Thursday, 25 February 2010


Delia Matthews in Cinderella
Photograph :  Tim Cross

Quite a bit of news for you, beginning with Birmingham Royal Ballet's 20th Anniversary Gala, in the presence of royalty, which takes place on Tuesday 9 March at 7.30pm & Wednesday 10 March at 2pm and 7.30pm. 

First of all I'd like to give you a snapshot of Birmingham Royal Ballet's history, to put the celebrations into context :

Birmingham Hippodrome and Birmingham City Council invite Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet to re-locate to Birmingham.

Richard Johnson, Director of Birmingham Hippodrome and on behalf of Birmingham City Council meets with Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet’s Director Peter Wright and General Manager Christopher Nourse. They discuss the proposed plans for a move, to be helped by local funding and improved facilities at Birmingham Hippodrome

Relocation announced at a press conference on 12 January

In June, Dame Ninette de Valois lays the foundation stone at Birmingham Hippodrome to commemorate new studios and facilities

Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet moves to a new home in Birmingham and changes its name to Birmingham Royal Ballet

Sir Peter Wright retires. David Bintley becomes Artistic Director

Birmingham Royal Ballet becomes independent of the Royal Opera House

Christopher Barron joins Birmingham Royal Ballet as Chief Executive

Elmhurst School for Dance moves from London to Birmingham and becomes the Associate School of Birmingham Royal Ballet

As the company prepares to celebrate twenty years in the City of Birmingham, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Director David Bintley wins The South Bank Show Dance Award and an Olivier nomination for E=mc²

Here are the details of the Gala :
Media release: 25.02.2010


attended by


Birmingham Royal Ballet is pleased to announce the Company’s 20th Anniversary Gala, 20 Years Celebration, on Wednesday 10 March at 7.30pm at Birmingham Hippodrome, will be attended by
Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales, President of Birmingham Royal Ballet and The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of Elmhurst School for Dance, the Birmingham-based vocational school in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet.

2010 marks Birmingham Royal Ballet’s 20th year in the City of Birmingham since the company (then Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet) moved from London in 1990, a move the press at the time described as ‘the arts coup of the decade’. Twenty years on and Birmingham Royal Ballet is delighted to celebrate two decades of success with an exciting array of productions, kicking off with three celebratory galas at the company’s home theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome.

Sponsored by Bullring Birmingham, 20 Years Celebration will highlight excerpts from Birmingham Royal Ballet’s most memorable repertoire. Along with multimedia presentations that will commemorate the company’s local, national and international achievements over the last two decades, excerpts from The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet Carmina Burana, and Ballet Changed My Life: Ballet Hoo! will be included, along with performances from students of Elmhurst School for Dance and the Royal Ballet School.

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Director David Bintley said: It’s our 20th anniversary so it’s a celebration of the past 20 years, and looking towards the future. I’m trying to tell the story of the whole company, not just the people who appear on stage, but also all the parts of the Company that people really don’t know very much about. I hope that everyone who comes would leave at the end with a better understanding of Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Louise Hamer-Brown, Marketing Controller for Bullring commented: To produce a ballet requires such a vast range of skills and talents united to create a work of art, from set design and costume design, choreography to lighting and of course, the dancers. This year at Bullring we’re celebrating all that makes people feel happy, so collaborating with Birmingham Royal Ballet which brings delight to all who watch and take part in it, seemed a natural unity. We are proud to sponsor an organisation that brings this exquisite performance art to Birmingham.

For tickets, please either call 0844 338 5000 or visit the Birmingham Hippodrome website (link below).

Delia Matthews in Cinderella
Photograph :  Tim Cross

Birmingham Royal Ballet have also announced their 2010/11 Season, which includes the World Premiere of David Bintley's new production of Cinderella.

Birmingham Royal Ballet is pleased to announce the company’s 2010/11 season, which includes the world premiere of David Bintley’s new version of the fairytale classic, Cinderella. A triple bill named Pointes of View and the classic love story Romeo and Juliet, along with Cinderella, conclude the company’s celebrations for their anniversary year in Birmingham.

Later in the season and into 2011, ballet favourites La Fille mal gardée and Coppélia will delight audiences of all ages. A double bill called Passion and Ecstasy finishes the 2010/11 season at Birmingham Hippodrome and includes Allegri diversi and Carmina Burana. Both ballets are by award winning choreographer and Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Director, David Bintley.

