Birmingham Royal Ballet: Autumn 2018 Season

Birmingham Royal Ballet: Autumn 2018 Season

Birmingham Royal Ballet: Autumn 2018 Season

La Fille mal gardée
Thursday 11 – Saturday 13 October

Birmingham Royal Ballet tours to Theatre Royal Plymouth with the funny and tender La Fille mal gardée on Thursday 11 – Saturday 13 October. This charming ballet was an instant hit when it was created by Frederick Ashton for the Royal Ballet in 1960. Inspired by Ashton’s love of the English countryside, La Fille mal gardée includes some of his most virtuoso, energetic choreography as well as elements of traditional folk dancing. 

Ever popular because of its simple, engaging story, wonderful wit and passion, La Fille mal gardée is known for its famous clog dancing widow, dancing chickens and super cute miniature pony. The ballet remains a firm favourite for all the family, ballet aficionados or those new to ballet. The music is by Ferdinand Hérold, freely adapted and arranged by John Lanchbery, to a scenario by Jean Dauberval with designs by Osbert Lancaster and lighting by Peter Teigen.

Lise has a choice to make. Loaded country bumpkin or penniless, hunky farmhand? Of course, there’s no contest, but her mum has other ideas. Heels are dug in and sparks fly, as a mother-daughter battle of wills ensues.

David Bintley, Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, commented: “There are many great dancing roles within La Fille mal gardée. There are of course Lise and Colas, the classical leads, but there are also two wonderful character roles in Widow Simone and Alain. I know these two comic roles well having danced them hundreds of times. I was something of a noted Widow Simone myself, and enjoyed performing the very famous Clog Dance which takes place in the second act.

La Fille mal gardée is full of life, full of colour and full of humour. This ballet is cherished all over the world by every dancer who has ever performed in it, and I’m sure it will become just as special to our audiences in Plymouth.”

With wonderful live music played by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, La Fille mal gardée is great fun for audiences of all ages.

First Steps - La Fille mal gardée
Friday 12 October

This hour-long, interactive show, specially adapted for children aged 3+, features ballet excerpts from La Fille mal gardée performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet’s amazing dancers and orchestra, interspersed with scenes in which a storyteller introduces the children to the music and the leading characters, and shares some technical magic. A feast of dance, music, costumes and lots of fun, this is a perfect introduction to ballet.

Fire & Fury
Tuesday 9 & Wednesday 10 October

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Fire & Fury mixed programme brings to life two ballets fuelled by power and politics. Director David Bintley’s The King Dances is a modern-day glimpse at the kindling of ballet’s future, whilst award-winning choreographer Juanjo Arqués’s Ignite demonstrates that the flames of the art form continue to burn brightly today.

In The King Dances, David Bintley casts a modern eye back to the very beginnings of ballet; a time when men were the kings of dance. When young King Louis XIV of France danced the role of the Sun God in a spectacular court entertainment, he earned himself the soubriquet The Sun King. However, beneath the veneer of the glittering, fashionable court lies a desperate, nightmarish struggle for power between the young king and his mentor, Count Mazarin. Inspired by ballet’s very first steps, an all-male ensemble displays a unique kind of virtuosity in this powerful and compelling piece.

Juanjo Arqués’s Ignite has been commissioned as part of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s pioneering Ballet Now talent development programme, and features brand new designs 
from Tatyana Van Walsum and a score from Kate Whitley (co-founder of The Multi-Story Orchestra). Inspired by Turner’s painting ‘The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons’, Ignite translates vibrant colour into atmospheric choreography, creating a symbolic narrative unique to each audience member.

Ballet Now is generously supported by Oak Foundation’s Special Interest Programme, which provided major funding for the project. Ballet Now is also supported by the Foyle Foundation, Anthony Coombs and The Keith Coombs Trust, The Big Give 2017, The

John Feeney Charitable Trust, The Leche Trust, The John S Cohen Foundation, The H Steven and PE Wood Charitable Trust, The W and M Morris Charitable Trust, the estate of Judith and John Percival, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s New Work Syndicate 2017 and Director’s Appeal 2017.
Tickets are priced from £12.50 and can be booked online at or by calling the Theatre Royal Plymouth Box Office on 01752 267222. Concessions are available.

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