CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Review: Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Fire and Fury

PUBLISHED: 10:27 11 October 2018

Fire and Fury, Birmingham Royal Ballet

Fire and Fury, Birmingham Royal Ballet


“If you’re one of those people who goes to an art gallery and turns towards the contemporary art rather than the old masters then this is the double bill for you.”

The first ballet The King Dances pays a very modern homage to Louis XV1, Le Roi Soleil, grandfather of all Ballet. Choreographed by David Bintley to mark his 20 years as Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet it features an all-male cast (except for the role of the goddess Selene) because David wants to ‘explore the beauty and the contained quality of male dancing which is beyond mere virtuoso tricks’. Yet so contained are the men, that the standout is Yijing Zhang as Selene. Her adagios and pas de deux with Max Maslen are perfectly controlled but also vibrant and glowing.

The second ballet is Ignite, a choreographic unfolding of a painting by William Turner, The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons. But whilst the inspiration is an old master, the dancers’ depiction of twisting fire, swirling smoke and spitting embers is far from the classical style.

This, to me, is the glorious success of Birmingham Royal Ballet. Having seen them a week earlier in La Fille Mal Gardée, the oldest ballet in their repertoire and one that they performed to sunny perfection, to then see so many of the same cast adapt so successfully to such a different style of their craft is truly impressive. Whilst I personally prefer a ballet with enough narrative to include the audience in a more accessible emotional journey, I can certainly appreciate and enjoy the skills and versatility of this company of dancers, the musicians of the ever-wonderful Royal Ballet Sinfonia, and the superb costumes and lighting in this double bill.

For those of us who can get to Cheltenham in May of next year, the Birmingham Royal Ballet will be bringing a new touring programme of work to the Everyman Theatre on Friday May 10 and Saturday May 11. A Season in our World and Peter and the Wolf are specially designed for families and younger audiences whilst still entertaining adults and promises to be a vibrant, energetic and all-round entertaining production.

A Season in our World will be choreographed by a team of three Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers – Kit Holder, Lachlan Monaghan and Laura Day. Laura is from Cheltenham and trained at Corraine Collins Dance School. This is her first commission from Birmingham Royal Ballet so it’s a hugely exciting occasion, which I, for one, will hope not to miss.

For all performances and touring dates, visit the Birmingham Royal Ballet website.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Yesterday, 13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Yesterday, 12:23

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search