Carlos Acosta is new Director of BRB
RB reviews - Les Patineurs, Winter Dreams, The Concert
RB reviews - The Nutcracker
Critics' Circle Dance Awards nominees 2018
RB reviews - The Unknown Soldier triple bill
RB reviews - La Bayadère
RB Spring season casting
RB reviews - Mayerling
RB Winter season casting
RBS Opera House performance, July 2018


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January 15, 2018
Carlos Acosta appointed as Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet
Press release from BRB:

Birmingham Royal Ballet is delighted to announce that internationally renowned Carlos Acosta CBE has been appointed as its new Director. He will take up his appointment in January 2020.

The appointment follows an open competition and extensive international search by Birmingham Royal Ballet Board, supported by an expert panel of leading figures in the dance world. It follows the news earlier this year that David Bintley CBE, the current Director, would be standing down as Director in July 2019 at the end of the current season. The new Director will work alongside the company’s Chief Executive, Caroline Miller OBE who was appointed on a permanent basis just before Christmas.

Carlos Acosta CBE said “It is a tremendous honour and privilege to have been appointed to lead Birmingham Royal Ballet. I am a great admirer of its heritage and of what David Bintley has done to establish it as one of the country’s leading classical ballet companies, following on from the wonderful foundations laid down by Sir Peter Wright. My ambition is to build on its classical traditions, to expand its repertoire and to reach out to new and more diverse audiences. I want to define what it is to be a world leading classical ballet company in the 21st century.”

Chair of Birmingham Royal Ballet Sir David Normington GCB said “This is a great moment for Birmingham Royal Ballet. We have secured the greatest male dancer of his generation to be our new Director. I know he will bring us his legendary artistry, energy and charisma and enable us to connect with new audiences, particularly in Birmingham. It is a statement to the whole dance world that, building on David Bintley’s great legacy, Birmingham Royal Ballet intends to remain a major force for classical ballet in the UK and beyond.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Carlos Acosta CBE as the new Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, with his wealth of experience and knowledge from the international world of dance.

BRB is an exceptional company, with an international reputation for the artistic quality of its work, and as Carlos takes to the helm, we’d like to pay tribute to the commitment, contribution and charisma of David Bintley, who leaves behind him an extraordinary legacy.

“We look forward to seeing Carlos build on this legacy, and to the company continuing to delight audiences with their array of classical and ground-breaking ballets.”

Born in Havana, the youngest of eleven children in an impoverished family, Acosta went on to train at the National Ballet School of Cuba, winning the prestigious Prix de Lausanne at the age of 16, before enjoying a celebrated thirty-year career in dance with many of the world’s leading ballet companies. He was a Principal with the Royal Ballet for 17 years and danced all the major classical, and many contemporary roles. He is the greatest male dancer of his generation and, in many people’s eyes, one of the greatest dancers of all time.

Since retiring from the Royal Ballet he has founded his Cuban dance company Acosta Danza and established his own dance academy in Havana which opened its doors to its first students in September 2017. His 2007 autobiography No Way Home told the extraordinary story of his progress from the poorest of beginnings in Cuba to world ballet star and became a UK bestseller. His many awards include an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, a Prix Benois de la Danse, an Outstanding Achievement Award at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards and the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award from The Royal Academy of Dance in recognition of his standing as one of the most influential figures in dance today.

December 20, 2018
RB reviews: Les Patineurs, Winter Dreams, The Concert, December 2018
Lyndsey Winship, The Guardian
Luke Jennings, The Observer
Donald Hutera, The Times
Louise Levene, Financial Times
Jann Parry, DanceTabs
Zoë Anderson, The Independent
Mark Monahan, The Telegraph
Graham Watts, Bachtrack
Neil Norman, The Stage
Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide
G.J. Dowler, Classical Source
Emma Byrne, Evening Standard
Joy Sable, Jewish Chronicle
David Dougill, Sunday Times (scroll down)

The Concert
The Concert, ©ROH/Alice Pennefather

Photos: Alice Pennefather, Les Patineurs, Winter Dreams, The Concert, ROH flickr
Alice Pennefather, Les Patineurs in rehearsal, Winter Dreams in rehearsal, ROH flickr
Foteini Christofilopoulou, DanceTabs
Features: Laura Morera talks about Winter Dreams, Culture Whisper

December 3, 2018
RB reviews: The Nutcracker, December 2018
(Nuñez, Muntagirov, O'Sullivan, Sambé cast unless otherwise stated)
Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack
David Nice, The Arts Desk
Zoë Anderson, The Independent
Mark Monahan, The Telegraph
Jann Parry, DanceTabs
Debra Craine, The Times
David Dougill, Sunday Times
Luke Jennings, The Observer
Louise Levene, Financial Times (Naghdi, Hirano, Maguire, Acri)
G.J. Dowler, Classical Source
Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide
Laura Freeman, The Spectator
Mark Ronan, blog
Emma Byrne, Evening Standard
Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International (cinema screening)

The Kingdom of Sweets. Photo ©ROH/Alastair Muir 2018

Photos: Alastair Muir, ROH Flickr
Videos: Guest Principal Ballet Master Christopher Carr rehearses episodes from the ballet, ROH YouTube
Ballet Mistress Samantha Raine rehearses the Snowflakes, ROH Facebook

November 28, 2018
Critics' Circle Dance Awards nominees 2018
These are the nominees for the Critics' Circle Awards who are associated with The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet. The winners will be announced on February 18, 2019.

