Ballet Dance Review - Birmingham Royal Ballet, Quantum Leaps

by Victoria

Ballet Dance Review - Birmingham Royal Ballet, Quantum Leaps: -

Triple Bill Review
Quantum Leaps
24 September 2009
I was lucky enough to watch a world premiere performance of E=mc² choreographed by David Bintley on his own company Birmingham Royal Ballet. This formed part of a triple bill with Powder choreographed by Stanton Welch and The Centre and its Opposite created by Garry Stewart. The evening was very inspiring and full of movements which I’d never seen before.
Stanton Welch
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
There were several different moods in which the choreography created. I felt it had a quirky feel with little teasers such a hip wag and a hand wiggle. However there was a twist in which the use of the classic and pure music by Mozart created a tranquil mood.

The costumes the females wore were different to what I'd seen before. They consisted of a short bodice with their abdominals exposed and a long chiffon skirt down to the ankle. The skirt was very flowing and matched the calmness in the music.
The choreography had a lot of port de bras motifs and symmetrical patterns. There was a lot of expansive port de bras in this choreography, the dancers were fluid and loose with their arm movements.
David Bintley

E=mc2 was full of excitement and daring new techniques. It's split into 4 sections...

Energy opened with huge drums and blaring trumpets. The dancers shoot all over the stage without any hesitation, their movements are full of power and confidence.

Mass was intensely beautiful full of complex partnering with three mirrored pas de trois.

Manhattan Project is a very short yet powerful dance. The all-white Geisha dances to the vast explosion of sounds which definitely comes as a surprise to the audience.

Celeritas2 is full of speed and light. The stage is packed with refreshing movement and a lot of repetitive backwards running. The costumes, created by Ford, let the dancers be completely free with all the men bare chested.

The Centre and its Opposite
Garry Stewart – artistic director of Australian Dance Theatre (Contemporary)
Huey Benjamin

This was based on the idea of the stage has power relationships between the dancers and between the dancers and the audience. The centre is considered the most important part of the stage, this is deconstructed in this ballet and all areas are equal.
The simple nude costumes allowed the focus to go entirely to the dancers and the striking choreography. The dancers were very courageous in the way they were 'flinging' themselves using daring pas de deux. The partnering was very gutsy and the dancers looked fearless.
The music was very unusual compared to other ballet productions. The repetitive simple beat looped over and over again. This was effective because the attention went more to the dancers and the choreography.

Quantum Leaps was full of energy and power throughout each section. The choreography was highly unpredictable and constantly left me on the edge of my seat wanting to see more.
The performance will influence my own study because I saw how the dancers approached each movement in a very physical way, they weren’t afraid to experiment with new and challenging choreography which pushed them to the limit.

Reply by Odette

To:- Ballet Dance Review - Birmingham Royal Ballet, Quantum Leaps

Hi Victoria,

Thank you for your spectacular review, it sounds as though this performance was a truly amazing experience!

All the best,


ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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Ballet Dance - Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Sleeping Beauty

by Helen

Ballet Dance - Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Sleeping Beauty: -
Thursday 4th March 2010

Music Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreography Peter Wright; Marius Petipa
Production Peter Wright
Design Philip Prowse
Lighting Mark Jonathan
Sponsored (1984) by The Friends of Covent Garden

The Sleeping Beauty is regarded as one of the greatest ballets from Imperial Russia. Birmingham Royal Ballet’s former director Sir Peter Wright has created a breathtaking and thrilling production. With original choreography by Marius Petipa and a a classical score by Tchaikovsky, The Sleeping Beauty is as charming and captivating as it has ever been.

From the moment the curtain's are drawn, the audience is thrown into the energy and action. It's Princess Aurora's christening and so the stage is packed with a variety of characters, costume and set. There are fairies, court ladies, royal attendants, heralds and nurses; all which reveal qualities with a 19th century classic.

It's made clear from the beginning that Princess Aurora, performed by Elisha Willis, is the heart of the ballet. With a glamorous costume - dazzling tutu and a sparkling tiara - the stage is lit up as soon as she enters. Willis is the typical pristine ballerina with her blonde curly locks, gleaming eyes and elegant movements; the audience feels immediately attracted to her charms. She is perfectly matched to the role of Aurora.

The battle between good and evil is made visually clear for the audience. Carabosse and her attendants make a dramatic entrance and the stage is immediately interrupted. Samara Downs, who plays Carabosse, is very overpowering. Her sweeping black costume is very dominating yet her expansive arm gestures and evil eyes are just as dramatic making her command the stage straightaway.

The legendary Rose Adagio is always a memorable part of Sleeping Beauty. Aurora and her four princes, Valentin Olovyannikov, Jonathan Payn, Robert Parker and Tyrone Singleton, did a wonderful job of bringing to life this popular section. There was a tight connection within the group of these dancers which made their partnering more stable and successful in producing secure pirouettes and stable balances.

