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BrumHour is invited to share, experience and review performances by Birmingham Royal Ballet throughout the year.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Yesterday I was invited to see Birmingham Royal Ballet: An Evening of Music and Dance at B:Music Symphony Hall. Essentially this is an evening with a shift in focus from telling full stories to showing excerpts from seven Ballet productions plus a focus on orchestrated music from five more.
Essentially a past, present and future of the roster of Birmingham Royal Ballet I was excited to see pas de deux (ballet duets!) from Interlinked with Brandon Lawrence and Tzu-Chou Chou, Carmen with Sofia Linares and Lauchlan Monaghan, plus Swan Lake with Céline Gittens and Brandon Lawrence.
Punched out of context, the focus shifts to the skill, strength and practice that these hardworking performers put into their work throughout the year. Moving from one production whilst preparing for the next.
The music, of course, is stunning from the Royal Ballet Sinfonia with conductor Paul Murphy and it was thrilling to watch these musicians on the multi level stage with the dancers between us.
Look out for future performances of this nature from Birmingham Royal Ballet at brb.org.uk.
Announced: Black Sabbath – The Ballet with Birmingham Royal Ballet
via M Seven PR for Birmingham Royal Ballet
February 2023: This week Birmingham Royal Ballet have announced the world premiere of Black Sabbath – The Ballet with tickets for the Birmingham Hippodrome 23rd to 30th September 2023 now on sale. Further dates for Autumn 2023 at Theatre Royal Plymouth and Sadler’s Wells London will be announced soon.
A full-length, three-act, Ballet Now commission, Black Sabbath – The Ballet is a brand new work which brings together a host of international creatives including lead Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidburg, Cuban designer Alexandra Arrechea, Tony Award-winning composer Christopher Austin with additional choreographers Raúl Reinoso and Cassi Abranches and composers Marko Nyberg and Sun Keting. Richard Thomas is dramaturg for the project and lighting design is by Kieron Johnson.
Black Sabbath – The Ballet is the second Birmingham-focused commission from Carlos Acosta. The first, City of a Thousand Trades which looked at the city’s industrial heritage and multicultural communities, premiered in 2021.
The idea of a Black Sabbath ballet has been on Carlos Acosta’s mind since he first arrived in Birmingham at the start of 2020, just before the pandemic hit. Black Sabbath played their first-ever gig in The Crown pub just a stone’s throw from Birmingham Royal Ballet’s base on Thorp Street. The pub was recently saved from demolition and is deemed a heritage site by fans.
About the production Carlos Acosta said
Black Sabbath is probably Birmingham’s biggest export, the most famous (and infamous) cultural entity to ever emerge from the city – so I was naturally drawn to the idea of a collaboration between what most people might think are the most unlikely of partners.
The band’s enthusiasm for the project is a huge endorsement. They are putting their trust in us to deliver something completely new and original, and that’s quite a responsibility but one that we are beyond excited to take on.
Everyone in the BRB company is thrilled to be involved and we cannot wait to share the vision for the show in more detail in the coming months. I have hand-picked the creative team and will work closely with them to make a spectacular show.”
Black Sabbath co-founder, lead guitarist, co-songwriter and local resident Tony Iommi said
I’m looking forward to seeing how this all develops! Black Sabbath have always been innovators and never been predictable, and it doesn’t come any more unpredictable than this! I’d never imagined pairing Black Sabbath with Ballet but it’s got a nice ring to it! I’ve met with Carlos several times and his enthusiasm is infectious.
I performed alongside some of the dancers at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony and they had an incredible energy, so I’m happy to go along for the ride with them and see you on the other side!”
The eight Black Sabbath tracks that will feature are: Paranoid, Ironman and War Pigs from 1970’s Paranoid: Black Sabbath from 1970’s Black Sabbath; Solitude and Orchid from 1971’s Master of Reality; Laguna Sunrise from 1972’s Vol 4, and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath from 1973’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. The music will be re-orchestrated for the Royal Ballet Sinfonia with new compositions inspired by Black Sabbath also performed live by the orchestra. On the stage, guitars and drums will be integrated into the performance.
Discover more about Birmingham Royal Ballet and book tickets here: brb.org.uk.