Celebrating David Bintley in photographs

Taking Birmingham Royal Ballet from strength to strength, during his quarter-century as Artistic Director David Bintley has made nearly two dozen ballets for the Company and commissioned as many more.

Thank you David Bintley

We've come to the end of our #PhotosAtFive series, celebrating the works of Director David Bintley. From Carmina burana to The Tempest, this picture represents David's 24 years leading the Company. Restaging classics and ensuring innovation is at the heart of everything we do, David has created a lasting legacy at Birmingham Royal Ballet, and for that, we say thank you.

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Pas de deux set to Aram Khachaturian's 'Adagio of Spartacus

We've reached the last production on our journey through David Bintley's tenure as Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet. To round things off, we're celebrating David's pas de deux set to Aram Khachaturian's 'Adagio of Spartacus.

Given its world premiere during An Evening of Music and Dance 2018, the piece was created for former BRB Principals Jenna Roberts and Iain Mackay and was part of Ian's farewell performances with the Company. #PhotosAtFive

The Tempest

Featuring eye-catching stagecraft, mesmerising puppetry and breathtaking flying, The Tempest is next on #PhotosAtFive. In this unique collaboration, David Bintley teamed up with award-winning composer Sally Beamish and Tony and Olivier award-winning designer, Rae Smith. 

Created for the Company in 2016 to celebrate Shakespeare's 400th anniversary, The Tempest, co-produced with Houston Ballet Foundation, is David's latest full-length ballet.

The King Dances

David Bintley's study of King Louis XIV of France, The King Dances, is next up on #PhotosAtFive. The piece takes Le Ballet de la nuit, a 1653 ballet in which King Louis himself performed, as its starting point and seeks to explore the journey male dancing took from its beginnings in the court of the Sun King. 

With designs from Olivier and Tony award-winning designer Katrina Lindsay, the piece joined our repertory in 2015.

Flowers of the Forest

With music from Malcolm Arnold and Benjamin Britten, Flowers of the Forest, David Bintley's spiritual nod to Scotland's pre-industrial past is next up on #PhotosAtFive. With designs from Jan Blake and Jon Goodwin, the piece commemorates the Battle of Flodden (1513) and the troublesome time for King James IV of Scotland.

The Prince of the Pagodas

Originally created for the National Ballet of Japan, David Bintley's The Prince of the Pagodas is next up on #PhotosAtFive. Set to Benjamin Britten's well-known score, it follows the adventures of Princess Belle Sakura as she tries to thwart her evil stepmother's plans and discover the fate of her long-lost brother.

Steeped in Japanese history and culture, the production was designed by internationally renowned designer Rae Smith.


Observing Japanese Standard Time to celebrate the opening night of the National Ballet of Japan's production of Aladdin,  #PhotosAtFive comes to you a little earlier today. With David Bintley recently joining the company for rehearsals in Tokyo, we'd like to wish the entire cast and crew the best of luck for the run.

Boasting a score from BAFTA award-winning composer Carl Davis and vibrant designs from Dick Bird and Sue Blane, David's take on the classic Middle Eastern folk tale was created for the National Ballet of Japan in 2008 and re-created for Birmingham Royal Ballet in a co-production with the Houston Ballet Foundation in 2012.


Set to Matthew Hindson’s vigorous score, Faster is next up on #PhotosAtFive, a journey through David Bintley's tenure as Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet. Rooting itself in the motto 'Faster, Higher, Stronger', David's contribution to the 2012 Cultural Olympiad sets out to convey the kinetic excitement, power and beauty of the Olympic Games.


Boasting a spectacular ball scene and stunning coups de théâtre, David Bintley's Cinderella is next up on #PhotosAtFive. Created for the company in 2010, the piece was chosen as the BBC Christmas Ballet the same year. 

Completing the Company's 20th-anniversary celebrations, David's interpretation of the classic Prokofiev score is one of the most popular ballets in the Company’s repertory, winning the Critics' Circle National Dance Award in 2011


Bringing together David Bintley's choreography and Matthew Hindson's commissioned score, E=mc² is next on  #PhotosAtFive. In the spirit of balletic adventure, David translates a physics formula into dance and onto the stage. Created for the company in 2009, the piece won the last ever Southbank Show Award for Dance in 2010.


David Bintley's 2009 revival of Sylvia is next up on #PhotosAtFive. Enjoying a long and fascinating history in European literature and culture, Sylvia was first performed on 14 June 1876 at the Palais Garnier in Paris.

Using a new prologue, David contextualises the traditional story of Sylvia for a modern audience, transforming the piece into a 1950s party where guests are sent back in time to Ancient Rome by the mischievous Eros, in disguise as the gardener.

Take Five

Created in 2007 and given its first performance on the Company's tour to Truro, Poole and Cheltenham, David Bintley's jazz-based Take Five is next up on #PhotosAtFive. After completion of his jazz Trilogy inspired by Duke Ellington, David turned to Dave Brubeck's standard Take Five, which in 1961 became the first jazz instrumental to sell a million copies.


A lush, romantic period ballet, David Bintley's masterful retelling of Edmond Rostand's French classic Cyrano is next up on #PhotosAtFive. Cleverly depicting the power of the written word and joining our repertory in 2007, the piece tells the moving story of the love triangle between Cyrano, Christian and Roxane.

The Orpheus Suite

Completing a trilogy of works inspired by the life and music of Duke Ellington, The Orpheus Suite is our next stop on a journey through David Bintley's time as Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet. 

