Media release: Thursday 29 September 2011


ballet dancers

Ballet in Birmingham. l-r Robert Parker at Birmingham Airport/Nao Sakuma at The Mailbox/Ambra Vallo at Yogahaven Birmingham. Photography : Richard Battye


To mark the start of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s new 2011-12 season, the company has joined forces with a Birmingham-based photographer in a city-wide photographic campaign called Ballet in Birmingham.  The campaign celebrates the world-class ballet company in Birmingham, the city it calls ‘home’.  Based at Birmingham Hippodrome, the company has resided in the city for 21 years.

Photographer Richard Battye captured images of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s thirteen Principal dancers, the company Director David Bintley, Assistant Director Marion Tait and Chief Executive Christopher Barron in areas of Birmingham that mean something special to them, away from their work with the company.

The sixteen members of the company photographed over three days in and around Birmingham, selected a range of locations that highlights some of the city’s great treasures, buildings and large and small-scale businesses.

Spreading the word about the City of Birmingham and Birmingham Royal Ballet, the campaign’s photography and text will travel with the company, through its programmes and website, as the company tours extensively throughout the United Kingdom, including tour dates to London in October, December, March 2012 and overseas engagements.

Christopher Barron, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Chief Executive said:The City of Birmingham is Birmingham Royal Ballet’s home and, twenty one years later, we remain extremely proud to call it home.  Birmingham Royal Ballet is running this campaign to highlight some of the great landmarks and businesses in the city, places that make this city tick and places that members of the company find special and enjoy visiting”

Photographer Richard Battye said: “It was especially interesting photographing the dancers and staff in their chosen Birmingham locations celebrating the City and all it has to offer. There is a wealth of culture and creativity within the city which is why I have based myself here. Birmingham Royal Ballet is known internationally and the City’s name goes with them as they tour.  My thanks to all the varied locations and venues that helped with this project”

The company is extremely grateful to the following companies for their help with this city-wide campaign; Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses, Birmingham International Airport, Brindleyplace, The Mailbox, Aston Villa Football Club, Yoga Haven in the Jewellery Quarter, Moseley Park and Pool Trust Ltd., Urban Coffee Co., The White Swan in Edgbaston, the Stonebridge Golf Club Driving Range and Birmingham City Council for allowing photography in St. Paul’s Square and Highbury Park.

Richard Battye is a professional photographer in Birmingham and has traded as River Studio for the past 21 years. The last few years has seen Richard specialise in ‘people’ and particularly the ‘creative and performing arts’. He has worked photographing authors for Tindal Street press, poets, artists, musicians; from Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath, Apache Indian, Soweto Kinch to string quartets and every genre in between…including a shot of the late John Peel.  Three years in the making, last year he launched a successful dance photography exhibition called Still Dancing.

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  1. Rachel @ Da Paura September 30, 2011 at 12:19 am #

    Seems like a creative place!


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