Vadim Muntagirov, Brandon Lawrence (BRB) - Best Male Dancer
Marianela Nuñez - Best Female Dancer, and Outstanding Female Classical Performance (for Odette/Odile)
The Royal Ballet - Outstanding Company
Wayne McGregor (for Yugen), Liam Scarlett (for Swan Lake), Christopher Wheeldon (for Corybantic Games) - Best Classical Choreography
Joseph Sissons - Emerging Artist Award
Brandon Lawrence (BRB) - Outstanding Male Classical Performance (as Pan in Arcadia)
Lucy Carter, John Macfarlane - Outstanding Creative Contribution

The full list of nominees is here

November 21, 2018
RB reviews: The Unknown Soldier, Infra, Symphony in C, November 2018
Zoë Anderson, The Independent
Joy Sable, The Jewish Chronicle
Lyndsey Winship, The Guardian
Debra Craine, The Times
David Dougill, Sunday Times
Mark Monahan, The Telegraph
Bruce Marriott, DanceTabs
Anna Winter, The Stage
Jenny Gilbert, The Arts Desk
Siobhan Murphy, TimeOut
Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide
Vikki Jane Vile, Broadway World
Emma Byrne, Evening Standard
Alexandra Desvignes, Bachtrack
Laura Freeman, The Spectator
Eva Kistrup, Copenhagen Report

Unknown Soldier
The Unknown Soldier ©ROH/Helen Maybanks 2018

Photos: Helen Maybanks, ROH Flickr - The Unknown Soldier, Infra, Symphony in C
Foteini Christofilopoulou, DanceTabs
Video: Wayne McGregor rehearses Infra, ROH YouTube
Radio feature: The Unknown Soldier, BBC Sounds
Interview: William Bracewell talks about The Unknown Soldier and Infra, House of Solo

November 2, 2018
RB reviews: La Bayadère, November 2018
(Nuñez, Muntagirov, Osipova cast unless otherwise stated)
Mark Monahan, The Telegraph
Lyndsey Winship, The Guardian
Luke Jennings, The Observer (several casts)
Jann Parry, DanceTabs
Zoë Anderson, The Independent
Anna Winter, The Stage
G.J. Dowler, Classical Source
Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide
Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International
Alexandra Desvignes, Bachtrack
Siobhan Murphy, TimeOut
Vikki Jane Vile, Broadway World
Emma Byrne, Evening Standard
Joy Wang Xin Yuan, SeeingDance (3 casts)
Laura Freeman, The Spectator (2 casts)
Robert Hugill, The Epoch Times (Lamb, Hirano, Calvert)

The Shades ©ROH/Bill Cooper 2018

Photos: On stage, Bill Cooper, ROH Flickr
Studio rehearsals (mixed casts), Bill Cooper ROH Flickr
Foteini Christofilopoulou, DanceTabs
Videos: RB Insight event with Natalia Makarova, Olga Evreinoff, Shobana Jeyasingh and dancers, ROH YouTube
Olga Evreinoff rehearsing Akane Takada, Natalia Osipova & Vadim Muntagirov, ROH YouTube
Samantha Raine rehearsing the Shades, ROH YouTube

October 23, 2018
RB 2018/2019 Spring season casting
(m = matinée)

March 5-23, x8
Victor Frankenstein, Elizabeth Lavenza, The Creature
Mar 5, 11, 23 (Bonelli, Morera, Corrales*)
Mar 8, 15, 23m (Dyer, Lamb, Hirano)
Mar 12, 18 (Campbell*, Hinkis*, Kish)

Romeo and Juliet March 26 - June 11 x24
Mar 26; Apr 10, 26 (Cuthbertson, Ball)
Mar 28; Apr 13, 27 (Takada*, McRae)
Apr 13m ( O'Sullivan*, Sambé*)
Apr 27m; May 4 (Hamilton, Clarke*)
May 1, 4m, 11 (Lamb, Muntagirov)
May 11m, 14, 25 (Hayward, Corrales*)
May 13, 25m (Stix-Brunell*, Bracewell*)
May 17, 23, 29 (Nuñez, Clarke)
May 22; June 1 (Osipova, Hallberg*†)
June 1m, 11# (Naghdi, Ball)

Sarah Lamb as Juliet. Photo ©ROH/Johan Persson 2015

Within the Golden Hour / NEW Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui / Flight Pattern May 8-21 x7
Within the Golden Hour
May 8, 15, 16#, 18 (Stix-Brunell, Cuthbertson, Lamb, Muntagirov, Hirano*, McRae)
May 9, 18m, 21 (Choe, Hayward, Takada, Campbell, Zucchetti, Dyer)

