Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
Romantic Ballet Returns In Valentines Day Week
The enchanting ballet of fairytale Cinderella is set to sweep audiences into a magical world with the return of the famous Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) production.
Birmingham Royal Ballet's stunning ballet of Cinderella returns
Broadcast by the BBC as the 2010 Christmas Ballet, this BRB version of Cinderella gained acclaim after winning the Best Classical Choreography prize at the prestigious 2011 Critic's Circle National Dance Awards for David Bintley's elegant choreographic work.
This romantic ballet returns to Birmingham Hippodrome from February 15 to 25 as part of a UK tour that also includes Southampton's Mayflower Theatre, The Lowry in Salford, Plymouth's Theatre Royal and the Sunderland Empire between January and March.
Cinderella is a two and a half hour ballet over three acts which recreates the story featuring the well known characters like the wicked stepmother, ugly sisters, fairy Godmother and of course, the Prince.
This production of Cinderella premiered in 2010 and features the original score by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev but with distinctive choreography by BRB Company Director David Bintley.
Sumptous scenery and costumes in Cinderella
Along with the dancing, there are also sumptuous costumes and set accessories including a giant ticking clock, stunning carriage to take Cinderella to the ball plus dancing lizards, mice and a frog.
In a break from modern adaptations of Cinderella, choreographer David Bintley returned to the original idea of having ballerinas as the two sisters - Skinny and Dumpy - who are 'ugly on the inside', rather than being played by two men. He also added a short prologue showing Cinderella and her father at her mother's graveside. This also helps introduce the wicked stepmother, who comes to dominate the family.
The set design is so intricate that the logistics of moving Cinderella around the country is described by BRB as being comparable to a major rock tour - using 10 articulated lorries packed with scenery, props, lighting rigs, rails of costumes and flight cases of wigs.
Artist Emily Smith poses in front of part of Cinderella's giant clock that stands ready to be loaded as the production heads on tour
The production is created by 50 backstage staff and nearly 40 dancers every night along with the exquisite work by the 64 orchestra musicians and conductor in the talented Royal Ballet Sinfonia that brings Prokofiev's romantic musical score to life.
In fact, the tour includes 31 rails of costumes, eight baskets of shoes, 78 wigs, 250 hair rollers, 1,000 hair pins, 174 complete costumes, 20 fat suits, 44 tutus and 2 washing machines and dryers.
The giant clock as it appears in Cinderella ballet
Principals at Birmingham Royal Ballet will take turns playing the lead roles during the tour. Dancing as Cinderella over several nights will be Momoko Hirata, Nao Sakuma, Delia Mathews, Maureya Lebowitz, Yaoqian Shang, Miki Mizutani and Jenna Roberts.
Performing as the Prince on the tour will be Joseph Caley, Chi Cao, Mathias Dingman, César Morales, Tyrone Singleton and William Bracewell.
Cinderella Tour Dates
Tickets cost from £16 by visiting the BRB website.
Mayflower Theatre – Southampton
Wednesday 25 January - Saturday 28 January
25 & 27 January, 19.30
26 & 28 January, 14.00 and 19.30
First Steps: A Child's Cinderella 27 January 13.00
Pre-performance talk 27 January 18.30
Company class on stage 28 January 10.45
Audience open day 28 January 12.00
Birmingham Hippodrome – Birmingham
Wednesday 15 - Saturday 25 February
15, 17, 22, 24 February, 19.30
16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 25 February, 14.30 and 19.30
First Steps: A Child's Cinderella 17 February 13.00
Pre-performance talk 17 February 18.30
Touch tour & audio described performance 18 February 10.30
Company class on stage 18 February 11.15
Audience open day 18 February 12.30
The Lowry – Salford
Wednesday 1 - Saturday 4 March
1 & 3 March, 19.30
2 & 4 March, 14.00 and 19.30
First Steps: A Child's Cinderella 3 March 13.00
Pre-performance talk 3 March 18.30
Company class on stage 4 March 10.45
Audience open day 4 March 12.00
Theatre Royal – Plymouth
Wednesday 8 - Saturday 11 March
8 & 10 March, 19.30
9 & 11 March, 14.00 and 19.30
First Steps: A Child's Cinderella 10 March 13.00
Pre-performance talk 10 March 18.30
Company class on stage 11 March 11.15
Audience open day 11 March 12.30
Sunderland Empire – Sunderland
Thursday 16 March - Saturday 18 March
16 March, 19.30
17 March, 14.00 and 19.30
18 March, 14.00
Pre-performance talk 17 March 18.30
Company class on stage 18 March 10.45