A real Cinders Tale? - Birmingham Royal Ballet

As Birmingham Royal Ballet's production of Cinderella receives well-received reviews the company together with the the Royal Ballet and English National Ballet, together making up the three biggest Ballet companies in Britain, faces 15% funding cuts, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/8426325/British-ballet-in-crisis-Sadlers-Wells-chief-warns.html.

The ballet, Cinderella, is a one of a set of "rare productions of new full-length ballets, but have used existing scores" http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/news/ballet-is-dying-warns-sadlers-wells-chief-2261417.html.

Mr Spalding acknowledged that it was difficult for the three biggest ballet companies – the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and the Birmingham Royal Ballet – to pioneer the unexpected "because new things are difficult to sell; the audience aren't expecting it". He added: "I think Sadler's Wells has tried to democratise the art form and its success is reflected in the diversity of people that come." http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/news/ballet-is-dying-warns-sadlers-wells-chief-2261417.html

Indeed the BRB production of Cinderella works because as a fairy story it resonates with real human truths. David Bintley's production understands this, "the enchantment is always metaphorical, with the action cutting between the all too real world of Cinderella's kitchen, with its grimy sink and greasy piles of dishes, and the infinite, starry realm of her dreams", http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/news/ballet-is-dying-warns-sadlers-wells-chief-2261417.html

The question is how Birmingham Royal Ballet develops with the funding cut alongside the challenges of fresh productions which the Sadler's Wells theatre notes is a problem in getting on stage.

I had the privelege to see Pet Shop Boys / Javier De Frutos ballet The Most Incredible Thing at Sadler's Wells which I hope will tour to Birmingham and which represented the fusion of dance and imagery and received rave reviews with Luke Jennings in the Observer describing it as "at once spectacular and chilly", http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/mar/27/the-most-incredible-thing-review.

Their music is dramatically textured, the choreography is deft and referential (Balanchine, Jooss, Nijinska) and the filmic effects come thick and fast. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/mar/27/the-most-incredible-thing-review

The challenge for the Birmingham Royal Ballet is to build on it's recent 20th Birthday and to encourage new audiences like Sadler's Wells and develop innovative productions both building on it's own work such as the Nutcracker and Cinderella and innovative productions like The Most Incredible Thing to draw in new audiences and keep Ballet alive even amongst funding challenges.

Birmingham Royal Ballet was found in 1947 as the Sadler's Well Theatre Ballet to continue ballet at Sadler's Well after its predecessor (the Royal Ballet) moved to become resident company at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. It relocated to Birmingham in 1990 and changed it's name to Birmingham Royal Ballet. It has extensive custom-built facilities being resident at Birmingham Hippodrome including a suite of dance studios, the Jerwood Centre for the Prevention and Treatment of Dance Injuries and a studio theatre known as the Patrick Centre. It has an association with Elmhurst School for Dance in Edgbaston which is it's official ballet school having relocated from Surrey.


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