Birmingham REP welcomes back live performances

Published: 23 October 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Birmingham Royal Ballet in Lazuli Sky Credit: Johan Persson

Birmingham REP has become the first major venue in the city to host a live performance: the world première of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Lazuli Sky.

Five performances are being staged in front of 'socially distanced' audiences and tickets sold out within 24 hours of going on sale. However, an online stream of the production will be available on a pay-per-view basis from Sunday 1 November.

Lazuli Sky is the first one-act ballet to be commissioned and presented by Carlos Acosta as director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, a role he started in January 2020 shortly before the COVID-19 crisis. At the beginning of lockdown, Acosta turned to British choreographer Will Tuckett and asked him to create a new work for Birmingham Royal Ballet inspired by and utilising social distancing.

In response to the evolving way in which dance and live performance can once again be staged, Tuckett and his team, including designer Samuel Wyer and projection designer Nina Dunn, created a piece set to Shaker Loops composed by John Adams, performed live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted by Paul Murphy.

As well as Lazuli Sky, the programme includes Our Waltzes, choreographed by Vicente Nebrada, and Liebestod, choreographed by Valery Panov.

Lazuli Sky will transfer to London's Sadler's Wells from Thursday 29 until Saturday 31 October.

Sean Foley, the REP’s artistic director, said, "we’re honoured to be the first major venue in Birmingham to welcome back live theatre. It’s also a great pleasure that these performances are by one of our city's other great companies, Birmingham Royal Ballet—the first in a series of commissions as part of a new ongoing partnership between the REP and BRB.”

Acosta added, “we look forward to future collaboration, bringing more exciting new ballets to the REP and entertaining audiences. It's going to be a fantastic experience for all of us."

The REP will be hosting two further world premières to 'socially distanced' audiences with Rosie Kay Dance Company's Absolute Solo II on Saturday 21 November and Constructed from Thursday 3 until Saturday 5 December. Both productions are sold out.