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Each performance on our split tour tour combines excerpts from the classics with complete one-act ballets. One of the one-act works heading to Truro and Yeovil this year is Allegri diversi, which delighted audiences in the North East in 2010.

It is choreographed by our own Director, David Bintley, who created the glittering new production of Cinderella which was shown on the BBC this Christmas. In the clip below you can see two of our dancers, Chi Cao and Nao Sakuma, rehearsing Allegri diversi in our Birmingham studios:

Click here for details of performances in Yeovil and Truro
Click here for details of performances in Durham and York


Birmingham Royal Ballet performs a programme of three works in the North/East of England this summer. You can read introductory notes on the three ballets here:

Birmingham Royal Ballet this year celebrates its 20th anniversary, having moved to the Midlands from London in 1990. Before then, the Company was known as Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet. When SWRB came to celebrate their own 40th anniversary in 1987, among the highlights was Allegri diversi, a new piece by David Bintley, who would go on to become Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet some years later.

In programme notes from the very first of these regional tours in 2002, John Percival noted of the score to the non-narrative piece that ‘The two Rossini pieces which Bintley used were never meant by their composer for dancing, but their rich melodies, pace and orchestral colour make them enchantingly suitable.’ Percival also noted that: ‘Today’s cast do not have the advantage of the original ensemble, who had the roles made specifically for their talents, but they are going into a joyous work, full of happy invention, and it will be surprising if they do not respond accordingly.’

The second ballet being performed on the North East tour does indeed see the original cast performing the roles, having been created on Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2008. Entitled The Centre and its Opposite, and choreographed by Australian Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Garry Stewart, it is perhaps the most challenging.

Taking energy from its score, the piece attempts to invert the focal point of the performance space: rather than the artists taking turns to come forward and dance for the audience, they are simultaneously pitted against one another, vying for attention from different parts of the stage.

David Bintley recently described Stewart’s piece as being ‘probably the most extreme piece that we have ever done’. However he also points out that it was influenced by the Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers on whom it was created, and so like the other pieces in the programme it still has its roots in classical ballet. The score however is very much of a contemporary nature, its thrilling industrial edge having wowed audiences on last year’s tour of the South West and as part of the Company’s autumn programme Quantum Leaps.

You can see a video interview with choreographer Garry Stewart, recorded when he was first creating the piece in 2009, here:

Grosse Fuge, meanwhile, has not been performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet for over a decade. Choreographed by Hans van Manen, who also created Twilight, the battle-of-the-sexes highlight from 2008’s tour of the North East, the piece presents a more delicate and sensual interplay between four couples.

Van Manen also created starkly effective costume designs for the piece, which see the men stripped to the waist with belted black trouser skirts that swirl and swish to highlight the aggression of their steps, while the women’s vulnerability is brought out in simple flesh-coloured leotards set off by hair pinned elaborately in a tiara motif.

Over the three pieces in this bill, Birmingham Royal Ballet offers a taste of what makes the Company so strong at the moment, as well as a unique chance to see ballet that you will not see anywhere else. As Director David Bintley recently commented: ‘What have we won awards for? Not the full-length story ballets that everybody does, but the shorter, more adventurous works, that’s where the critical acclaim comes.’

Make sure you don’t miss this opportunity to share in what all the fuss is about.

At the time of publication, tickets are not yet on sale. However as soon as booking opens, full details will appear here.

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s website

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