Birmingham Royal Ballet 2023-2024 Season

Birmingham Royal Ballet 2023-2024 Season

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Posted 2023-06-01 by dpmfollow

Thu 08 Jun 2023 - Sat 23 Mar 2024

Birmingham Royal Ballet director Carlos Acosta is ensuring there is something for everyone with an ambitious season featuring much-loved classics, an exciting Triple Bill and the world premiere of the ground-breaking Black Sabbath – The Ballet.

Carlos is keen to blend BRB’s rich tradition of works with new pieces which give audiences opportunities to see the full range of talent within the company. And so the June Triple Bill features three very different pieces - former BRB artistic director David Bintley’s ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café, George Balanchine’s Apollo and Juliano Nunes’ Interlinked.



Carlos says: “This Triple Bill gives something for everybody. It makes a very good package for the audience and for the dancers as they are also trying different styles of dancing. I’m trying not to be predictable all the time so we are offering audiences three different pieces in one evening. There’s what, in the context of this Triple Bill, could be seen as the beginning which is Apollo by George Balanchine. It is a 1928 piece but it’s still very relevant today and feels very modern. It’s simple in a way as it’s only white tights and a couple of props and yet it’s 25 minutes of delight. It’s one of my favourite pieces.

Carlos was also keen to see the return of Nunes’ Interlinked which formed part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival last summer. “Interlinked shows the company very well, it’s modern but classically based, and was a great hit with the audience. Its theme of being gender-neutral is something that is so much in discussion at the moment so it’s very inclusive from that perspective. This feels very much that it is showing the company now.”

And the finale of ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café, set to music originally composed for the Penguin Café Orchestra, features a range of colourful characters including a morris-dancing flea and penguin waiters but all the creatures are endangered. “Penguin Café is more relevant than ever as it looks at climate change,” says Carlos. “It’s a very popular work so we are delighted to be bringing it back. From BRB performing at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony to Black Sabbath with everything in-between, I think people get what we are trying to do. We may have raised some eyebrows but people love that kind of boldness – we want to surprise people and we want to bring new people in to see ballet.

As part of the celebration of the Triple Bill, BRB is also holding its first dance performance at the Mostly Jazz Festival on July 8 and 9. The piece will be created as part of the Penguin Performance Project, led by the company’s Learning, Engagement, Access and Participation Department in partnership with Performers College.

Inspired by ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café, the project sees BRB principal Lachlan Monaghan and artist Rosanna Ely co-choreographing work with students to create multiple pop-up performances at the festival in a carnival-style party.

Birmingham Royal Ballet will also be performing on the main stage for the first time at this year’s Birmingham Pride on Saturday May 27. Audiences can expect to see pieces such as the pas de deux from Interlinked with principal dancers Brandon Lawrence and Tuzu-Chao Chou.

The world premiere of the new BRB work Black Sabbath – The Ballet in September is hotly anticipated.



Featuring the music of Birmingham’s iconic rock band, the show sold out almost immediately. “I had an intuition that it was going to be a great hit, but to be sold out seven months before opening night – that was incredible and a pleasant surprise I might add,” says Carlos. “We will have the music that people know including Paranoia and Iron Man and then it’s our own artistic invention as well. It will be celebratory and will give an indication of why the music and the band means a lot to people but at the same time we have a bit of humour, some reflection and the music will take us to other places at times. It’s a journey and hopefully it will be a hit so the audience will want to see it again and again.”

At Christmas BRB return with the ever-popular The Nutcracker which was unveiled in a newly rebuilt production last November. “I had heard so much about this full production for years and years and when I saw it, I concluded the same as everyone else - that this has to be one of the best Nutcrackers ever,” says Carlos. “And, particularly refurbished with those colours and the dancing of the company, it really is a feast for our eyes – pure entertainment and enjoyment.”

In the New Year the company perform Sir Peter Wright’s Sleeping Beauty, one of the jewels of BRB’s collection of ballets. Carlos is determined that alongside the innovative new works, the dancers will continue to perform such classics. “That is who we are, we are ballet, and works like Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker and Swan Lake show the company at its best,” he says. “They really stretch a dancer’s technique, have beautiful music by Tchaikovsky and look amazing.”

BRB is also developing emerging talent with the launch of BRB2, a new company featuring 12 young dancers sourced from across the globe who perform in BRB’s largescale programme and in their own tailormade repertory which they are touring spring. “We have had a lot of interest in the new company from all across the world and have brought in some very talented young dancers,” Carlos says. “They may not all stay with BRB after the programme but when they are going for auditions elsewhere, when they mention BRB, people will know what that means in terms of classical training and everything else. We are developing them not just for us but for the world so it’s also a way of contributing to other companies.

And Carlos says audiences should be ready for more news as the year progresses. “There is so much happening for BRB now. I’d say look out for other exciting announcements and do come along to the performances and be part of BRB.

For more information and to book tickets for the BRB June Triple Bill see [LINK https://www.brb.org.uk/shows/apollo-interlinked-still-life]
For future events see [LINK https://www.brb.org.uk/whats-on]

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78982 - 2023-05-31 16:20:51

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