Created for the company in 2004, the piece follows legendary musician and ancient Greek prophet, Orpheus, into the underworld in search of his wife, Eurydice. #PhotosAtFive 

Beauty and the Beast

David Bintley's gloriously Gothic Beauty and the Beast is next up on #PhotosAtFive. Alongside Glenn Buhr, Philip Prowse and Mark Jonathan, David created the ballet for the Company in 2003. Having since been performed as far afield as Japan and China, Beauty and the Beast depicts a cruel Prince's quest to find salvation in the heart of a beautiful girl.

Concert Fantasy

With a wealth of melody, excitement and pianistic fireworks, Concert Fantasy is next up on #PhotosAtFive, a journey through David Bintley's time as Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet. 

Set to Tchaikovsky's wonderful score for piano and orchestra, the piece joined our repertory when it received its world premiere in 2002.

Arthur Part II

Receiving its world premiere in 2001 and reopening Birmingham Hippodrome after a £30m renovation, Arthur Part II is next up on #PhotosAtFive

Further demonstrating his uncanny ability to transform mythology into dance, David's epic ballet cycle of the Arthurian legends depicts an ever-changing world in which good and evil lock horns in battle. 

Arthur Part I

In a land racked by hate and fear, an unknown boy proves his right to wear the bitter crown of power in Arthur Part I, which is next up on #PhotosAtFive.

Receiving its world premiere at Birmingham Hippodrome in 2000, Arthur Part 1, brought to life by the same team that created David Bintley's historical ballet Edward II, explores the legendary tale of Camelot.

The Shakespeare Suite

The Shakespeare Suite, the second of David Bintley's three works inspired by the life and music of Duke Ellington, was created for the Company in 1999 as a centenary tribute to the composer and is next up on #PhotosAtFive.

For this production, David teamed up with set and lighting designer Steven Scott and renowned fashion designer Jasper Conran. David's compelling portrayal of some of the Bard's well-known characters has been attracting audiences since its premiere.


Giselle is next up on #PhotosAtFive, a journey through David Bintley's tenure as Director. Often described as the epitome of romantic ballet, the piece has enjoyed almost continuous performance around the world since its creation in 1841 at Paris Opéra.

Having entered our repertory in 1999, this new production by David and former BRB Principal and teacher Galina Samsova, is based respectfully on the original masterpiece.

Don’t miss your chance to catch Giselle on its national tour when it returns to the company's repertory this autumn.

The Dance House

Dedicated to the memory of Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet (now BRB) dancer Nicholas Millington, The Dance House is the next stop on our journey through David Bintley's quarter-century as Director. Set to Shostakovich's first piano concerto, David's eighth ballet in this series is an award-winning contemplation on morality which joined our repertory in 1999, after premiering at the San Francisco Ballet four years earlier. #PhotosAtFive

The Protecting Veil

The Protecting Veil is next on our journey through David Bintley's time as Director. Set to and inspired by John Tavener's score for solo cello and strings, The Protecting Veil depicts scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary in what David described as his attempt to make 'an icon in movement', an aim reflected in the designs by Ruari Murchison and lighting by Mark Jonathan. Premiering at Birmingham Hippodrome on 3 June 1998, David dedicated the ballet to Ninette de Valois, founder of the Royal Ballet companies, to mark her 100th birthday three days later. Receiving its London premiere at Sadler's Wells later the same year, it was awarded the 1998 ITV South Bank Award.

Edward II

Based on Christopher Marlowe's renaissance play of the same name, this no-holds-barred tale of the tragic love between Edward and Piers Gaveston was originally created for Das Stuttgarter Ballett in 1995, before joining our repertory in 1997.

With stylised sets and costumes from two of the UK's greatest designers, Jasper Conran and Peter J. Davison, Edward II earned David a nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Dance at the 2000 Olivier Awards.


Joining our repertory in 1997, Tombeaux is a dance homage to Frederick Ashton, Director and Founder Choreographer of the Royal Ballet. Set to William Walton’s Variations on a Theme by Hindemith, this exquisite tutu ballet enjoys a sombre yet striking costume and set design by Jasper Conran. Read David's 2013 interview on Tombeauxhere.

The Nutcracker Sweeties

Created for the Company in 1996, The Nutcracker Sweeties is next up on our journey through David Bintley's quarter-century as Artistic Director. Employing Duke Ellington's jazz version of The Nutcracker and with costume designs by Jasper Conran, this feel-good ballet was nominated for Best New Dance Production at the 1998 Olivier Awards, before heading out on a world tour in 2000, making stops in New York and Chicago. #PhotosAtFive

'Still Life' at the Penguin Café

Renowned for its cautionary message, David Bintley’s ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café conjures a world where the sun-kissed rhythms of a Brazilian carnival and the ancient sounds of a South African veldt unify to illustrate man’s effect on the world.

Having won the International Defence of Nature Award in 1993, this much-loved ballet was introduced to the Company’s repertory in 1996. With a moving score from Simon Jeffes, it depicts a host of endangered animals seeking shelter from the storm. #PhotosAtFive

Far from the Madding Crowd

Based on Thomas Hardy's 1874 novel of the same name, Far from the Madding Crowd is next up on #PhotosAtFive. Receiving its world premiere in 1996, David's second new ballet with the company set within the harsh realities of Victorian England explores the eventful and tragic life of Bathsheba Everdene.

Embarking on an international tour in 1998, Far from the Madding Crowd has been staged a total of four times during David's quarter-century as Artistic Director.

Carmina burana

We're starting our journey back in 1995 with Carmina burana. Nominated for Best New Dance Production at the 1997 Olivier Awards, David's first creation as Director explores the resolve of three young seminarians when tempted by the joys of feasting, gambling and lust.