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David Bintley CBE, Director
Christopher Barron, Chief Executive
Koen Kessels, Music Director

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A brief history



Birmingham Royal Ballet was formed in 1990, when Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet moved to Birmingham from its original home at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London. As Director David Bintley says, it is standing on the shoulders of the giants of British ballet that allows a view into the future: 'The hallmark of the Royal Ballet Companies has always been a mixing of classical and more avant garde work. I feel very influenced by The Royal Ballet of the 1950s and 60s under Ninette de Valois; she said we must have one foot in the future and one in the past. Today this is crucially important, both nationally and internationally.'

Birmingham Royal Ballet is welcomed enthusiastically around the world. The Company has completed numerous successful tours, including to the USA, China, Japan and South Africa, and continues to build its international profile. Chief Executive Christopher Barron believes audiences, both at home and overseas, hunger after the classical history of the Company, the startling energy of its new work, and the unique pool of talent it contains, on stage, in the orchestra pit and behind the scenes. The Company's relationship with Elmhurst School for Dance in Edgbaston plays a crucial part in the Companyís determination to nurture and retain the best young dancers in the world.

Birmingham Royal Ballet certainly has a devoted and growing audience in Birmingham and beyond. Bintley is particularly appreciative of this core support, believing it is this loyalty and constancy that allows the Company to be adventurous. Both Bintley and Barron are passionate about the relationship with Birmingham and celebrate the way the Company has become secure and grounded in the life of the city. '25 years ago the only dance in this city was touring dance,' Barron says, 'Now it is an exciting home for creating dance and dancers.' For Bintley and his dedicated team the driving force remains the same as it was for Ninette de Valois when she founded the first company at Sadlerís Wells Theatre 85 years ago: dance. 'Of all the dance performing arts, ballet is the most diverse and the most popular,' Bintley concludes. 'From classics to the avant garde, from comedies to tragedies and abstraction, ballet does it all.'

A chronology



1931
Ninette de Valois founds a company at Sadler's Wells Theatre. It is known as the Vic-Wells Ballet as it performs both at Sadler's Wells Theatre and the Old Vic Theatre in London.

1940
Sadler's Wells Theatre is bombed during the war and consequently the company begins to tour widely throughout the country. At this point the name of the company is changed to the Sadler's Wells Ballet.

1946
The Company is invited to become the resident company of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. De Valois therefore decides to found a second company called Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet at Sadler's Wells Theatre.

1951
Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet undertakes a highly successful tour of the USA.

1955
Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet temporarily loses its link with Sadler's Wells Theatre and bases itself with its sister company at the Royal Opera House.

1956
A Royal Charter is bestowed on both Companies and their joint school. The Sadler's Wells Ballet becomes The Royal Ballet and Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet becomes the Touring Company of The Royal Ballet.

1970
The Touring Company returns to base itself at Sadler's Wells Theatre, while continuing to tour the country.

1977
The Touring Company changes its name to Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, with Peter Wright as Director.

1987
Birmingham Hippodrome and Birmingham City Council invites Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet to re-locate to Birmingham.

1990
Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet moves to a new home in Birmingham and changes its name to Birmingham Royal Ballet.

1995
Peter Wright retires. David Bintley becomes Artistic Director.

1997
Birmingham Royal Ballet becomes independent of the Royal Opera House.

Find out more...www.brb.org.uk carries out interviews and features with members of the Company and visiting artists. Click here for the most recent articles.

Find out more...

www.brb.org.uk carries out interviews and features with members of the Company and visiting artists. Click here for the most recent articles.
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