BRB online ballet classes and performance

Published: 2 April 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

Céline Gittens Credit: Richard Battye

In partnership with BBC's Culture in Quarantine, Birmingham Royal Ballet will present an online Ballet Class Live and a 'living room' performance of The Swan set to Camille Saint-Saëns's Le Cygne from Le Carnaval des animaux.

The Birmingham Royal Ballet: Home From Home series will open with a live-streamed Ballet Class Live led by Ballet Master Dominic Antonucci, a special ballet class live from the homes of BRB company members all over the world.

The class will show their daily physical warm-up routine, with online participants including Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet Carlos Acosta, who said, “every dancer needs to stay fit and flexible and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. During this period of self-isolation and quarantine, it is vitally important that our company, based in their homes all over the world, continue to meet up online and take daily ballet class.

“As part of the Birmingham Royal Ballet: Home From Home series, we will be giving exclusive ballet class access to BBC’s Culture in Quarantine from 11AM GMT on Friday 3 April.

“Why not tune in and watch our company of world-class performers in class, and why not even participate yourself from the comfort of your own home?”

There will be a ‘living-room’ performance of The Swan introduced by Acosta and performed at home by principal dancer Céline Gittens accompanied by principal pianist Jonathan Higgins and cellist Antonio Novais at 3PM on Wednesday 8 April. The piece was originally choreographed by Mikhail Fokine for Anna Pavlova and is popularly known as The Dying Swan.

Acosta said, “we are going to try an experiment; I frankly don’t know how it’s going to turn out. We are going to perform for you one of my favourite pieces, The Swan. I have purposely changed the end, so this is a dance about life, about hope.

“This is a dance of promises, it represents the end of something and the beginning of something else, and in these crazy times that we are living we all need a new beginning.”