Birmingham Royal Ballet announce autumn-winter programme

June 21 Romeo Cover Image 590 X 370

Following Birmingham Royal Ballet’s return to live performance with the Curated by Carlos season and Cinderella at Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Theatre Royal Plymouth, Acosta again balances the new and the classic in a season that begins with contrasting tellings of, arguably, the greatest love story ever told.

For Birmingham Royal Ballet’s homecoming season at Birmingham Hippodrome, Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s passionate Romeo and Juliet choreography and Prokofiev’s glorious score will set hearts alight in this enduringly popular, classic interpretation of Shakespeare’s tragedy. From the balcony scene’s ecstatic pas de deux, exploring love in all its soaring wonder, to the lovers’ heart-breaking ends, Romeo and Juliet is ballet at its most poignant and beautiful. Performances at Plymouth Theatre Royal take place later in October.

Carlos Curates: R&J Reimagined sees Romeo and Juliet get a very different treatment with the Company premiere of Romanian choreographer Edward Clug's Radio and Juliet, a reinvention of the classic story set to the music of Radiohead, featuring tracks from Kid A, Amnesiac and OK Computer. This version explores what could have happened if Juliet decided not to take her own life, and is an exhilarating, emotional rollercoaster that has toured the world to widespread acclaim since its premiere in 2005.

Radio and Juliet forms a double bill with a new work from Birmingham-based choreographer Rosie Kay, details to be announced.

Carlos Acosta said: ‘Shakespeare’s timeless story of love and passion has inspired so many versions over the centuries, not least translated into dance. We’re exploring some of this rich reinterpretation in our double bill Carlos Curates: R&J Reimagined, also in October. I really love Edward Clug’s contemporary reinvention of the story and I’m also thrilled that we are continuing to build relationships with other Birmingham arts companies and that we’ll be joined by Rosie Kay Dance Company who will complete this exciting programme.’

October sees the postponed and adapted London run of Curated by Carlos at Sadler’s Wells. The triple bill now opens with the Company’s love letter to Birmingham: City of a Thousand Trades, a new one-act abstract ballet inspired by and celebrating the richly diverse cultural and industrial heritage of the place it calls home. Commissioned as part of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Ballet Now programme and produced in association with The REP, City of a Thousand Trades was created by choreographer Miguel Altunaga and co-directed with The REP Associate Director, Madeleine Kludje, with music inspired by the city’s soundscape, including its legacy as the birthplace of Heavy Metal, composed by Mathias Coppens and performed live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, with designs by Guilia Scrimieri and lighting by Michael Lee-Woolley.

Brazilian/British choreographer Daniela Cardim’s Imminent, also a Ballet Now commission, has been created with a team of international talent, including composer Paul Englishby, designer April Dalton, dramaturg Lou Cope, assistant choreographer Peter Leung and lighting designer Peter Teigen. The new abstract work is inspired by the feeling that the balance we thought we could maintain is precarious to say the least. A tipping-point is approaching. Imminent invites us to recognise that a window of opportunity is now calling upon us. There is hope – and it is important to let go of the past, to take action and move boldly on.

Completing the triple bill, Goyo Montero’s Chacona gets reworked for the London stage and features the world premiere of a new duet created for Carlos Acosta and Alessandra Ferri, a mouthwatering prospect to say the least. Having danced Manon together in Havana many years ago, this duet sees two of the all time greats reunited. 

Ferri said ‘We always wanted to do more together but never had the opportunity. Really I think this is a dream come true for both of us.’

Goyo Montero’s thrillingly physical work Chacona is set to electrifying music by J.S. Bach and performed live on stage by violin, guitar and piano, together with 16 dancers. 

For spring 2022, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Director Carlos Acosta promises entertainment for all ages when he brings an explosion of Spanish sunshine, spectacular dance and vivacious comedy to stages across the country.

In a new production created especially for Birmingham Royal Ballet, Don Quixote introduces us to Cervantes’ famous knight himself, lovers Kitri and Basilio, and a host of supporting characters. As the Don sets out on a quest to track down his true love, with his loyal friend and servant Sancho Panza at his side, he finds himself embroiled in an unlikely adventure of love and dreams.

The first UK performances of Acosta’s sparkling new 21st-century production of this 19th-century masterpiece take place in February.

This festive season, Birmingham Royal Ballet will bring The Nutcracker back to two iconic stages. Birmingham Hippodrome welcomes the return of Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy in November and the Company will celebrate its fourth appearance at the Royal Albert Hall from 28 December.

The enchanting Royal Albert Hall production features Simon Callow as the voice of Clara’s mysterious godfather, Drosselmeyer, and video and projection by Tony-Award-winning 59 Productions (An American in Paris, War Horse). Birmingham Royal Ballet’s superb dancers and the Royal Ballet Sinfonia weave their magic with the timeless choreography and glorious Tchaikovsky score to create a quintessential Christmas treat for all the family.