Birmingham Royal Ballet 2016 – 2017 Season
• The world premiere of David Bintley’s new ballet The Tempest, with a commissioned score by Sally Beamish
• Sir Peter Wright’s beloved classic The Nutcracker returns to the Hippodrome stage
• Bintley’s Cinderella enchants Birmingham audiences after an absence of five years
• A new ballet by Company member Ruth Brill arrives as part of a summer season which celebrates the British ballet tradition of storytelling
• Plenty of family-friendly performances, including weekday and weekend matinees and the return of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s popular First Steps
• Flexible range of ticket prices from as little as £10 with a generous choice of concessionary rates, making ballet accessible for all
Birmingham Royal Ballet announces the 2016/2017 Birmingham Hippodrome season, the 27th season at its home theatre in the Midlands. The season will celebrate the Company’s varied repertory, from the spectacular new The Tempest in the autumn through to the return of The Nutcracker for Christmas and Coppélia in the summer of 2017. Over the course of the season, the Company will perform four full-length classic ballets and a programme of shorter works to include the return of Michael Corder’s Le Baiser de la fée, John Cranko’s Pineapple Poll and a brand new ballet from Company member Ruth Brill called Arcadia.
During the 16/17 season Birmingham Royal Ballet will continue to focus on creating new works and presenting quality productions at affordable ticket prices. The company has held most of its prices for the last few seasons and from October 2016 a flexible range of prices will enable the company to offer tickets from as little as £10 with a generous range of concessionary rates available to many. This is designed to open up the work of Birmingham Royal Ballet to a greater audience and make productions such as the company’s highly acclaimed mixed bills accessible to all.
Birmingham Royal Ballet are also opening their doors for audiences to see what goes on in preparation for a show through a host of extremely popular pre-performance talks and open Company classes. Pre-performance talks take place at 6.30pm prior to each Friday evening show at Birmingham Hippodrome; these special introductory talks with members of the Company last approximately 30 minutes and are free to ticket holders and BRB Friends. Each Saturday morning during the performance season Birmingham Royal Ballet offers a rare glimpse into the Company’s daily class. This exciting opportunity to find out what a ballet dancer does to prepare for a performance is not to be missed. The open classes are free to BRB Friends and £10 for members of the public and last 75 minutes.
Throughout the season, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s 60 full-time dancers from across the world will be accompanied by Britain’s busiest ballet orchestra, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. The Sinfonia, under the musical directorship of Koen Kessels, with Principal Conductor Paul Murphy and Conductor Philip Ellis, plays for Birmingham Royal Ballet’s wide-ranging programme in the UK and abroad.
The Tempest 1 – 8 October 2016
The 16/17 Birmingham season begins with The Tempest. David Bintley’s newest ballet draws Prospero’s magical isle from Shakespeare’s great play into a spectacular new work of ballet theatre.
At once enchanting and elemental, this Tempest presents a man determined to right past wrongs by the means of his mysterious powers. With a newly commissioned score by acclaimed composer Sally Beamish, and designs by Rae Smith (The Prince of the Pagodas, War Horse), The Tempest promises to be the event of the season.
The Tempest forms the final celebration of the Company’s series of ballets based on the writings of William Shakespeare and is a work that David Bintley has been developing for several years. Expect storms and shipwrecks, puppets and drowning men, sorcery and tricks. It will feature memorable characters and an interpretation of this beloved stage play in ways that only ballet can offer.
The Nutcracker 25 November – 13 December 2016
There’s no better sign that Christmas is approaching than the arrival of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s beloved production of The Nutcracker. Brimming with festive energy, this ballet charms young and old alike.
When a young girl sneaks downstairs on Christmas eve to play with her new nutcracker doll she is swept up in a fantastic journey filled with toy soldiers, a sugar plum fairy and of course her handsome prince. This world-famous production by Sir Peter Wright, with exquisite designs by John Macfarlane, is acclaimed as one of the best in the world.
Created 26 years ago as a gift to the city of Birmingham in thanks for the warm welcome to the Company, this production has grown into a must-see treat and a festive celebration for families. This season will feature the 500th performance of the production by Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Cinderella 15 – 25 February 2017
February is greeted by a blaze of light and colour with the return of a modern classic, Cinderella. It illuminates a young woman’s story of love, sorrow and magical transformation.
Not seen in Birmingham since 2012, this enchanting fairy-tale is a glorious celebration of ballet, taking a neglected and mistreated girl out of the kitchen and into the starry realm of her dreams. With designs by John Macfarlane (The Nutcracker) and a spellbinding score by Prokofiev, this Cinderella is an intoxicating work of imagination, praised by audiences and critics alike.
Coppélia 13 – 17 June 2017
Coppélia is one of the beloved evergreens of classical ballet; a sparkling comedy as fresh and funny as it was when it first appeared a hundred and fifty years ago.
Comic chaos is unleashed as Dr Coppélius tries to bring his girl-sized doll to life and one of the village’s young lovers tries everything to stop him. A timeless classic from the golden age of classical ballet, Coppélia, with its tunefully romantic music and lush dances, stands alongside such classics as Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty as one of the great works of the 19th century.
Baiser triple bill
Le Baiser de la fée / Arcadia / Pineapple Poll 21 – 24 June 2017
A showcase of heritage, modern and brand new magical one-act ballets complete the season.
In Le Baiser de la fée a young boy’s life is marked from the moment a fairy saves his life in the snow, unleashing magical joys and sorrows in choreographer Michael Corder’s beautiful interpretation of this classic Hans Christian Anderson tale.
Pineapple Poll, a thoroughly English Gilbert and Sullivan tale of a gang of girls, a crew of sailors and ballet aboard the HMS Hot Cross Bun features the timeless choreography of John Cranko.
Birmingham Royal Ballet First Artist Ruth Brill captures the idyllic lost world of Arcadia in her brand new work for the Company. Inspired by music composed by John Harle, Arcadia is set in the land of the title; an idyllic lost world of perfect bliss, a pastoral paradise. This is the land roamed by Pan, the god of the woods, fields, shepherds and flocks. Arcadia is Ruth Brill’s first main-stage creation for Birmingham Royal Ballet and promises to be dramatic, accessible and otherworldly.