Ballet Good Show!

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Theatre Severn

17th -18th May

(With Class on stage Wednesday 18thMay 11.45)

The auditorium filled up quickly tonight as Ballet fans and aficionados rushed for their seats to catch the welcome return of Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Taking inspiration from the works of Shakespeare the show delivered step after intricate and beautifully created step. Accompanied by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, live and in the orchestra pit, the show meandered dreamily and calmly through five acts of first rate dance.

Starting with a daring and challenging work entitled Wink, the company moved, breathed and danced the beauty of the sonnets . The piece was bold and delicate. To see the entire body working and achieving movement that the other ninety nine per-cent of the population could only dream about, is spectacular.

 The body is the dancer’s only medium. Expression, emotion and beauty all come together without dialogue or speech. It’s a difficult thing to achieve but BRB skilfully and adeptly moved us through a stunning opening act. With control of the body that is almost indescribable it was a true delight to see ballet as raw and as real as this. Wink is a charming piece.

Then came the pas de deux, the two people dances. From Midsummer we had, The Dream with Titania, danced by Karla Doorbar and Oberon, so masterly danced by Chi Cao. These dancers live the message.  From the top of their heads to the tips of their toes, right along the arms to the very tips of the fingers each movement is crucial and relevant. It is a great experience to observe the body working to squeeze every atom of synchronicity that can be squeezed  between the orchestra and the dancer.

Maybe the Balcony Pas de deux is from the saddest love story ever told; Romeo and Juliet. Momoko Hirata was a beautiful, almost diaphanous Juliet and Cesar Moralaes commanded the respect that Romeo always seems to think he is due. Tonight he was correct as Moralaes gave an unforgettable performance.

The Taming Of The Shrew was perhaps the most appealing of the three pas de deux. This one feels, is due to the humour of the play and how it was so fantastically illustrated by Maureya  Lebowitz’s Katherina. She was hilarious as she hectored poor old Petruchio, so wonderfully danced by the highly remarkable Tyrone Singleton.

Singleton also earns the busiest man on the stage award as he came back several times and always performed with the utmost professionalism and style. He shall and will go far.

The dance finished with The Moor’s Pavane or the Moors dance. Focussing on the main theme of the text of Othello, that of Jealousy; The Moor and his wife danced with their two friends... but!  There’s always a but and this but is love. As it enters into the equation the friends fight. Again Singleton’s interpretation was breathtaking as in lavish costume he stamped his authority all over his pavane.

This is the face of Ballet today, it is young , it is vibrant and it is incredibly beautiful. Maybe this is the senior service of the arts as the demands on dancers far exceed the demands that one expects from other disciplines. This is athleticism, skill, fitness, pathos and beauty all into one.

Like a well- oiled machine the ballet has to keep moving. If any part fails the machine will either self -right or self-destruct;  but whichever it is it will be dramatic. No indication of self destruct in this machine.

We are fortunate here in the Midlands as this is our local Ballet and rather like local football teams the greatest commodity they have are their feet. These are our Midlands' feet moving so lighlty, so beautifully and at the same time keeping Birmingham and the Midlands in the forefront of British Ballet, long may they continue.

This is a four star review.

Owen J.Lewis 

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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