This isn’t a sponsored post. BrumHour was invited to review Lazuli Sky (Autumn Triple Bill) by Birmingham Royal Ballet at Birmingham Rep.
Review by Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Review: Lazuli Sky (Autumn Triple Bill) with
Birmingham Royal Ballet at
Birmingham Royal Ballet has twirled across central Birmingham this week to set up stall for a World Premiere, and two Company Premieres. Given the craziness of 2020, I was more than excited to see what socially distanced theatre really meant and was more than delighted to see these three intimate pieces over ninety minutes.
Our Waltzes – Vicente Nebrada
Performed by Momoko Hirata, César Morales, Yijing Zhang, Yasuo Atsuji, Samara Downs, Tyrone Singleton, Yaoqian Shang, Mathias Dingman, Miki Mizutani and Tzu-Chao Chou.
The dancers are split into male and female pairs with matching coloured costumes with soloists Momoko Hirata and César Morales in red. There’s a single piano on stage and with low lit side lighting to bathe the dancers.
The rear of the stage has a single screen which illuminates in a variety of colours throughout the thirty minutes. Sometimes the colours match and sometimes they contrast.
The Latin inspired vibe feels much more “traditional” with gender roles than I’ve previously considered short form ballet to be and it is very interesting to see the couples interact.
There was a moment where one of the pairs suddenly has a massive grin on their faces and made me think something had “slipped” up. Whatever it was I’d not noticed and the movements carried on forward without hurdle.
A vibrant and frenetic piece of ballet.
Liebestod – Valery Panov
Performed by Brandon Lawrence
At less than ten minutes Liebestod features one male dancer in nothing but his shorts, starting curled up on the floor in an egg shape, Brandon Lawrence unfolds his limbs to explore the stage, its great seeing the time, effort and dedication that the dancers themselves have invested in lockdown.
A powerful few minutes that left me wanting to see more.
Lazuli Sky – Will Tuckett
Performed by Damen Axtens, Laura Day, Karla Doorbar, Ryan Felix, Haoliang Feng, Kit Holder, Yu Kurihara, Gus Payne, Emma Price, Tom Rogers, Eilis Small, Yuki Sugiura.
This is a dreamy performance with a stunning accompanying live soundtrack from Royal Ballet Sinfonia.
Dressed in retro bathing shorts and tops, the company flows across the stage of the Birmingham Rep, digital projections mark their footwork across the stage floor, while images of nature are projected onto the floor and the rear wall, a mesh screen at the front of the stage for most of the first half, frames the dancers as they blend with nature.
One of the media talking points of this performance has been the meter long “skirts”, they become crocus’ shapes, circular oasis and sails. This highlights the social distancing within the theatre and across the world at the moment.
After nearly seven months away from theatre performances, it was great to see the excitement and passion for ballet displayed on stage.
Lazuli Sky was sold out all this week at Birmingham Rep before heading to Sadler’s Wells from 29th to 31st October. Fear not, this production was filmed for a special digital week of viewing from 1st November at noon for £10. Book your digital ticket here: birminghamroyalballet.ticketco.events/uk/en/e/lazulisky