Birmingham Royal Ballet
York Theatre Royal, York
Reviewed by Erica Bourn
The brilliant Birmingham Royal Ballet has been in York this week, at the lovely Theatre Royal, as part of their split-tour season initiative, which sees half the company travelling to the South and West and half to the North and East. Other stops on the tour are Cheltenham, Poole, Truro, High Wycommbe, Nottingham, Durham and Buxton.
The programme was a superb triple-bill, which clearly demonstrated the diversity and talents of the company, starting out with a lively and comedic visit to the roaring 20's, mid-section with exerts from classics such as Giselle with 'dessert' of a homage to the jazz genius of Dave Burbeck. I could not have asked for a better first live Ballet – a dance smorgasbord, whose bite size pieces have left me hungry for more. Fabulous music throughout was provided courtesy of the Royal Ballet Simfonia – as much a feast for the ears as the action on stage.
All aboard a luxury liner for The Grand Tour section. Setting out for Europe, our heroine, an American spinster embarks on her cruise and finds herself in the company of a feast of eccentric famous faces including Noël Coward, Gertrude Stein and George Bernard Shaw. The piece truly captured the spirit of the era, fabulous sets and costumes and of course superb choreography and characterisation, interlaced with plenty of comic moments.
After the first interval we were treated to some of the company's favourite moments from some of its most popular ballets, including Giselle, The Dream and Popular Song, Foxtrot and Tango from the ballet Facade. Breathtakingly beautiful probably best describes.
Company director David Bintley indulged another of his passions, and mine, with a sultry and sexy jazz creation in the final section, a laid-back, contemporary ballet to the rhythm of Dave Brubeck’s iconic music.
No part outshone the others, but demonstrated clearly the rich texture of this genre, and was equally accessible to diehard fans and first timers like myself.
As ever, the Theatre Royal provided an intimate and lovely venue, with ever helpful staff and lovely relaxed air welcoming each member of the audience like an old friend. A thoroughly enjoyable evening, and 5/5 from me – simply loved it!
For more information and tour dates visit www.brb.org.uk
For more information about shows at the York Theatre Royal visit www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk