BRB develops young ballet company

Published: 19 January 2023
Reporter: Steve Orme

BRB2 (left to right): Mason King, Jack Easton, Mailene Katoch, BRB director Carlos Acosta, Frieda Kaden and Oscar Kempsey-Fagg Credit: Drew Tommonss

Birmingham Royal Ballet has set up a new company, BRB2, which will seek out ”some of the best young ballet graduates from around the world” to join a two-year performance programme.

BRB director Carlos Acosta said, “since arriving at BRB, I’ve wanted to develop a young company with its own artistic identity in which some of our finest young dancers would not only have the opportunity to take on lead roles of their own but which would also provide a structure for brilliant young dancers graduating from ballet schools around the world to gain real-life experience with a touring ballet company.

“BRB has a strong track record in launching the careers of some of the world’s most renowned dancers who’ve developed their skills at BRB and then gone on to become global stars. BRB is proud that Darcey Bussell, Leanne Benjamin and Miyako Yoshida among others had their first professional jobs at Birmingham Royal Ballet. BRB2 will help the company give opportunities to more of the brightest stars of the future.”

Dancers for the first cohort were selected by Acosta and Dominic Antonucci, BRB’s assistant director. The founding members of BRB2 are Oscar Kempsey-Fagg (UK), Mason King (UK / New Zealand), Frieda Kaden (Germany), Mailene Katoch (France) and Jack Easton (USA).

Joining them for BRB2’s first UK tour, called Carlos Acosta’s Classical Selection, will be Enrique Bejarano Vidal (Mexico), Olivia Chang Clarke (UK), Regan Hutsell (USA), Sofia Linares (Spain), Eric Pinto Cata (UK), Lucy Waine (UK) and soloist Riku Ito (Japan).

The BRB2 company will tour to Northampton’s Royal and Derngate on Tuesday 25 April, Nottingham Theatre Royal on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 April, New Theatre Peterborough on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 May), the Linbury, London on Monday 12 June and Wolverhampton Grand on Monday 19 June.