New partnership between BRB and Birmingham REP

Published: 20 August 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

Lazuli Sky Artwork. Dancers Max Maslen and Beatrice Parma Credit: Nina Dunn, James Simpson and Samuel Wyer

A new partnership between Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham REP will be launched with four shows for live audiences in October.

Lazuli Sky, choreographed by Will Tuckett and set to Shaker Loops by John Adams as part of a triple bill of ballet with live music from the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, will take place at The REP 22–24 October, with 150 tickets on sale to the public for each of four shows. The show will also be filmed at The REP for broadcast in November via ‘pay per view’.

Our Waltzes is a Latin-infused collection of neoclassical work celebrating love and romance by Venezuelan choreographer Vicente Nebrada which has been performed for more than 40 years with a score from Venezuelan composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Teresa Carreño, Salvador Llamozas, Manuel Guadalajara, Isabel de Maury, Sofia Limonta, Ramon Delgado Palacios and Heraclio Fernández.

Liebestod, choreographed by Valery Panov, to Wagner’s music from Tristan and Isolde, is a solo piece. Little movements grow to explosive athleticism before subsiding to stillness.

City of a Thousand Trades is a new one-act abstract ballet in development, inspired by and celebrating the cultural and industrial heritage of Birmingham, which will have its world première performances at The REP 6, 7 & 8 May 2021 and be brought to stage by choreographer Miguel Altunaga with music by Mathias Coppens, designs by Guilia Scrimieri and lighting by Michael Lee-Woolley.

Carlos Acosta, Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, said, "after joining Birmingham Royal Ballet at the beginning of the year, I set about making new friends in the city, knowing that collaboration was key to a successful and creative art form. Sean Foley, also new to the job of Artistic Director of The REP, and I spoke about an exciting cross-sector partnership, using the best of our creative networks in theatre and in dance to develop new work. It became clear that we shared a vision and commitment to making Birmingham the greatest city in the Arts.

"This year, Birmingham Royal Ballet celebrates 30 years of working in the heart of Birmingham. Whilst the company continues to enjoy strong bonds with its home venue, Birmingham Hippodrome, our work to bring back large-scale, classic ballets with them is not yet complete and will require government approval. The new partnership between Birmingham Royal Ballet and The REP will complement the relationship with Birmingham Hippodrome, and enhance creative development throughout this great city."

Sean Foley, Artistic Director of The REP said, "Carlos Acosta and I are both honoured to be leading amazing cultural institutions in a great international city. It is part of our job to amplify, celebrate and create work about that city, delivering excitement and artistic excellence for the people of Birmingham and wider afield—both nationally, and internationally.

"Particularly now, in order to survive and thrive, the arts must find new and inventive ways to collaborate and create new works. The REP has an unrivalled pioneering history in UK theatre—from staging the world’s first modern dress Shakespeare, to being a national leader in community development and creative learning, it has always been a theatre that seeks the cultural collisions that make extraordinary art for ordinary people. This is the beginning of an exciting partnership that will encompass full-scale productions, and new ways to create audiences together."

After its run at The REP, BRB’s Autumn Mixed Bill will head to Sadler’s Wells in London from 29–31 October.