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Birmingham Royal Ballet - ‘Still Life’

8 June 2023 to 24 June 2023 Birmingham Hippodrome

Image: @www.brb.org.uk
Three contrasting ballets created across the last 100 years featuring George Balanchine’s Apollo, and BRB’s acclaimed new ballet Interlinked, choreographed by Juliano Nunes, that was commissioned for the Commonwealth Games’ Birmingham 2022 Festival, and David Bintley’s poignant look at human impact on the world, ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café.

A colourful host of endangered animals seek shelter from the storm in Sir David Bintley’s ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café. Featuring a morris-dancing flea, a ballroom-dancing ram, a hoe-downing rat, a majestic zebra and many more, this is a witty and enjoyable, yet bittersweet and poignant look at humankind’s effect on the world. Danced to Simon Jeffes’s score, originally composed for the Penguin Café Orchestra, it was last performed by the Company in 2017, and was created in 1988 when Bintley was resident choreographer at the Royal Ballet.

Balanchine’s celebrated early masterpiece Apollo highlights the genius of its then 24-year old creator, and launched his lifelong partnership with the composer Igor Stravinsky. This pristine ballet was regarded by Balanchine as his artistic coming of age. Its pared-back elegance gives the perfect platform for the Company’s dancers, and the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, to shine. 

Young Brazilian choreographer Juliano Nunes’s Interlinked was premiered in summer 2022 as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival. Featuring a specially composed score by Australian composer Luke Howard, and lighting design from Netherlands-based Northern Irish designer Tom Visser, this international team created an abstract piece that explores themes of unity, the influences that we have on each other’s lives, and how the energy that we exude bounces from one person to the next, in a never ending circle.  The piece for 16 dancers will also explore themes around gender identity and the perception of self, falling into four distinct movements.

Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet Carlos Acosta said:  ‘This programme really has something for everyone and demonstrates a continuation of our desire at BRB to present and perform work that highlights the company’s rich repertoire whilst presenting new works by the best choreographers of today. Apollo is a piece that is very close to my heart, having danced it many times. It has not been performed by BRB dancers in 17 years and will get this triple bill off to a beautifully classical start. Juliano Nunes’ ballet Interlinked was commissioned and premiered just this year but there is a real appetite to see it again. My predecessor Sir David Bintley has created so many wonderful ballets for the company that are loved by audiences, ‘Still Life’ is more relevant than ever in its message about endangered species and is a call to protect the environment. It provides a wonderful way to bring children and young people into the theatre for a really varied experience.’

 Listings:

‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café triple bill, featuring Apollo and Interlinked

8 – 11 June 2023, Birmingham HIppodrome
Thursday 8th June 7.30pm (Press Night) ; Friday 9th & Saturday 10th June 2.30pm & 7.30pm; Sunday 11th 2.30pm

 Apollo

Choreography George Balanchine, Music Igor Stravinsky, Lighting Peter Tiegen

Interlinked
Choreography: Juliano Nunes, Music: Luke Howard, Lighting: Tom Visser

‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café

Choreography Sir David Bintley, Music Simon Jeffes, Designs Hayden Griffin, Lighting John B Read

Further Information: Home | Birmingham Royal Ballet (brb.org.uk)

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