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Britten, Brandstrup, ballet

Posted on March 28, 2013

brandstrup brian slater

brandstrup-brian-slaterEdward Watson and Zenaida Yanowsky are among the dancers starring in Kim Brandstrup’s new Frank Bridge Variations, part of the centenary celebrations for composer Benjamin Britten.


Brandstrup (pictured) has just started work on Frank Bridge Variations, his new work for the Aldeburgh Festival. He will sets Britten’s Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge as part of Britten Dances, a special Triple Bill of new choreography inspired by Britten, which also features new works by Ashley Page and Cameron McMillan, danced by the Royal Ballet of Flanders.


The cast for Frank Bridge Variations includes The Royal Ballet’s Watson, Yanowsky, Thomas Whitehead, Kristen McNally, Itziar Mendizabal, Alexander Campbell and Marcelino Sambé. The ballet will have video projections by Brandstrup’s regular collaborator Leo Warner and costumes by Kandis Cook. The Britten Sinfonia will be conducted by Barry Wordsworth.


On the same programme, the Royal Ballet of Flanders will dance Page’s new work, set to Britten’s Young Apollo and his arrangement of Purcell’s Chacony. McMillan’s new ballet, also danced by the Flanders company, is to a new work by Larry Goves, written after Britten’s Nocturnal. All three commissions are part of Aldeburgh Music’s Inspired by Britten series, and have been co-commissioned with DanceEast in collaboration with The Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet of Flanders. The programme will be performed at Snape Maltings on June 20 and 21. See the Aldeburgh Festival’s website for tickets.


Two upcoming revivals of Britten’s opera Death in Venice will feature Brandstrup’s choreography. English National Opera perform the work from June 14 to 26, while Netherlands Opera will revive Death in Venice from July 3 to 7. The first production of Death in Venice had choreography by Frederick Ashton.


Picture: Kim Brandstrup. Photograph: Brian Slater

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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