Birmingham Royal Ballet announce their 2017/2018 season

Birmingham Royal Ballet has announced details of next season, one that includes the welcome return of a second mixed programme and, 25 years after his death, a celebration of the work of Sir Kenneth MacMillan with a mixed programme that includes Concerto and Elite Synchopations, and his full-length classic, Romeo and Juliet. Also back in triple bills are two ever-popular ballets, David Bintley’s ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café and Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room. The summer triple bill also includes a new work, full details of which have still be to announced.

The season starts with the return of David Bintley’s Aladdin, which features some lavish sets and costumes, a flying carpet (of course!), and music by BAFTA award-winning composer Carl Davis.

Sir Kenneth MacMillan's sublime Concerto(dancers: Natasha Oughtred and Jamie Bond)Photo Roy Smiljanic
Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s sublime Concerto
(dancers: Natasha Oughtred and Jamie Bond)
Photo Roy Smiljanic

The Birmingham autumn triple bill features Concerto, MacMillan’s gorgeous ballet of energy and technical precision to Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.2; his fun Elite Synchopations, full of eccentric characters who flirt, dance and vie for the limelight; and David Bintley’s ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café, a witty and poignant look at man’s effect on the world.

On tour, ‘Still Life’ will be danced with Michael Corder’s Le Baiser de la fée and Arcadia, a new ballet by the Company’s own Ruth Brill, both to be seen in Birmingham in June.

As usual, the run up to Christmas sees the well-loved delights of Sir Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker, after which comes the return of his glorious production of The Sleeping Beauty.

The summer mixed programme features In the Upper Room alongside Kin by former Company dancer Alexander Whitley (now a hugely successful contemporary dance choreographer), and a brand-new work. Kin is an athletic, abstract piece danced to a pulsing hypnotic score by Philip Kline. Tharp’s In the Upper Room is one of the most exhilarating ballets around, in which dancers in sneakers and striking red pointe shoes flood the stage with exciting movement, and to a cracking score by Philip Glass.

The new ballet is to be created as part of Ballet Now, supported by the Oak Foundation – a unique five-year programme developing choreographers, composers and designers to create new and innovative works for the world stage.

MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet rounds off the year.

Twyla Tharp's In the Upper RoomIn the Upper RoomPhoto Roy Smiljanic
Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room
In the Upper Room
Photo Roy Smiljanic

Alongside the main programme, BRB will continue to introduce new audiences of all ages to ballet with Studio to Stage, an hour-long, entertaining introduction to the art. The relaxed approach that demystifies the language aims to prove that ballet really is for everyone.

For younger audience members, BRB’s First Steps programme continues. The hour-long, interactive shows for children aged 3+ feature a storyteller and introductions the music, leading characters and technical magic of well-known works.

The Lowry, Salford; September 20-23;
Birmingham Hippodrome; October 3-7;
Theatre Royal, Plymouth; October 25-28;
Sadler’s Wells, London; October 31-November 2;

Penguin Café mixed programme
Birmingham Hippodrome (Concerto, Elite Synchopations, ‘Still Life’); September 27-30;
Sadler’s Wells, London (Le Baiser de la fée, Arcadia, ‘Still Life’); November 3-4;

The Nutcracker
Birmingham Hippodrome; November 24-December 13;

The Sleeping Beauty
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton; January 31-February 3, 2018;
Birmingham Hippodrome; February 13-24;
The Lowry, Salford; February 28-March 3;
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff; March 14-17;
Theatre Royal, Plymouth; March 21-24;

In the Upper Room mixed programme
Birmingham Hippodrome; June 20-23;

Romeo and Juliet
Birmingham Hippodrome; June 26-30;
Bristol Hippodrome; July 4-7;