Ballet Excellence Returns Followed By A Duck!!

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Seasons in Our World/Peter And The Wolf

Theatre Severn

Friday 17th…Saturday 18th May (Matinee at 14:00)

It is always so refreshing to watch a company like Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) they always leave one astounded, overawed and humbled all at the same time which is quite a maelstrom of emotion. It is only the best that can engender that kind of complete exploration of one’s own feelings and one’s own emotions. Such beauty can really create a resonance that one should hold dear for time to come.

BRB have bought two shows together to make up this double bill of cerebral and creative genius.

The first dance was a piece entitled: “Seasons in Our World,” it is an abstract and astounding piece reflecting the seasons. But of course there is more than that in this 32 minutes of delight.

Brought together by a tricorn of Choreographers, Laura Day who brought Spring to us, Lachlan Monaghan was the safe hands that dealt with Summer and Autumn with Kit Holder placed Winter under the dancer’s microscope. All superb in their own details but there had been clear communication between the choreographers and the seasons flowed seamlessly into each other as they needed to do so.

But more than just a prosaic approach on turning the seasons into dance, this was more about an exploration of the synergy between all things seasonal: At times it introduces moments of self –reflection questioning what do the seasons mean to oneself? Then there became a realisation that all seasons are made up of all sorts of forces, good versus bad, strength versus weakness and warmth against the dark. A brilliant analogy for the life we live today, is it not?

Newly scored by Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian, this exhilarating piece of Ballet romped along at a wonderful pace whilst one found oneself being brought in to the dance, the spirit of the dance takes hold. During those moments for me, no one would ever be able to talk to me or distract me. One sat open mouthed at the possibilities and the complexities of the human body and what it can achieve combined with music. That is all they have to tell the tale. When that single fact dawns on one, that you have a whole narrative in your head, yet not a word was spoken,one realises just how brilliant is the synergy between choreographer and dancer, dancer to musician and all of them to the audience.

Moving on Peter and the Wolf is the Russian Folk Tale we all grew up with. Written by one Of Russia's most famous composers, Sergei Prokofiev, It is a tale of cunning, stealth and overcoming adversity. Interesting to know they have enabled me to extend my “just like life,” analogy to this piece too.

It is wonderful. Can that stand alone as a paragraph….Yes!

It is wonderful, the design is perfect, what they have done is to contemporize the telling of the tale, (which incidentally is a clever device to contextualise the piece,) it is set it in a kind of current day playground and the kids decide to act the story. It’s that simple a presentation not let the simplicity of the narrative beguile you into think this ballet thing is easy. Oh No! The coming together between, designers, lighting designers, costumiers, electricians, artists, musicians, theatre people…you get the picture, to put a deceptively easy show on is one of the hardest tricks of World Theatre and that is how it should be! And BRB can do it so well!

Perhaps one of the most unusual lines to appear in a review is…”I loved the Duck” Brooke Ray just captures something quite unique. Her lovable little Duck had angst and modern attitudes, so wonderfully portrayed. A very clever piece of dance. 

I mentioned earlier about the spirit of the dance entering into one, with me I get teary eyed, I know I know I shouldn’t but if one is moved to that level of emotion one could only have this to say…

If Ballet is to move forward, thrive and survive the Twenty First Century and further, then I can think of no other body better prepared to pick up that mantel of responsibility than, The Birmingham Royal Ballet!

This Is A Five Star Review

Owen J.Lewis




Sofia Lewis Sofia Lewis
For many years Sofia wrote here under her male name Owen J. Lewis. She is now mostly writing under her own name of Sofia Lewis. Sofia, who worked on independent radio for over ten years, lives in Shrewsbury and writes plays. She has over 15 titles published and her plays are performed all over the world. She is especially popular in America. Her poetry is also often noted and she writes reams of it most weeks. Since graduating in theatre in 1997 Sofia has been an Actor, Filmmaker, and a Secondary School Teacher. Reviewing theatre is something she thoroughly enjoys and she loves to see great theatre. As a musician Sofia is known throughout the UK she is a folk singer, and is often seen or heard around her native county singing and having fun. Sofia has contributed to for over a decade and enjoys sharing her views on theatre. Sofia has one daughter and grew up in Church Stretton.

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