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Lazuli Sky

Posted on August 20, 2020

Lazuli Sky Artwork. Dancers Max Maslen Beatrice Parma. Image credit Nina Dunn James Simpson and Samuel Wyer copy

A new partnership has been confirmed between Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham Repertory Theatre, which will see the two established companies combine creative forces to stage new dance works in the city. The partnership will be launched with four shows for live audiences in October, following the recent announcement by the government allowing socially distanced performances to happen in theatres.

The world premiere performances of Lazuli Sky, choreographed by Will Tuckett, as part of a triple bill of ballet with live music from the Royal Ballet Sinfonia will take place at The REP on October 22 – 24, with 150 tickets on sale to the public for each of four shows. The show will also be filmed at The REP for broadcast in November via pay-per-view media to audiences unable to attend the live shows. This new partnership has enabled both organisations to work together to find a way to entertain audiences and help revive Birmingham’s cultural life after lockdown.

Carlos Acosta, director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, said: “This year, Birmingham Royal Ballet celebrates 30 years of working in the heart of Birmingham. Whilst the company continues to enjoy strong bonds with its home venue, Birmingham Hippodrome, our work to bring back large-scale, classic ballets with them is not yet complete, and will require government approval. The new partnership between Birmingham Royal Ballet and The REP will complement the relationship with Birmingham Hippodrome, and enhance creative development throughout this great city.”

Sean Foley, artistic director of The REP added: “Carlos Acosta and I are both honoured to be leading amazing cultural institutions in a great international city. It is part of our job to amplify, celebrate, and create work about that city, delivering excitement and artistic excellence for the people of Birmingham and wider afield – both nationally, and internationally. Particularly now, in order to survive and thrive, the arts must find new and inventive ways to collaborate and create new works. The REP has an unrivalled pioneering history in UK theatre – from staging the world’s first modern dress Shakespeare, to being a national leader in community development and creative learning, it has always been a theatre that seeks the cultural collisions that make extraordinary art for ordinary people. This is the beginning of an exciting partnership that will encompass full-scale productions, and new ways to create audiences together. Combining The REP’s own history with Birmingham Royal Ballet’s reputation for world-class ballet gives us both hope that we can help establish Birmingham as the very best city for theatre, for dance and the creative arts.”

Image: A publicity image for Lazuli Sky, featuring Max Maslen and Beatrice Parma. Credit: Nina Dunn, James Simpson and Samuel Wyer. 

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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