David Mead

Birmingham Royal Ballet in The Dream.  Photo © Bill Cooper

Birmingham Royal Ballet in Ashton’s The Dream.
Photo © Bill Cooper

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s 2015-6 season at the Birmingham Hippodrome sees the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the company’s move from London, marked by the return to the repertory of Balanchine’s grand Theme and Variations, the first ever ballet that the Company performed after the 1990 transfer and a season of Sir Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker in the lead up to Christmas, the first new full-length ballet created in the city.

2016 marks 400 years since Shakespeare’s death. The company will be presenting much Shakespeare-related work through the year, staring with Frederick Ashton’s The Dream, joined on a double-bill by a second Ashton ballet, A Month in the Country. Inspired by Turgenev’s play, A Month in the Country tells the story of a bored housewife, a charming young man, and a dreaming girl; a poignant and romantic tale.

2015-6 also sees the return of Macmillan’s Romeo and Juliet and John Cranko’s comedy The Taming of the Shrew, in which the independent and tempestuous Kate gives her suitor Petruchio considerably more than he bargained for.

Also on a Shakespeare theme are a company premiere and world premiere. New to Birmingham Royal Ballet is the company is José Limón’s one-act tragedy, The Moor’s Pavane, while The Sonnets is a new one-act ballet from Jessica Lang. Those two ballets are joined by David Bintley’s The Shakespeare Suite which has a collection of the Bard’s best-loved characters dancing to a swinging Duke Ellington score.

The 15/16 Birmingham season begins with Swan Lake, which will then tour extensively. Theme and Variations is joined by former company dancer Alexander Whitley’s abstract ballet Kin, danced to a pulsing, hypnotic score by Phil Kline, and Ashton’s Enigma Variations.

Ticket sales opening dates:

7 April: BRB Friends and Donors.
14 April: Renewing subscribers.
14 May: Public booking packages.
1 June: Public booking individual tickets.

Book tickets online at www.birminghamhippodrome.com or phone Birmingham Hippodrome ticket office 0844 338 5000. For subscription packages see www.brb.org.uk/subs.

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Birmingham Hippodrome 2015-2106 season at a glance:

28 September – 6 October 2015: Swan Lake
8 – 10 October 2015: Variations triple bill (Theme and Variations / Kin / Enigma Variations)
27 November –13 December 2015: The Nutcracker
17 – 20 February 2016: Ashton double bill (The Dream / A Month in the Country)
24 – 27 February 2016: Romeo and Juliet
16 – 18 June 2016: The Taming of the Shrew
22 –25 June 2016: Shakespeare triple bill (The Sonnets / The Moor’s Pavane / The Shakespeare Suite)

Autumn 2015 tour dates confirmed so far:

The Lowry, Salford: 23 – 26 September Swan Lake
Sunderland Empire Theatre: 22 – 24 October Swan Lake
Theatre Royal Plymouth: 27 – 29 October Swan Lake
Theatre Royal Plymouth: 30 – 31 October Variations triple bill (Theme and Variations / The King Dances / Enigma Variations)
Belfast Grand Opera House: 4 – 7 November Swan Lake
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton: 26 – 30 January 2016 Swan Lake