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Birmingham Royal Ballet at 30

Posted on November 19, 2020

Arriving at Town Hall

Following live performances of Lazuli Sky in Birmingham and London last month, Birmingham Royal Ballet has announced Birmingham Royal Ballet at 30 – Supported by Birmingham City Council. The celebratory free online show will be available to watch worldwide for free on Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Facebook page for seven days from 8pm today, November 19. The show, presented in partnership with Birmingham City Council, marks 30 years since the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet moved from London to the city in October 1990 and became Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB). 

Birmingham Royal Ballet at 30 – Supported by Birmingham City Council will feature 11 company dancers, accompanied by live music performed by BRB’s own orchestra, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, performing three pieces on the Town Hall stage: Ben Stevenson’s contemporary pas de deux End of Time, Jorge Garcia’s Majisimo set to music from Massenet’s opera Le Cid and Valery Panov’s emotive solo piece, Liebestod.

Filmed at Birmingham’s Town Hall, the special programme will be hosted by BRB’s director Carlos Acosta who will be joined virtually by leader of the Birmingham City Council, councillor Ian Ward and councillor Jayne Francis, cabinet member for Education, Skills and Culture.

Tzu-Chao dancing Liebestod. Photograph: Johan Persson.

Tzu-Chao Chou dancing Liebestod. Photograph: Johan Persson.

The show will mark 30 years since the leaders of the Birmingham City Council invited Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet to move to the city, building the company a new home and studios attached to Birmingham Hippodrome in Thorp Street. Over the past three decades, BRB has toured nationally and internationally, entertaining millions and premiering 58 new ballets. The company is also at the heart of the local community, for over 21 years it has delivered free workshops for 2,500 local primary school children every year, to identify young talented dancers with raw talent who BRB then provides with free ballet training and dance clothing for up to two years, helping them achieve their dreams. For the last 15 years BRB has also run the Freefall Dance Company for local Birmingham young adults with learning disabilities who train at the company every week and regularly perform.

With England midway through another period of lockdown, this online show is being broadcast as a gift to the city of Birmingham from BRB to thank the city and audiences for all their support and to welcome new audiences, who may not have yet seen the company perform.

Artistic director of BRB, Carlos Acosta, said: “Circumstances this year have meant that we are not able to celebrate our 30th anniversary in person but we are so pleased that we are able to give this gift to the city of Birmingham to say thank you for 30 years of support and memories. I’m so happy we can perform on the stage of the wonderful Birmingham Town Hall, which has been a feature of the city for nearly 200 years. Thank you to Town Hall Symphony Hall and Birmingham City Council for their support of this special event.”

Birmingham Royal Ballet at 30 – Supported by Birmingham City Council will be available to watch worldwide for free on Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Facebook page for seven days from 8pm on November 19.

Pictured top: Arriving at Birmingham Town Hall. Photograph courtesy of Birmingham Royal Ballet. 

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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