Autumn 2019 could be described as a ‘bridge season’ during which Birmingham Royal Ballet moves towards the arrival of Carlos Acosta as Director in January 2020. The season is also classic BRB with its balance of classical and contemporary works: a three-date autumn tour of Giselle and a Mixed Bill featuring the latest Ballet Now commission plus a partnership with Ballet Black before a Christmas revival of Sir Peter Wright’s glorious The Nutcracker at Birmingham Hippodrome and the Royal Albert Hall to end the year.
Mixed Bill: A Brief Nostalgia; The Suit; Nine Sinatra Songs: 19 September – 30 October
The fourth commission from BRB’s ground-breaking Ballet Now initiative is A Brief Nostalgia by rising young choreographer and Queensland Ballet dancer Jack Lister. Featuring a new score by award-winning Scottish (and first-time ballet score) composer Tom Harrold, this world premiere will open the exciting and eclectic mixed bill before Ballet Black – fresh from their staggering performance with Stormzy at Glastonbury – will take to the stage to perform Cathy Marston’s critically acclaimed The Suit, inspired by Can Themba’s South African fable. BRB’s dancers return to close the programme with Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, a glamorous portrait of seven couples that traces the arc of romantic relationships. Nine Sinatra Songs is one of Tharp’s most frequently performed works and has become an international, crowd-pleasing favourite.
Giselle: 25 September – 2 November
David Bintley’s BRB legacy takes immediate effect with a UK tour of his, and Galina Samsova’s, production of Giselle this autumn. First staged 20 years ago in 1999, and featuring Adolphe Adam’s original score performed by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, BRB Principals Momoko Hirata and César Morales will star on the opening night as the eponymous heroine and her anti-hero Count Albrecht. The revival of this exquisite and heart-wrenching staging opens at Birmingham Hippodrome before travelling to Plymouth ahead of a two-date London run at Sadler’s Wells. Full casting to be announced.
Cassa Pancho MBE, Founder and Artistic Director of Ballet Black, said: “I’m thrilled that Ballet Black will be joining Birmingham Royal Ballet for their exciting mixed programme in autumn 2019. It’s a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with one of the most established British ballet companies, and for our own brilliant dancers to work alongside the world-class talent at BRB.”
The end of the year also sees the now annual revival of Sir Peter Wright’s acclaimed production of The Nutcracker which returns to Birmingham Hippodrome for the festive season (22 November – 14 December), transporting the audience beyond the theatre to a realm of giant Christmas trees and dancing snowflakes. The magic continues at the Royal Albert Hall for a third year with Birmingham Royal Ballet’s spectacular reimagined version of The Nutcracker (28 – 31 December), complete with projections from 59 Productions and Simon Callow as the voice of Drosselmeyer.
Further Autumn Announcements
September will also see the announcement of the programme for Carlos Acosta’s summer festival which will take place at Birmingham Hippodrome and Sadler’s Wells in June to end the 19/20 season. Carlos’s first (20/21) season for Birmingham Royal Ballet will be announced in February 2020.