In 2016, Birmingham Royal Ballet are commemorating 400 years since the death of arguably the world’s most prolific playwright, William Shakespeare alongside arts organisations from across the country and the globe. This September, the Company continue their celebration of the Bard’s characters and prose with three differing works, from contemporary to classical.
The Shakespeare Dream Bill begins with Jessica Lang’s brand-new work for the Company, Wink inspired by five of Shakespeare’s sonnets. The title, Wink, comes from the first line of sonnet 43 “When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see”. This stylish abstract exploration of William Shakespeare’s words features an interactive set of rotating boards by Mimi Lien which seamlessly intercept with the performers movement, switching from black to white to give the illusion of a blinking eye. The piece features a new commissioned score by Jakub Ciupinski.
This special triple bill also features José Limón’s The Moor’s Pavane. Created in 1949, this dark and dramatic work embodies the tensions, drama and jealousy in Shakespeare’s Othello. Four dancers portray the essence of the play’s central protagonists, The Moor (Othello), Iago, Emelia and Desdemona amongst an atmospheric, endless black backdrop playing to the mood and themes of one of the playwright’s great tragedies.
The bill concludes with a touch of magic and mayhem as the Company revives Sir Frederick Ashton’s classical interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Dream. In a dramatic leafy forest love gets out of hand for fairies and mortals alike in this timeless production which was originally created in 1964 by Ashton to mark Shakespeare’s birthday. This beautiful production features all the hallmarks of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s renowned flare for storytelling and world-class dance.
As part of the Company’s ongoing commitment to involving audiences in the creative process, ahead of Friday evening’s performance audience members are invited to join a select panel of some of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s most influential creative forces for a pre-show talk as they discuss life as part of a world-renowned ballet company. The event is free for ticket holders and starts at 6.30pm ahead of the evening performance.
On Saturday 17 September members of the public are then invited behind closed doors as the Company of dancers open up their daily class. This is a rare and fascinating opportunity to take a peek behind the scenes to witness the preparation and dedication needed to be part of the UK’s leading touring classical ballet company.
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Shakespeare Dream Bill
Thursday 15 – Saturday 17 September 2016
Thu– Sat eves 7.30pm, Fri mat 1pm, Sat mat 2pm
Tickets: £9 – £39
Saturday 17 September 2016, 11.15am
Tickets – £10
Friday 16 September 2016, 6.30pm
Free to ticket holders
The Lowry Information & Box Office
0843 208 6005