Birmingham Royal Ballet presents ambitious new production in a mixed programme at Birmingham Hippodrome
This June, Birmingham Royal Ballet performs the world premiere of Arcadia at Birmingham Hippodrome, as part of a mixed programme alongside Michael Corder’s Le Baiser de la fee and John Cranko’s ever popular Pineapple Poll.
Choreographed by Birmingham Royal Ballet First Artist Ruth Brill, designed by Atena Ameri – exceptional student from Birmingham School of Acting – and accompanied by a striking new score from renowned saxophonist John Harle, this brand new work unleashes the Ancient Greek god Pan in all his glory and complexity.
Arcadia was born when David Bintley (Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet) mentioned John Harle’s beautiful music to Ruth Brill, hoping that it would inspire her. After watching a sample of her initial work, David Bintley commissioned Ruth to choreograph Arcadia. Ruth comments, “It is rare for an artistic director to trust a young choreographer with such an important commission. I’ve learnt so much from David throughout this process and it’s an honour to continue the choreographic legacy of Birmingham Royal Ballet.”
Ruth is no stranger to choreographing for diverse and exciting projects, but Arcadia represents her biggest challenge to date. As she explains, “So much of this experience has been completely new to me, so it’s really been a case of learning as I go. I enjoy the collaborative process, building relationships with people and then pulling all the elements together. It’s an amazing feeling to see my vision come to life on stage.”
Arcadia’s young, vibrant creative team is typified by designer Atena Ameri. When Birmingham Royal Ballet invited Birmingham School of Acting students to design their brand-new ballet, Atena stood out due to her exceptional portfolio. She has taken a year out of her degree to design Arcadia and gain valuable experience of the theatre industry. A talented artist, Atena has developed a unique style for the Arcadia designs, characterised by an expressive use of colour and texture inspired by nature.
Atena’s costume designs have been created by the in-house costume department at Birmingham Royal Ballet, assisted by renowned ballet costumiers Parkinson Gill. Head of Costume Elaine Garlick explains, “It’s been a really good exercise in allowing people to gain experience whilst being mentored by Parkinson Gill, who really are experts in their field. We want to invest in people who want to live in Birmingham, making sure they have access to the correct training to develop their skills to a national, or even international, level.”
Arcadia’s young creative team have been pushing the boundaries, working with scale and ambition rarely seen in a one-act ballet. This world premiere at Birmingham Hippodrome represents an exciting new opportunity for the artistic talents of the future. As Ruth Brill comments, “We need to push the boundaries, form new collaborations and engage the next generation with the arts. Creating Arcadia has been a learning curve for me, but art is about exploring; you shouldn’t always feel safe. We need platforms to push new choreographers, designers and composers – the leaders of the next generation.”
Arcadia premieres at part of Three Short Story Ballets at Birmingham Hippodrome.
Three Short Story Ballets production credits:
Le Baiser de la fée
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Choreography: Michael Corder
Designs: John Macfarlane
Lighting: Paule Constable
Music: John Harle
Choreography: Ruth Brill
Designs: Atena Ameri
Lighting: Peter Teigen
Music: Arthur Sullivan
Choreography: John Cranko
Designs: Osbert Lancaster
Lighting: Neil Austin
Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham B5 4TB; Box Office: 0844 338 5000; www.birminghamhippodrome.com
Wednesday 21 – Saturday 24 June
Le Baiser de la fée
Fairy: Jenna Roberts / Céline Gittens / Delia Mathews (cover)
Young Man: Joseph Caley / Mathias Dingman / Lachlan Monaghan (cover)
Bride: Momoko Hirata / Miki Mizutani / Maureya Lebowitz (cover)
Mother: Daria Stanciulescu / Laura Purkiss
Pan: Brandon Lawrence / William Bracewell / Tyrone Singleton / Lachlan Monaghan (cover)
Selene: Céline Gittens / Samara Downs / Delia Mathews
Syrinx: Yijing Zhang / Yaoqian Shang
Pitys: Yvette Knight / Brooke Ray
Echo: Delia Mathews / Alys Shee / Daria Stanciulescu
Pineapple Poll: Nao Sakuma / Jenna Roberts / Maureya Lebowitz
Captain Belaye: Mathias Dingman / Yasuo Atsuji / Tom Rogers
Please note that all casting is provisional and subject to change.
Birmingham Royal Ballet
Based at Birmingham Hippodrome since 1990, Birmingham Royal Ballet is the United Kingdom’s leading classical ballet touring company performing a range of traditional, classical and heritage ballets as well as ground-breaking new works with the aim of encouraging choreographers of the future.
The company’s Director is the award-winning David Bintley, CBE, Chief Executive is Jan Teo and Music Director is Koen Kessels. Birmingham Royal Ballet performs at Birmingham Hippodrome for approximately ten weeks of the year and the remainder of the year tours throughout the United Kingdom and overseas.
The Royal Ballet Sinfonia is Britain’s busiest ballet orchestra, playing for Birmingham Royal Ballet’s wide-ranging programme in the UK and abroad. The Sinfonia also plays frequently for The Royal Ballet and many of the world’s other leading ballet companies, including regular performances with; The Royal Ballet, Paris Opéra Ballet, New York City Ballet, Australian Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Kirov, Norwegian Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and La Scala Ballet.