Ballet Hoo! index
Countdown to the performance
Programme 1 summary
Programme 2 summary
Programme 3 summary
Programme 4 summary
Meet the Birmingham Royal Ballet team
Meet the participants
What the project has meant to me
A day in the life...
The story of the ballet
How you can get involved with dance
Ballet's project partners
Press and media coverage of the project
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work in the community
17 days to go
17 years ago, in 1989, Sadlerís Wells Royal Ballet announced that it would move to Birmingham and become Birmingham Royal Ballet.
In 1987, the idea was first suggested that Sadlerís Wells Royal Ballet, then based at Sadlerís Wells Theatre in Islington, London, might move to Birmingham and change its name. Peter Wright was then the director, and despite much negative press concerning the idea, the Company was officially invited by Birmingham City Council and the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre to move to Birmingham.
Purpose-built premises were constructed for the Company on a site at the back of the Hippodrome theatre, on Thorp Street. The buildings included four ballet studios, two of which were made to match the size of the Hippodrome stage exactly, space for offices, changing rooms, the technical departments and storage for costumes in a running wardrobe. The building was completed and the Company moved to Birmingham in 1990 and changed its name to Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Peter Wright remained Artistic Director of BRB until 1995, when he handed over the reigns to the Companyís present Director, David Bintley. As his first ballet for the Company, David choreographed a new ballet to Carl Orffís famous score, Carmina burana. Click on the link above to learn more about David Bintley, or on the thumbnails below to see some photos of Carmina burana.
Since the move to Birmingham, BRB had continued to be administered from the Royal Opera House in London. In 1996, the Company broke away from the Opera House and became completely independent. However, when the Hippodrome closed in 2000 for a £30 million refurbishment and rebuilding, the Company lost its home stage. BRB toured the country and performed in smaller theatres in Birmingham until the theatre reopened, with the Company giving a 'Silver Gala' in 2001.
With the reopening of the theatre came brand-new facilities for BRB. Not only did the Company gain a fifth rehearsal studio within the Hippodrome complex, but a brand-new centre to replace the old physiotherapy room, the Jerwood Centre for the Prevention and Treatment of Dance Injuries, the largest dedicated dance injury centre in Europe.