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34 days to go
34 minutes is the running time of the second act of BRB's production of Romeo and Juliet.
Romeo and Juliet is a three-act ballet. The second act is the shortest at 34 minutes, the first is 59 minutes and the third 40 minutes. All the great classical ballets are similar full-evening works. For example, Swan Lake has four acts, The Sleeping Beauty a prologue and three acts and The Nutcracker two acts.
Some ballets are extremely short, and normally form part of a gala or evening of divertissements (a collection of short ballets or excerpts from ballets). However, most evenings of ballet that are not full-length include two or three shorter (one-act) ballets. These allow an audience to see several contrasting ballets in one evening. These shorter ballets are roughly the same length as a single act of a full-length ballet.
BRB often performs a mixed bill of three one-act ballets alongside a full-length ballet. For example, Romeo and Juliet is touring in autumn 2006 alongside a programme of Apollo, an early ballet by the famous 20th-century choreography George Balanchine; it features only four main dancers with a few subsiduary roles. Pulcinella a comedy, has a slightly larger cast, much more light-hearted music, and the choreography is newly created for BRB by Kim Brandstrup, and The Firebird, one of the most famous one-act ballets from the early 20th century, which features a huge cast. It involves most of BRB's company, additional dance students and 36 extras, who are non-dancing actors brought in specially. It is quite a spectacle!
Another good example of a strongly contrasting mixed bill is to be found in BRB's summer 2007 season. Oliver Hindle's sports-inspired ballet The Four Seasons, danced to 300-year-old music is performed alongside Twyla Tharp's ballroom-influenced Nine Sinatra Songs, danced to Frank Sinatra, and John Cranko's 1950s comedy ballet, Pineapple Poll, which is danced to tunes taken from Gilbert and Sullivan operas. Quite a contrast! This is being performed alongside the three-act, full-length ballet, Coppélia.
To see what else BRB is performing this year, click here