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Birmingham Royal Ballet - Spring Season 2015

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
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Family favourite and American choreography classics
It's a special season for Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) as it marks 25 years in the city as well as celebrating director David Bintley's 20th anniversary with the company.

BRB Spring1
Dancers Nao Sakuma and Iain Mackay in In the Upper Room

With that in mind, BRB puts on two productions for its Spring season with a breadth of varying choreography at Birmingham Hippodrome during February - Moving Stateside and the much-loved ballet of Coppelia.

BRB then moves on to Salford's Lowry and Plymouth's Theatre Royal with the two productions in March.

Moving Stateside features a trio of dance routines - Serenade, Lyric Pieces and In the Upper Room. These three ballets span nearly a century of choreography from some of America's greatest dance makers.

George Balanchine's Serenade opens the performance and is set to the music of Tchaikovsky,. It's an elegant milestone in the history of dance as this was Balanchine's first original ballet created in America.

BRB Spring2
Nao Sakuma in Serenade for Birmingham Royal Ballet's Spring 2015 season

The second performance is Lyric Pieces. This was created by Jessica Lang for International Dance Festival Birmingham 2012. It was her first piece for a major European company and is accompanied by music from Norwegian master Edvard Grieg.

The production is described as having a "transforming, fluid design of folding and unfolding set pieces" to make Lyric Pieces a "masterful and mesmerising work".

The final piece of the trio is Upper Room from Renowned American choreographer Twyla Tharp. This is a high-octane piece of work to the haunting music of Philip Glass. In contrast to the traditional performances earlier on during the show, audiences are set to be thrilled as a striking mix of dancers perform exhilarating routines in trainers and bold red pointe shoes.

Moving on to the second major production of the Spring season, BRB performs the family favourite of Coppelia at Birmingham Hippodrome from February 24 to 28.

First performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1995, Sir Peter Wright's cherished production of Coppelia is one of the company's most popular and treasured classical ballets.

Coppelia Elisha Willis as Swanilda and David Morse as Dr Coppelius

Coppélia tells the magical story of Dr Coppélius, a toymaker who creates the life-like Coppélia doll and wishes for nothing more than to bring her to life. He imagines that his dream has finally come true, but he has merely been caught between Franz, the red-blooded young lover, and Franz's jealous fiancée Swanilda. However, love triumphs over all in this comedy of mistaken identity for all the family to enjoy.

Created by Marius Petipa, one of the great 19th century classical choreographers, This ballet enjoyed its world premiere in 1870 performed by the Paris Opera Ballet.

Brb coppelia, Birmingham Hippodrome
Atmospheric and enchanting - BRB Coppelia

Coppelia's sparkling musical score was composed by the great master Léo Delibes. It features well-loved classics such as the stirring Act 1 Mazurka and the grand Waltz of the Hours.

Sir Peter Wright's enchanting production features a flurry of fantastical costumes and beautiful traditional sets including Dr. Coppélius's spooky toyshop. It's a show that all the family will enjoy from the very young to the very old.

Based at Birmingham Hippodrome since 1990, Birmingham Royal Ballet is the United Kingdom's leading classical ballet touring company performing a range of traditional, classical and heritage ballets as well as groundbreaking new works with the aim to encourage choreographers of the future.

The company has gone from strength to strength under the guidance of its award-winning director David Bintley. Meanwhile, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia is Britain's busiest ballet orchestra, playing for Birmingham Royal Ballet's wide-ranging programme in the UK and abroad.

The Sinfonia also plays frequently for The Royal Ballet and many of the world's other leading ballet companies, including the Paris Opéra Ballet, New York City Ballet, Australian Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Kirov, Norwegian Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and La Scala Ballet.


Prices from £16. Tickets are available by calling 0844 338 5000 or visiting the Birmingham Hippodrome website.

Birmingham Hippodrome
18 - 28 February

Serenade/Lyric Pieces/In the Upper Room
18 – 21 February 2015

24 – 28 February 2015


The Lowry, Salford
4 - 7 March 2015

Theatre Royal Plymouth
24 - 28 March 2015
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Why? See one of the UK's best ballet companies in action
When: From Feb 18 to March 28
Phone: 0844 338 5000
Where: Birmingham Hippodrome, Salford Lowry and Plymouth Theatre Royal
Cost: £16 - £47
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