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 Post subject: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 9:09 am 
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Location: Rugby, UK / Taipei
BRB have released details of their Birmingham programme for 2004-5.

The Nutcracker Sweeties, The Shakespeare Suite, The Orpheus Suite (all Bintley)
Wednesday 6 – Saturday 9 October 2004 at 7.30pm plus Thursday at 2pm and Saturday at 2.30pm.

Concerto Barocco (Balanchine), Enigma Variations (Ashton) and Western Symphony (Balanchine)
Wednesday 13 – Saturday 16 October 2004 at 7.30pm plus Thursday at 2pm and Saturday at 2.30pm.

The Nutcracker (Wright, Ivanov, Redmon)
Friday 3 – Saturday 4 December at 7.30pm;
Sunday 5 December at 4pm;
Tuesday 7 - Saturday 11 December at 7.30pm;
Monday 13 - Wednesday 15 December at 7.30pm;
Plus matinees at 2pm on Friday 3, Tuesday 7, Thursday 9, Monday 13, Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15;
Plus matinees at 2.30pm on Saturday 4 and 11.

Romeo and Juliet (MacMillan)
Tuesday 1 – Saturday 5 March 2005 at 7.30pm plus Wednesday at 2pm and Saturday at 2.30pm.

The Four Seasons (new Hindle), Prodigal Son (Balanchine) and In The Upper Room (Tharp)
Wednesday 9 – Saturday 12 March 2005 at 7.30pm plus Thursday at 2pm and Saturday at 2.30pm.

Duo Concertant (Balanchine), Scènes de ballet (Ashton), The Rite of Spring (Nijinsky)
Wednesday 8 – Saturday 11 June 2005 at 7.30pm plus Thursday at 2pm and Saturday at 2.30pm.

Allegri diversi (Bintley), Brouillards (Cranko) and Elite Syncopations (Bintley)
Friday 17 and Saturday 18 June 2005 at 7.30pm plus Saturday at 2.30pm.

The touring programme is not yet available.


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 Post subject: Re: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:51 am 
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BRB Sadler's Wells dates are now available and booking is open.

Tue 26 (7.30), Wed 27 October (2.30 and 7.30)
Western Symphony, The Two Pigeons

Thu 28 (7.30), Fri 29 (7.30), Sat 30 October (2.30 and 7.30)
The Nutcracker Sweeties, The Orpheus Suite, The Shakespeare Suite


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 Post subject: Re: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 9:23 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Thanks a lot David. I hadn't realised they were coming - goodie, goodie! There are several works I want to see.


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 Post subject: Re: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 5:43 am 
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Location: Rugby, UK / Taipei
More dates:

Plymouth Theatre Royal
Tue 2, Wed 3 November - Western Symphony, The Two Pigeons
Thu 4, Fri 5, Sat 6 November - The Nutcracker Sweeties, The Orpheus Suite, The Shakespeare Suite

Booking expected to open shortly.

I expect there will be the usual Wednesday and Saturday matinees but cannot confirm this at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 8:28 am 
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Quote:
Infectious confections

by ISMENE BROWN
the Daily Telegraph

David Bintley has kicked off Birmingham Royal Ballet's new season with an easy evening of three ballets designed on the child's principle of pudding first, then another pudding, and after that the spinach.
more


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 Post subject: Re: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:49 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Birmingham Royal Ballet

by JUDITH MACKRELL
the Guardian

Not only does the score tell a story, it inspires some of the best choreography of the programme. Bintley has relocated the myth to an idealised Cotton Club, where Apollo, a legendary band leader teaches Orpheus and his band of Argonauts how to swing.
more


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 Post subject: Re: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:05 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Moving portrait of Elgar's friends fizzes with half-hidden emotion

by ZOE ANDERSON
the Independent

The ballet [Enigma Variations] is a picture of friendship, but also of distance. The central dances are full of unspoken feeling, people reaching for expression.
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 Post subject: Re: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2004 12:30 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
It's choreography - in the shape of a very large phone bill

by JANN PARRY
The Observer

Three similar suites [Such Sweet Thunder] turn out to be too unvaried a diet. Though lots of dancers can be seen in solo roles, they have little chance to personalise them. The Nutcracker Sweeties is fun, the sweetmeats updated to fit Ellington's jazz-flavoured take on Tchaikovsky.
more in the second part of the linked article


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 Post subject: Re: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2004 2:50 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Birmingham Royal Ballet
By Allen Robertson in The Times


The title is taken from Duke Ellington, who lifted it from Shakespeare. It’s the name Ellington gave to his sensational jazz suite evoking the playwright’s characters, commissioned in 1956 for the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. Much of this music was used by the choreographer David Bintley five years ago for The Shakespeare Suite.

