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South West tour notes
Dante Sonata: an echo of the heart
Kit Holder on Small Worlds
Small Worlds: Helen Fownes-Davies' costume designs
The history of Elite Syncopations
South-West tour spring 2008
29 - 30 April 2008
2 - 3 May 2008
6 - 7 May 2008
Hall for Cornwall
9 - 10 May 2008
Click here for a full diary of performances and links for how to book.
Full performance diary
Click here for performance listings.
South-West tour notes
Introductory notes to all three ballets being performed on Birmingham Royal Ballet's 2008 Wouth-West tour.
The choreographer, Frederick Ashton, was one of the most influential figures in British ballet, creating a vast number of works for the Royal Ballet companies.
His pieces cover a broad range of styles and topics. Dante Sonata was choreographed at the time of World War II, and is his response to the conflict. In comparison Elite Syncopations, also being performed on this tour, is a fun and brightly coloured piece based on a dance competition.
In Dante Sonata, two sides are locked in combat. Ashton was against the war waging at the time, and so wanted to show that no matter who wins the fight, both sides lose friends and loved ones.
Music Franz Liszt
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Staged by Jean Bedells; Pauline Clayden
Design Sophie Fedorovitch
Lighting Mark Jonathan
Small Worlds was created by Kit Holder, one of Birmingham Royal Ballet's dancers.
He was inspired by the work of the artist Kandinsky. Kandinsky created abstract works that were intended to convey lots of different ideas, so that the viewer could decide on their own interpretations of his paintings. When you're watching Small Worlds, Kit hopes that you will be able to interpret the choreography in lots of different ways.
The composer of the music, Stravinsky, wrote a number of ballet scores including 'Rite of Spring' and 'The Firebird', as well as a host of pieces for the concert hall rather than the theatre. His work is so unusual and interesting that it has always been popular with choreographers creating new ballets.
His ballet score 'Rite of Spring' was used in Walt Disney's Fantasia.
Music Igor Stravinsky
Choreography Kit Holder
Designs Helen Fownes-Davies
Lighting Peter Teigen
Elite Syncopations is performed to a variety of Ragtime tunes by Scott Joplin.
Scott Joplin composed 'The Entertainer', which featured in a recent cat food advert on UK TV, and in the Paul Newman and Robert Redford film, The Sting.
In the ballet, a series of characters in brightly coloured leotards compete in a music hall dance competition.
The members of the orchestra providing the music appear in the background on the stage, in equally bright and colourful costumes.
Music Scott Joplin
Choreography Kenneth MacMillan
Design Ian Spurling
Lighting John B. Read
See the related stories to the right of the page for more information.
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