Birmingham Royal Ballet Creates Beauty Unequaled!

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Theatre Severn

Saturday 6th May (Matinee)

One is always excited when faced with a prospect of a great show of originality, humour and a unique-ness that can only be achieved by a fantastic team, all pulling in the same direction. In shorter terms that criteria is always met during a  performance by, The Birmingham Royal  Ballet.

Bringing three pieces of work to make up the show, as always the BRB provided the goods and danced their way into the hearts of every audience member. Naturally with it being a matinee one might expect a plethora of little girls all watching and wishing. They were there in their droves! No surprise there.

So with a full house the show began with Kenneth MacMillan’s, Solitaire.  A piece drawn out of MacMillan’s life, or rather a girl that MacMillan had been associated with.  As he had very little  time when originally devising this piece he chose already created music written by Malcolm Arnold.

Although originally too short for the dance Arnold composed two more pieces and MacMillan created the delightful half an hour dance that is, solitaire.

Using the entire cast of around twenty dancers BRB delighted the excited audience with beautiful jumps lifts and turns. With not one single step dropped the story unfolded. There was so much movement on the stage that it was a delight of colour sight and sound.

One of Ballet’s most unique properties is the paradox that is: all the dancers, of both genders are so strong and yet their movement , their very steps are so delicate and beautifully executed. A result of this incredible cohesion is an almost dreamlike story inspired by fairies and other magical beings. Even if that was not the true narrative one was able to witness a beautiful juxta-position of strength and delicacy and realise that what is happening is breath-taking. It is fair to say that th combination   of strength and beauty is BRB’s signature and they never get it wrong.

The second piece Han Van Manen’s , 5 Tangos. A piece danced entirely in the black box of an uncluttered stage. The scenery was the dancers.  So beautifully the red and black of the girl’s outfits gave a staggering effect  and created once again an ephemeral beauty that needed nothing more..

Dancing to the difficult score by Astor Piazzolla the piece delivered exactly what it said it would, namely 5 Tangos.  It was a piece one found less accessible than the first and considerably more serious than the last piece. However once again the dancer hit their marks and as the predominately black dresses twirled flashes of red can be seen within. The redness of decadence the redness of the wickedness that makes up the Tango. Wonderful.

The final piece was just great fun. Entitled Pineapple Poll and written by a south African choreographer named John Cranko. He was looking for a piece to shine in a time of austerity and general browness that clung to this Island for a few years after the end of the Second World War.

This delightful piece told a tale of a dashing sea captain. Set probably, in the eighteenth century, the urbane sea captain charms all the women of the town and they all stowaway, as men upon his ship. So far so good however and alas, the sea captain brings his new bride on to the ship and all the girls were grief stricken and love sick. Just when one wonders what might this lead to the Pirates (or was it the crew?)  returned and there were men enough for everyone.

It was danced so stunningly and with it colourful back drops and nautical music Pineapple Poll was the cream on a very well presented afternoon cake.

Graced by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, ( they are the most prestigious musicians on the scene and played beautifully) Birmingham Royal Ballet brought the evidence that Ballet is alive and thriving and what’s more for all us Salopians they are also our local professional Ballet companies. We are sometimes so lucky!

This is a Four Star Review

Owen J. Lewis


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. Three times Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet. See more on

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