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We’ve received an update from Jennifer Price, Company Manager for the current tour of the South West:

So, here we are in Poole. A nice theatre (very fancily lit up at night) and an… interesting… town. Anywhere with mainline train track running through the middle of the High Street is definitely entitled to that label. The Company are currently doing class, leaving me with a little down time just now, with a piano rehearsal later this afternoon and then opening tonight. Yesterday was pretty relaxed, a hassle-free journey then a few hours to get settled into the theatre and the evening off to enjoy a nice dinner. I was lucky enough to enjoy a very fresh and beautifully cooked Moby Dick style whole seabass for just £9.95. Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…

And so today, I am getting caught up with my correspondence. My laptop has been held against its will in Diana’s (the Stage Manager) safe since Wednesday evening due to a power failure. The manual override key was couriered down this morning so now I am back up and running (as is Diana, whose laptop was also in there). Lovely Jayne at Stage Door kindly let me hop on to her computer last night just to quickly check my email. She was subsequently forced to take a 10 minute break and drink tea, so thank you Jayne for taking one for the team. That was put to good use rounding up the local techies, who were also on their break, and fielding opinion on where I should go for dinner, which as mentioned above, was a great success!

We set off on tour on Monday and performed on Tuesday and Wednesday in Cheltenham. The audiences were very good to us and the shows went really well. The town itself is always nice to visit with lots of nice bars just across the road to fall into for a swift half after curtain down.

Now as I was typing that last paragraph, the power has gone out. I am now sitting in darkness after being told that the power to the whole of Poole is off and not expected back on for two to three hours. We have had a big pow wow for contingency planning depending on how long the power is out for and have let everyone go for an hour. Better go and get back to emergency planning and will keep you updated. What a drama!

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You can now find brand new dancer interviews over on our NE2010 and SW2010 microsites.

Victoria Marr and Aonghus Campbell discuss the shows in the North over at www.brb.org.uk/ne2010.

Céline Gittens and Alexander Campbell talk about the repertory being danced in the South over at www.brb.org.uk/sw2010.

Birmingham Royal Ballet splits in two again this summer, simultaneously performing two different programmes at either end of the country.

In the South West programme, Birmingham Royal Ballet presents three pieces which explore notions of preserving moments in time. The first piece, Brouillards, is based upon nine of composer Clause DeBussy’s piano preludes. These pieces of music were inspired by transient images – footprints in snow, ships’ sails momentarily swelled by passing winds, autumn leaves drifting from the trees. The title of the piece, ‘Brouillards’ means ‘mists’, and it is this image which bookends the choreography of the ballet, with the dancers appearing and disappearing from the stage leaving behind nothing but memories.

You can see a video of Company Artists Mathias Dingman rehearsing the ‘Bruyères’ section from Brouillards here:

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Director David Bintley created The Dance House following the passing of a friend. Seeking to represent his friend’s anarchic sense of humour both in the movement and the music, he was attracted to the dry wit of Shostakovich’s Concerto for Piano Trumpet and Strings. With moments of both nostalgia and darkness, this choice of score also allowed him to explore the oft-heard metaphor of death being a dance.

You can read more about The Dance House in an interview with David Bintley from 2009 by clicking here.

There could be no more perfect curtain closer for this programme than the crazily comedic Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. From the 1930s musical On Your Toes, the piece sees a leading man take to the stage just as word comes through that he is to be a hidden hitman’s target as soon as his performance is over. With no way of escaping the packed auditorium, our hero must frantically extend his solo until the cops can arrive and arrest the would-be assassin! To the amazement of the audience and his fellow performers alike, he literally dances for his life in a display of sparkling vitality and pure entertainment. The perfect ending to a programme of unforgettable moments.

Here you can see a video of rehearsals for Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. In this excerpt our hero, still unaware of the threat to his life, enjoys a dance with a pretty girl.

Tickets at all venues are now on sale. Click here for details.

Birmingham Royal Ballet performs Brouillards in just three places in 2010: Cheltenham, Poole and Truro.

Each year the Company splits in two to perform different ballets at opposite ends of the country, in both the South West and the North East. This year’s very special South West leg features a programme of three one-act ballets: Brouillards, The Dance House and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.

Here you can see Birmingham Royal Ballet Artist Mathias Dingman in early studio rehearsals for the piece, in the Company’s own studios here in Birmingham, UK

To see the piece in full, click here for booking details for all venues.

Here you can see Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers Robert Parker and Céline Gittens rehearsing the pas de deux from Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.

Can’t see the clip? Click here to watch it on vimeo.com

Birmingham Royal Ballet performs the piece in full throughout England this year. Click on the following links to find out more.

Spring tour of the South West of England
Summer performances in Birmingham
Autumn UK tour

On-sale dates have been confirmed for every date on our 2010 tour of the North and South of England! Here’s the full list complete with repertory:

North/East:
Allegri diversi | Grosse Fuge | The Centre and its Opposite

The Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
Performances 25-26 May
Tickets go on sale 13 March

York Theatre Royal
Performances 28-29 May
Tickets go on sale 22 Feb

The Gala, Durham
Performances 1-2 June
Tickets go on sale 15 Feb

Kings Lynn
Performances 4-5 June
Tickets go on sale 29 March

South-West:
Bouillards | The Dance House | Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Performances 25-26 May
Tickets go on sale 5 March

The Lighthouse, Poole
Performances 28-29 May
Tickets go on sale 1 March

The Hallf or Cornwall, Truro
Performances 4-5 June
Tickets go on sale 17 February

Birmingham Royal Ballet will once again be splitting in two for simultaneous tours at opposite ends of the country. Tickets are not yet on sale, however full repertory details and names of some venues have already been released along with performance dates.

The tours are designed to showcase Birmingham Royal Ballet’s work in the wider regions surrounding some of the Company’s ‘core’ touring venues in the North East and South West of England.

Now in its seventh year, the endeavour features works highlighting the diverse stregth of the Company’s repertoire. Both the North East and South West legs includes a highlight from the Company’s 2009 season, a preview of what’s to come later in 2010, and ballets from the very first of these regional tour back in 2004.

Details confirmed to date are as follows (further venues TBA):

North East:
Allegri diversi
Grosse Fuge
The Centre and its Opposite

North/East venues announced so far can be found here

South West:
Brouillards
The Dance House
Slaughter on 10th Avenue

South-West venues announced so far can be found here

Cheif Executive Christopher Barron recently said: ‘Initially an experiment, these tours have swiftly become a key part of our UK touring activity, allowing us to engage with audiences just beyond the reach of some of our most valued core touring venues. In instances where people feel they live just too far away to come and see us in Plymouth or Sunderland, we are proud that year after year we are able to bring the work of Birmingham Royal Ballet closer to home.

‘It is of great credit to the Company that we are able to stage these ballets – the same ballets that form parts of our home seasons at Birmingham Hippodrome – in such a large number of different theatres and in such a short space of time.

‘The fruits of these labours have always been met with a great reception from all audiences on these tours, and Birmingham Royal Ballet looks forward to playing to even more people in 2010.’

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s website

Birmingham Royal Ballet on twitter