BRB2 Carlos Acosta's Classical Selection

BRB2 Carlos Acosta's Classical Selection

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Posted 2023-04-27 by dpmfollow

Tue 25 Apr 2023 - Sat 24 Jun 2023

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s new company BRB2 shows us what the next generation of dancers is capable of. Launched earlier this year, the new company features emerging artists, picked from dance schools across the globe, bringing them together for their own tours and also to dance with the main BRB company.

This spring sees their first tour with a show, Carlos Acosta’s Classical Selection, packed full of gems that highlight their talent, versatility and skill as performers. Opening at Royal & Derngate in Northampton, the tour takes in five venues including Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.

And although BRB2 is very much about developing talent there is little doubt that its performers already have a great deal of ability and expertise. The programme does indeed feature well-known classical pieces but it also includes contemporary works set to songs.



The first half is largely classical with a repertoire including Frederick Ashton’s Rhapsody pas de deux set to music by Sergei Rachmaninov, an excerpt from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, August Bournonville’s La Sylphide and Agrippina Vaganova’s Diana and Actaeon.

Many of these roles would usually be danced by company principals with years of performance experience behind them and yet the young team at BRB2 more than meet the challenge. Eric Pinto Cata achieves some impressive leaps in La Sylphide while his partner Olivia Chang Clarke is delightful as the fairy.

So too Maïlène Katoch and Mason King bring us the pas de deux from Act II of Swan Lake in which Prince Siegfried and the Swan Princess Odette fall in love layered with tenderness and passion. Alongside this Carlos Acosta’s Dying Swans sees Regan Hutsell and Jack Easton in tremendous performance where every movement is tuned to the finest detail.

Moving into more contemporary dance we have a series of short pieces set to songs. Here we see Frieda Kaden and Jack Easton in a tango-inspired A Buenos Aires set to music by Astor Piazzolla while Regan Hutsell gives us a dramatic solo to Édith Piaf singing Je ne Regrette Bien. And to remind us that dance can also be humorous, Enrique Bejarano Vidal is full of character as a drunken reveller in Ben Van Cauwenbergh’s Les Bourgeois set to Jacques Brel’s song of the same name.



Lucy Waine takes centre stage in a stunning Nisi Dominus, choreographed by Birmingham-born Will Tuckett and Lucy partners Oscar Kempsey-Fagg for an achingly tender End of Time choreographed by Ben Stevenson.

The evening’s finale is an ensemble piece, Jorge Garcia’s Majisimo, which features eight dancers and it is here that we see what the company still has to learn as the timing across the group isn’t always spot on. However, the piece is still performed with plenty of skill and enthusiasm and was clearly popular with the Northampton audience.

Under the artistic coordination of Kit Holder, BRB2 have already come a long way with these performances showing how much talent the company has fostered. With a debut so impressive, BRB2 is certainly going to be a company to watch and many of its dancers will no doubt be gracing international stages as principals in the future.

At Northampton, the show was accompanied by recorded songs, live piano by Jeanette Wong and cello by António Novais and live performance by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. Throughout the rest of the tour, the orchestral music is recorded.

BRB2 in Carlos Acosta’s Classical Selection comes to Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on 24 June, see https://www.grandtheatre.co.uk

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!date 25/4/2023 -- 24/6/2023
77788 - 2023-04-27 08:37:10

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