Ballet Now—first commissions announced

Vera Liber

Birmingham Royal Ballet, in association with Sadler’s Wells, has announced the first three choreographers and two composers commissioned for Ballet Now, a five-year programme of professional development for choreographers, composers and designers.

The project will individually mentor a choreographer, composer and designer who have not previously created a dance piece for a large company on each of two new one-act ballets per year for five years.

The initiative has been developed and overseen by a Creative Consortium consisting of David Bintley (Director, Birmingham Royal Ballet), Koen Kessels (Music Director, Birmingham Royal Ballet), Alistair Spalding (Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and Chief Executive), Cassa Pancho (Artistic Director, Ballet Black), Ted Brandsen (Director, Dutch National Ballet), Emma Southworth (Studio Programme Senior Producer, The Royal Ballet), Sally Beamish (Composer) and Sally Cavender (Director, Performance Music and Vice-Chairman, Faber Music).

The first choreographers to be named are George Williamson, Juanjo Arqués and Didy Veldman and the first composers are Sarah Kirkland Snider (working with George Williamson) and Gabriel Prokofiev (working with Didy Veldman). The designers will be announced in 2018.

The first Ballet Now commission, from Williamson and Snider, will be performed as part of the In the Upper Room mixed programme at Sadler’s Wells (15 and 16 June 2018) and Birmingham Hippodrome (20 and 23 June 2018).