurora.  She seems to have changed her first name!

 

I'll let people guess for a while...


 

Miss Hirata is now Komodo Hirata according to the Telegraph!

 

I can’t wait to read your reports.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 09/02/2024 at 13:24, Jan McNulty said:

If anyone has access to the printed copy of the Telegraph a friend has just sent me a photograph of the picture of Ms Hirata as Aurora.  She seems to have changed her first name!

 

I'll let people guess for a while...

Apparently cyberspace was so appalled by the error that it refused to show me an online picture of it! I guessed Moana (a sequel is due for release), Mimosa and Mom, but never would have guessed that! Hope someone from BRB wrote in to tell them to publish an apology and a correction! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BRB have a real winner with this production of Sleeping  Beauty.  Lots of good things and only a few minor niggles.  The programme is very good value at £5 with lots of photos and articles.  A cast sheet for that performance was given out with it.  I don't know if you can just ask for a cast sheet.  The audience was very much as you would expect for a Saturday matinee, but all were very well behaved.  Unfortunately as normal for this time of year there was qute a lot of coughing - but there were moments when the magic took hold and there was total silence - you could hear a pin drop.

 

The overall production and costumes are very sumptous, set in 17th Century for the Prologue and Act I, very Louis XIV in feel.  All the Courtiers had cloaks with long sweeping trains and there were a few moments when the person behind stepped on the hem or the wearer did when turning the corner.  The six fairies were wearing a sort of short bell tutu..  Very pretty, but the colours were a bit similar and there wasn't enough to differentiate them.  The Lilac Fairy in this production is a "walking" role, with a beautiful full length costume, elgantly portrayed by Eilis Small.  This provided a good foil for Carabosse, danced by Daria Stanciulescu who was excellent as were her attendants!  This role is also danced by a man at other performances.

 

The Fairies danced their solos prettily but I feel need more time to settle in to their roles.  The sixth Fairy was the Fairy of Joy, dancing the solo normally performed by the Lilac Fairy.  Their Cavaliers were excellent.  My only niggle is that the baby was not realistic and didn't seem to have much of a christening robe.  I would have expected something more ornate.  An interval of 15 minutes followed.

 

Act II followed the normal pattern.  Aurora was danced by Yu Kurihara who is only a First Soloist at present, but will surely have a bright future.  She was gorgeous, possessing a beautiful classical line with lovely use of upper body and epaulment.  She had masses of stage presence and a radiant smile, and a sensitive musicality.  You really believed in the excited 16 year old enjoying her birthday party, apparently delighted to be presented with four suitors.  The Rose Adagio went well with just a few moments of tension in the early balances, and she had more confidence in the later promende turn and balance.  The forest growing as the Lilac Fairy sent everyone to sleep was excellent!  This was followed by a three minutes pause.

 

Act II again followed a traditional pattern with Lachlan Monaghan as Prince Florimund with the hunting party, and then the vision scene which was beautiful.  My only caveat here is that Aurora asleep is framed by an opening through the forest, and it seemed rather small, I am not sure whether everyone would be able to see what was happening.    A 15 minute interval folowed.

 

Act III had lovely decor in warm tones and made me think of the lost Amber room.  The Court were now in the 18th Centruy all wearing powdered wigs and appropriate costumes.  The Fairy tale characters all danced well and entertained the children around us.  The Grand Pas de Deux really was grandiose and provided a perfect climax to the performance. Yu Kurihara was every inch a ballerina, well partnered by Lachlan Monaghan wose own dancing is light and good technically. 

 

So all in all an excellent afternoon, and I would recommend getting your tickets to see this production which deserves congratulations to all involved.  As a last comment I must mention the orchestra who played well conducted by Paul Murphy.  The cast sheet has Robert Gibbs as the leader and I presume he played the violin solos which were lovely, and my companions and I felt he should have gone on stage at the end for a bow!

 

 

 

  

Edited by Pas de Quatre
Sp
  • Like 14
  • Thanks 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think I need to add much to Pas de Quatre's report, really, except to say that the production as a whole is absolutely sumptuous (think Act III of the Royal Ballet's Swan Lake, but with even more glamorous costumes), and there are some interesting interpolations which I don't think I've seen elsewhere.  These include some music, completely unknown to me, for a brief scene of grieving for the apparent "death" of Aurora, leading into the King addressing the (still-disguised) Carabosse, saying "look what you have done" and sentencing her to death (the knitters often present at the beginning of the act have no place here) before she reveals her identity, some additional dances in Act II, and that act ending with a pas de deux (not, I think, the Ashton one) for Aurora and her Prince to the "Awakening" pas de deux music, after which he carries her off-stage in a somewhat downbeat ending.  I think this is the only production I've seen which has the Prologue - Act I/Act II - Act III split, which takes a bit of getting used to.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Pas de Quatre you mentioned that at other performances Carabosse is danced by a man.