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*****************************

Sweet Thunder triple bill
by David Dougill for The Sunday Times:

For Birmingham Royal Ballet’s triple bill, entitled Such Sweet Thunder (at the Hippodrome and touring), David Bintley has revived his two popular Duke Ellington ballets, The Nutcracker Sweeties and The Shakespeare Suite, and he completes his tribute to the Duke with an Ellington- inspired premiere, The Orpheus Suite. This has a new big-band jazz score by Colin Towns, who conducts a rollicking performance by his own Mask Orchestra.

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 Post subject: Re: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 6:48 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Puzzling scowls, good-time girls, and the vision of a genius

by ISMENE BROWN
the Daily Telegraph

First, a puzzle. Ballet people often complain at the quality of music they get to dance to, and then they get Bach's heavenly Double Violin Concerto to dance to, in Balanchine's angelic Concerto Barocco - and perform it without any relish.
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 Post subject: Re: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:51 am 
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Location: London
Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler’s Wells, 26 October 2004 Western Symphony (Balanchine)
The Two Pigeons (Ashton)

It’s fantastic to see BRB back in London after a longish absence. I haven’t seen the company since the last time it was here, and my impression from the first of two programmes it is performing at Sadler’s Wells was that this ensemble is looking stronger and more confident than the last time.

The programme opened with George Balanchine’s Western Symphony (1954). The ballet has a good natured flavour of an idealised American West, populated by swaggering cowboys and pert women. The choreography seamlessly blends Balanchine’s neo-classical style with popular and social dance steps and the whole adds up to a gently amusing and agreeable curtain raiser, though not something I felt set the stage on fire. I enjoyed the performances of all eight dancers in the principal roles, but was particularly impressed by Carol-Anne Millar and Michael Revie in the difficult third movement.

I had never seen Ashton’s The Two Pigeons (1961) before, though had read much about it. I found it a charming period piece, but it didn’t engage me emotionally at all. My personal preference is for a bit more emotional realism in my narrative ballets, and this mild and sentimental coming of age love story didn’t do it for me in that sense. Because I felt very much on the outside of the action, the ballet just kind of washed over me, albeit in a very pleasant way.

But this didn’t stop me appreciating its appeal and Ashton’s choreography. The highlight is the final pas de deux for the Young Girl and the Young Man (why is she a girl and he a man, by the way?) which has some wonderful melting moments and ends up kitschly with the dancers being joined on stage by two pigeons (supposedly perching on the chair, but one had other ideas last night and placed itself smugly centre stage instead). I also enjoyed the Gypsy Girl’s solo in the second act, muscularly danced by Molly Smollen, and liked the choreography and poses for the dancers in the first act, inspired by the birds of the title. And the ballet certainly looks gorgeous – the set for the studio in Paris is very atmospheric and the costumes were lovely, particularly the Degas-esque dresses for the Young Girl and her friends.

There was gorgeous dancing as well. Robert Parker was extremely impressive as the rather immature Young Man who thinks the grass is greener with the showy Gypsy Girl than with his current, sweeter squeeze, Nao Sakuma’s Young Girl. He’s a terrific dancer and gave a charismatic and compelling performance and instilled his character with real substance. Sukuma also danced beautifully and acted convincingly enough that the lovely reconciliation pas de deux seemed the dignified culmination of a growing up process, rather than the action of a weak woman letting her errant man off the hook. Molly Smollen’s performance as the Gypsy Girl was glitteringly effective, though by the end of the ballet I had tired somewhat of the rather sterile shimmying of the gypsies.


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 Post subject: Re: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:24 am 
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Posts: 9
Does anyone know how Sonia Aguilar and Momoko Hirata are doing? They are two very promising dancers. Would love to hear opinions! Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 12:14 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
The Two Pigeons Sadler's Wells Theatre, London

By CLEMENT CRISP
The Financial Times
October 28, 2004

Here is a masterpiece of sentiment, of young love, of musical felicity (Messager's touch so beguiling in melody, so elegant) with Ashton grandly responsive to story, to score, to the youthful talents - Lynn Seymour, Elizabeth Anderton, Christopher Gable - for whom he made it in 1961. And Birmingham's artists take joyously to it. Every pitfall of sentimentality is avoided.
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 Post subject: Re: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 12:41 am 
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Quote:
Birmingham Royal Ballet

By JUDITH MACKRELL
The Guardian
October 28, 2004

Frederick Ashton's Two Pigeons is a ballet that's always divided audiences. While fans are charmed by the fantasy in which its story of troubled young love is echoed by the pair of live pigeons fluttering on stage, sceptics see too much of the choreography reverting to a default level of cuteness.
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 Post subject: Re: Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 1:15 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Birmingham Royal Ballet at Sadler's Wells
By Debra Crane for The Times


THE centenaries of two great choreographers are being marked in 2004, and for its first visit to London in three years Birmingham Royal Ballet is honouring both of them. The double bill that arrived at Sadler’s Wells on Tuesday (and which moves to the Theatre Royal in Plymouth next week) pairs George Balanchine’s Western Symphony with Frederick Ashton’s The Two Pigeons. Both, in their way, are ideal examples of their makers’ styles, and both are true audience pleasers.

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