NEW Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
May 8, 15, 16, 18 (Osipova*)
May 9, 18m, 21 (tba)

Flight Pattern
All performances (McNally, Sambé, The Company)

* Role debut with The Royal Ballet at the ROH
† David Hallberg is a guest artist
# Live cinema relay
‡ Casting may change so please check on the ROH website

October 10, 2018
RB reviews: Mayerling, October 2018
(Hirano, Osipova, Lamb cast unless otherwise stated)
Debra Craine, The Times
Jann Parry, DanceTabs
Jann Parry, DanceTabs (Bonelli, Morera, Kobayashi)
Mark Monahan, The Telegraph
Louise Levene, Financial Times (+ McRae, Lamb, Morera)
Luke Jennings, The Observer
Zoë Anderson, The Independent
Siobhan Murphy, TimeOut
Laura Freeman, The Spectator
Gerald Dowler, Classical Source
Joy Sable, Jewish Chronicle
Emma Byrne, Evening Standard
Cinema relay with McRae, Lamb, Morera:
  Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard
  Maria Di Mento, DC Theatre Scene
  Lynne Lancaster, Sydney Arts Guide

Ryoichi Hirano and Sarah Lamb as Crown Prince Rudolph and Countess Marie Larisch
Photo ©ROH/Helen Maybanks 2018

Photos: Helen Maybanks, ROH
Foteini Christofilopoulou, DanceTabs (Soares, Cuthbertson, Mendizabal cast)
Alice Pennefather, The Ballet Bag (Soares, Cuthbertson, Mendizabal cast)
Videos: Insight evening with Melissa Hamilton, Ryoichi Hirano & Paul Kay rehearsed by Alexander Agadzhanov, ROH YouTube
Sarah Lamb & Steven McRae coached by Leanne Benjamin, ROH YouTube
Sarah Lamb & Steven McRae in the bedroom pdd, ROH YouTube
Why the RB loves performing Mayerling, ROH YouTube
Mayara Magri coached as Mitzi Caspar by Christopher Saunders, ROH Facebook

July 23, 2018
RB 2018/2019 Winter season casting

(m = matinée)

Les Patineurs / Winter Dreams / The Concert Dec 18, 2018 - Jan 4, 2019 x6
Les Patineurs
Dec 18; Jan 4 (Sambé)
Dec 19, 20 (Acri)
Dec 20m (Yudes)
Jan 2 (Hay)

Winter Dreams
Dec 18 (Nuñez, Soares, Naghdi, Mendizabal)
Dec 19, 20 (Lamb, Muntagirov, Naghdi, Mendizabal)
Dec 20m; Jan 2 (Morera, Hirano, Takada, Calvert)
Jan 4 (Lamb, Soares, Naghdi, Mendizabal)

The Concert
Dec 18, 20 (Cuthbertson)
Dec 19, 20m (Hamilton)
Jan 2, 4 (Lamb)

Asphodel Meadows / The Two Pigeons Jan 18 - Feb 13, 2019 x6
Asphodel Meadows
Jan 18; Feb 2, 13 (Nuñez, Hirano, Morera, Bracewell, Hinkis, Acri)
Jan 19m; Feb 2m, 5 (Kaneko, Richardson, Magri, Corrales, Maeda, Dyer)

The Two Pigeons
Jan 18; Feb 5 (Cuthbertson, Muntagirov, Morera, Mock)
Jan 19m (Stix-Brunell, Clarke, Calvert, Brændsrød)
Feb 2m (Choe, Campbell, Mendizabal, Edmonds)
Feb 2, 13 (Takada, Hay, Magri, Montaño)

NEW The Cunning Little Vixen (by Liam Scarlett for The Royal Ballet School) / The Two Pigeons February 12-14, 2019 x3
The Cunning Little Vixen (Royal Ballet School, details tba)

The Two Pigeons
Feb 12, 16m (Hayward, Bracewell, Kaneko, Zucchetti)
Feb 14 (Choe, Campbell, Mendizabal, Edmonds)

Don Quixote Feb 15 - April 4, 2019 x16
Feb 15, 20, 23 (Nuñez, Muntagirov)
Feb 16, 19§; Mar 1 (Takada, Campbell)
Feb 22; Mar 22; Apr 1 (Cuthbertson, Ball)
Feb 23m, 27 (Kaneko, Bracewell)
Mar 2; Apr 3 (Naghdi, Sambé)
Mar 25, 30 (Osipova, Muntagirov)
Mar 30m; Apr 4 (Magri, Campbell)

‡ Casting may change so please check on the ROH website
§ Live cinema relay

July 7, 2018
The Royal Ballet School at the Opera House
July 8
  Aurora’s Wedding - after Marius Petipa
  TooT (excerpt) - Didy Veldman
  Sea Interludes - Andrew McNicol
  Snegurochka - Tania Fairbairn
  Pulcinella Suite - Mark Annear
  Self & Soul - Robert Binet
  BACH, Multiplicity. Forms of silence and emptiness (excerpts) - Nacho Duato
  Grand Défilé