 

As far as I am aware, in this production Carabosse has not been danced by a man since the wonderful David Morse retired.  Do you have some sort of inkling that Carabosse may be danced by a man in this run?

 

I thought both Chi Cao and James Barton would have been wonderful as Carabosse in comparatively recent times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lent my programme to one of my companions for a few days, so I can't double check, but I am sure it said the role of Carabosse will also be danced by a man. Perhaps someone else can confirm?

Alison, I agree the Awakening is somewhat underwhelming.

Edited by Pas de Quatre
Add sentence
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:

@Pas de Quatre you mentioned that at other performances Carabosse is danced by a man.

 

As far as I am aware, in this production Carabosse has not been danced by a man since the wonderful David Morse retired.  Do you have some sort of inkling that Carabosse may be danced by a man in this run?

 

I thought both Chi Cao and James Barton would have been wonderful as Carabosse in comparatively recent times.

According to the downloadable cast sheets on the BRB website Gabriel Anderson danced Carabosse on Friday 9 Feb.  I wasn't there so can't confirm it personally but that's what it said happened. 

 

Personally I definitely prefer the role danced by a woman.  I've seen various clips of men doing it and it never works for me very well (but then I don't really like men taking female roles in general as it doesn't really work for me on a personal level).  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That was one of the few things I did like about the Royal Ballet's short-lived Makarova production.  Edward Watson and Thiago Soares were both great in the role.  I was sad when I heard that in the replacement (current) production it would only be danced by women, although given the costume I can understand why.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I rather liked Carabosse being a woman.  In this production you could read it as a mirror image of the Lilac Fairy, good versus evil.  Also referring back to our conversations about BRB's Cinderella, in this case Evil isn't ugly all the time.  Carabosse is very beautiful and elegant until she gets angry and then the spite distorts her.  Daria Stanciulescu captured this perfectly and gave a wonderful dramtic account of the role.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Pas de Quatre said:

I rather liked Carabosse being a woman.  In this production you could read it as a mirror image of the Lilac Fairy, good versus evil.

 

Yes, I totally agree.  I may have to wait until Sadler's Wells to see how the role sits on a man.

 

BTW, I have to say how lucky I was with this performance.  I'd booked it last spring on what I seem to remember was a very generous Early Bird booking offer, and then the rail travel voucher I got when I last went to see BRB in Birmingham and all the Avanti services were cancelled due to a lineside fire or something and I had to come back via Chiltern Railways was just enough to cover my train fare. Bargain :)  And all the trains behaved!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, alison said:

 

BTW, I have to say how lucky I was with this performance.  I'd booked it last spring on what I seem to remember was a very generous Early Bird booking offer, 

Unfortunately we had booked early, before the offer came out, so we were not happy to have paid substantially more!  As a result we are not going to book for Cinderella next year at present and will wait for offers. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, ChrisG said:

It's just been announced that Matthew Ball is guesting on the evenings of February 24th and 29th!

Ooh exciting.  I'm sorry I'm not there for those performances. I'm sure he'll be a massive hit.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And the press release:

 

W1Jx01fc22Fnu45rGna93JMHn5hXiyudSxMir5hiak6gJ-xJNKUYkmKw0dZfKuPeSQXUeAYEbzUvGQPrXGyG170SZuIG91HUGbaEe6oj_YqaFkH6tnXXecpKI9ac-LPe2gmKv2bwMZtmOP2649zw6g

PRESS RELEASE
16 February 2024

 

THE ROYAL BALLET’S MATTHEW BALL 
TO GUEST STAR IN

BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET’S 
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY AT BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME

 

tCVXApe5QrAKScT0N0XNL5k_mC9Z62YdaKu95DPvXjV0xkE0C9Y6mgg3rF1gurVNyTcfO-u_MheYko-Ghs0cuC79POdaySI8cIqcKPkmhDvuDkX2NQ0gDmGDKAiOJ0rDzhSSoHyHwjQd
Matthew Ball

Birmingham Royal Ballet has today announced that Royal Ballet Principal Dancer, Matthew Ball will guest star with the Company for the first time in The Sleeping Beauty alongside BRB principal dancer Céline Gittens at Birmingham Hippodrome on Saturday 24 February, 7.30pm and Thursday 29 February, 7.30pm.

Born in Liverpool, Matthew Ball trained at The Royal Ballet School and joined The Royal Ballet during the 2013/14 Season, promoted to First Artist in 2015, Soloist in 2016, First Soloist in 2017 and Principal dancer in 2018.