In The Upper Room
Photograph :  Bill Cooper

In September the company will open its season with a triple bill named Pointes of View, three complementary ballets by some of the world’s leading choreographers. Kenneth Macmillan’s Concerto is one of his most popular works, in which displays of energy and virtuosity frame a warm and tender pas de deux. The Lady and the Fool is an unsentimental but deeply passionate dance created by John Cranko, MacMillan’s contemporary and friend, and another influential 20th century choreographer, and In the Upper Room, dancers in trainers and striking red pointe shoes dominate the stage with energy, flair and finesse in this athletic ballet by American choreographer Twyla Tharp.

Romeo and Juliet was first performed by the company at Birmingham Hippodrome in 1992. Kenneth MacMillan’s production returns to the company’s home theatre from 29 September 2010 for 6 performances only. With a sweeping score by Sergei Prokofiev and choreography from Kenneth MacMillan, Romeo and Juliet continues to be the all-time classic love story.

Chi Cao as Romeo, from Romeo & Juliet
Photograph :  Bill Cooper

Created for the City of Birmingham in the company’s 20th anniversary year, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s brand new production of Cinderella by David Bintley, receives its world premiere at Birmingham Hippodrome on 24 November 2010. John Macfarlane, designer of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker and the company’s recent Le Baiser de la fée promises to conjure up a magical world to bring this much loved fairytale to life to the music by Sergei Prokiev.

Kicking off the spring season La Fille mal gardée will be performed at the beginning of March 2011 at Birmingham Hippodrome. Ever popular because of its simple, engaging story and wonderful wit, La Fille mal gardée remains a firm family favourite. Created in 1960 by Frederick Ashton, one of the greatest choreographers of the 20th century, this charming ballet was an instant hit and includes the famous ‘clog dance’, one of the most famous dances performed in a classical ballet.

In June, Coppélia, the tale of magic, mayhem and the original living doll, will entertain audiences of all ages at the company’s home theatre. The company’s production is by Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Director Laureate Sir Peter Wright. Premiered by Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1995, the enchanting production of this witty ballet is an ever-popular celebration of love, with a sparking score by Delibes and breathtaking choreography by Marius Petipa, Enrico Cecchetti and Peter Wright.

James Grundy as Alain from La Fille mal gardée 
Photograph :  Bill Cooper

Later in June, Passion and Ecstasy, is an evening of two ballets by Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Director, David Bintley and rounds off the 2010-11 season at Birmingham Hippodrome. Allegri diversi is an energetic ballet set to Rossini’s score full of jumps, turns, and dance phrases that freeze into unpredictable poses with speeds that reach impossible highs. Completing the summer’s double bill is David Bintley’s Carmina Burana. An encounter with the mind-blowing Goddess Fortuna deals three seminarians a major lesson in the fickle nature of fate. It is a thrilling, large-scale production, made to Carl Orff’s rousing and emotionally charged choral tour de force. With designs by Philip Prowse and lighting by Peter Mumford, Carmina Burana premiered in Birmingham in 1995.


Pointes of View
(Concerto / The Lady and the Fool / In the Upper Room)
22 – 25 September 2010

Romeo and Juliet
29 September – 2 October 2010

Cinderella (World Premiere)
24 November – 12 December 2010

La Fille mal gardée
2- 5 March 2011

15 – 18 June 2011

Passion and Ecstasy
(Allegri diversi / Carmina Burana)
22 - 25 June 2011

Please visit the Birmingham Royal Ballet website for more information.  Season tickets are available from 22 February 2010. Discounts of 25% can be obtained by those wishing to book a subscription package enabling them to see all shows.
Please note General booking opens 31 March 2010.


  1. interesting post and beautiful pictures!

  2. Thank you for the wonderful post and all your effort. Beautiful photo's and informative.

  3. Just amazing! Have a wonderful weekend!


  4. Looks amazing! Such beautiful pictures.

  5. Such FABULOUS photos! Oh my, seeing them always has the same effect on me - "time to get off to the ballet". All I have to do is convince DH to take me soon, I would so love to see one again.

    thanks so much for all your recent comments while visiting, Elise! Always very much appreciated. Update, a new used-Smart was picked up today! Thanks again.

  6. Looks tremendous, do you know who the production designer for Cinderella was?


  7. Inspiring and wonderful words and photos, as always!!!
    Thank you for sharing!

  8. xox Dany - thank you

    La Petite Gallery - lovely of you to say so, thank you

    Cloudia - and to you !

    Inspiration in Italy - thank you

    Audrey Allure - thank you

    The Pink Birdhouse - YOU MUST ! I hope to hear more about your adventures to the ballet SOON !!

    Clarity - thank you ! Do you mean the costumes or the sets ? Or both ?!

    Noche de verano - thank you !


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