The last act showed a real climax. The audience were overwhelmed with every fairy tale character imaginable. The dance by the Puss-in-Boots and the White Cat was particularly entertaining for the audience. Callie Roberts was a graceful and lively white cat; her long legs and elegant qualities made her be ideally suited to the character.

Cesar Morales was a truly delightful and attentive Florimund. It was not only his charming performance but his flawless technique that gave him absolute perfection. Morales and Willis worked together nicely, their secure partnering made them able to show off their impressive skills.

This production of Sleeping Beauty was an incredible and exciting experience. It wasn't just the perfection of the choreography, costumes and characters that left me highly fulfilled but the performance and warmth that came from the dancers. Every single dancer gave their character such spirit; the company were so strong together which really uplifted the whole production.


Reply by Odette

To: - Ballet Dance - Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Sleeping Beauty

What a delightful experience, thank you!!

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Ballet Dance - Triple Bill Review

by Sophie

Ballet Dance - Triple Bill Review: - On 2nd November 2009, I was lucky enough to see a triple bill performance by the Royal Ballet Company; it included the following works:

Agon - George Balanchine

Spinx - Glen Tetley

New work - Wayne MacGregor

The dancer that stood out to me was definitely Marianela Nunez! She is one of my favourite dancers and I'm always trying to get tickets to watch her dance. She performed in Spinx alongside Rupert Pennefather and Edward Watson.

Marianela's performance skills came very naturally to her. Her refined sense of style made her intriguing to watch because I simply couldn't take my eyes off her! She has been gifted with a flawless technique which therefore makes every move look effortless.

I thought Marianela was very suited to the role she was dancing. The suppleness of her body was one her particular strengths. She smoothly glided into one movement after another and had a very fluent quality which made her very calming to watch.

The main attribute that attracted me to Marianela is how she made it look as though her body had no physical limits, as if her legs could keep extending on forever. Her flexibility and very supple back enabled her to strike the most divine lines and positions.

She is a real inspiration to all upcoming dancers!!

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Ballet Dance Review - Cyrano

by Alice

Ballet Dance Review - Cyrano: - On Thursday 1 October 2009, I went to to see Cyrano with Birmingham Royal Ballet. It was performed at Birmingham Hippodrome with the following cast -

Elisha Willis – Roxanne
Iain Mackay – Christian
Robert Parker – Cyrano
Dominic Antonucci – De Guiche

Choreographer David Bintley reveals a truly versatile ballet with Cyrano which is suited to everybody. Bintley's comical yet passionate style makes the work successful and leaves the audience indulged with drama, love and tragedy. One of Bintley's other works, Quantum Leaps, which was a highly contemporary piece shows a complete contrast to the classical ballet Cyrano.

Commanding choreography and masterful dancers brought alive the story of Cyrano and his heart break. The hero Cyrano goes through torment as he writes love letters to Roxanne, the women he secretly adores, for his handsome but romantically-challenged cousin Christian. We see how Cyrano unfolds his love for Roxane and how she doesn't fall for him until the closing scene when he lies dying.

The elaborate costumes and spectacular sets, by Haydn Griffin, were just a small part of what made the evening so successful.The ballet opens busily in the 17th century. The lively stage is packed and shows a small theatre with teared seating at both sides of the stage. The women are in weighty dresses and the men are fully equipped with cloaks, boots, swords and feathers. The battle scene in the last act was particularly impressive and exciting.

The lighting, by Mark Jonathan, remains vibrant throughout the most of ballet. Although it does give the occasional spot light drawing the attention to Cyrano. The lighting also become very dim in act 3 whilst the autumn leaves are falling; this creates a more glum mood connecting to the sad part in the story.

Robert Parker gave a faultless performance in interpreting his character of Cyrano. His use of sign and body language came across very strongly, the tiniest gestures added to the delicacy of his characterization. Parker didn't fail to express humor and sadness. Not mentioning his gutsy dancing where he wasn't at all afraid to go for every movement giving each step more energy than the last.

Elisha Willis was ideal for Roxanne; she presented her character in a playful, sweet and loving way. Her light quality and flawless technique made you not be able to take your eyes of her when she was on stage. Willis seemed fearless as a partner, the dramatic lifts made Roxanne look as though she was floating on air.

The music, written by Carl Davis, strengthened the ballet with a match for every mood of the story. The melodic music for the love scenes enhanced the young passionate romance between Roxane and Christian.

Cyrano is a very lively and generous ballet which would appeal to all audiences. It's got a true love story yet it's full of fun and laughter. The battle scenes keep you on the edge of your seat and the humor keeps you entertained. Whilst remaining light-hearted throughout the performance, it also gives the audience a taste of tragedy and real heartbreak.

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