Ball’s roles with The Royal Ballet include Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), Romeo (Romeo and Juliet), Apollo, Armand, Prince Florimund and Bluebird (The Sleeping Beauty), Prince (The Nutcracker), Crown Prince Rudolf (Mayerling), Des Grieux (Manon). In 2016 he was named Best Emerging Artist at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. He also performed the role of The Swan/Stranger in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake.

Matthew Ball said: “I am thrilled to be offered the chance to perform as a guest principal with  Birmingham Royal Ballet this coming week in The Sleeping Beauty. Peter Wright's wonderful productions have formed an integral part of my career in The Royal Ballet and I can't wait to appear in his sumptuous interpretation of this classic! It will be my pleasure to dance alongside the fantastic Céline Gittens and the entire BRB company for the first time.”

Following a sell-out success with one of the most talked about theatrical events of 2023 with Black Sabbath - The Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet has returned to the stage with one of the Company’s most beloved classics, Sir Peter Wright’s sumptuous staging of The Sleeping Beauty.

Marking the production’s 40th anniversary year, the 2024 UK tour opened last week at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton where the production played until Saturday 10 February. The tour then continues to Birmingham Hippodrome (21 Feb-2 Mar), The Lowry, Salford (7-9 Mar), Sunderland Empire (14-16 Mar), Theatre Royal, Plymouth (20-23 Mar), Bristol Hippodrome (18-20 Apr) and London’s Sadler’s Wells (24-27 Apr).

For full casting information and performance dates visit brb.org.uk/SleepingBeauty.

The 2024 tour of The Sleeping Beauty follows on from the 2023 UK tour of Sir Peter Wright’s Swan Lake -BRB’s most successful spring tour to date, having been seen by over 53,000 people.

Last seen on UK stages over six years ago, The Sleeping Beauty continues Birmingham Royal Ballet’s legacy of presenting the acclaimed heritage classics and celebrating the beloved work of its founder, Sir Peter Wright. The Sleeping Beauty is the fourth of Sir Peter Wright’s productions to be presented by the company since autumn 2022, following Coppélia, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake. The acclaimed Royal Ballet Sinfonia performs Tchaikovsky’s glorious score live, with designs by Philip Prowse and lighting design by Mark Jonathan. 

Listings:

Birmingham Hippodrome
21 February–2 March 2024

The Lowry, Salford
7–9 March 2024

Sunderland Empire
14–16 March 2024

Theatre Royal Plymouth
20–23 March 2024

Bristol Hippodrome
18 - 20 April 2024

Sadler’s Wells, London
24 - 27 April 2024

Choreography: Peter Wright, Lev Ivanov, Marius Petipa

Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Production: Peter Wright

Designs: Philip Prowse

Lighting: Mark Jonathan

Notes to Editors: 

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Based at Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham Royal Ballet is the United Kingdom’s leading touring ballet 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 since January 2020 is the internationally renowned Carlos Acosta.

Birmingham Royal Ballet standardly performs at Birmingham Hippodrome for approximately ten weeks of the year and the remainder of the year tours throughout the United Kingdom and overseas. On average, the Company performs 100 shows a year nationally and internationally.

The Royal Ballet Sinfonia

The Royal Ballet Sinfonia is Birmingham Royal Ballet’s permanent orchestra, it is also Britain's busiest ballet orchestra. The Sinfonia also plays frequently for The Royal Ballet and other leading ballet companies, including performances withParis 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.

 
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ball's starting to make a habit of February Sleeping Beauty jump-ins: this is the second year in a row! I suppose BRB might be running a bit short of male Principals right now, with Morales leaving during the run. I wonder what they will do for the rest of the run, given Ball's RB committments presumably won't allow him to do all the other venues Bello was due to do.

 

Incidentally, while looking at the BRB casting just now to see how many other venues Bello was due to dance at, I see that Samara Downs has been replaced by Sofia Linares, which I haven't seen mentioned on here.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Dawnstar said:

Ball's starting to make a habit of February Sleeping Beauty jump-ins: this is the second year in a row! I suppose BRB might be running a bit short of male Principals right now, with Morales leaving during the run. I wonder what they will do for the rest of the run, given Ball's RB committments presumably won't allow him to do all the other venues Bello was due to do.

 

Incidentally, while looking at the BRB casting just now to see how many other venues Bello was due to dance at, I see that Samara Downs has been replaced by Sofia Linares, which I haven't seen mentioned on here.

Bello might be back for his later performances. 

Seems like the potential crossover with Black Sabbath fans returning to try a traditional ballet hasn't materialised.  Except for matinees, ticket sales for the Birmingham dates are slow with midweek evenings very poor.   Even Cesar Morales last show on 28th February has more unsold than sold seats.  I sincerely hope that sales pick up. 

Edited by PeterS
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...