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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:37 pm
by Barry
Birmingham Royal Ballet, The lowry, January 22nd 2011

I have to look upon this as a treat, as paying for such excursions are beyond me now, but oh, I can't resist the BRB, and especially a new full scale production by David Bintley. Perhaps I need not have rushed along with such speed, as this glittering masterpiece is going to be around for a good while yet. It was, of course, a treat, and I squealed with indecent pleasure for all three acts. First of all, the story has been stripped of all coarseness other production have, and has been given some real depth. there's a particularly satisfying and moving twist revolving around the crystal encrusted slippers....interesitngly on a practical note, these slippers, stunning as they looked, must have proved difficult to dance in as Cinderella was mostly barefoot, and in the ball she is in plain pumps, though a crystal slipper was deftly left on the steps. I rather like that balance of practicality and illusion. The Ugly Sisters, thankfully played by women, had some real truth behind them, and mother was a picture of cold restraint. No father, nor was he referred to. The Fairy godmother and mice all fitted into the world nicely, though a dance of the seasons was a little forced but beautiful. The dance of the stars, summoned by the Fairy mother to accompany Cinderella to the ball, actually took my breath away. the tutus glittered like mirror and lit with such exquisite lighting. A great use of the stage by Bintley, from the confines of the kitchen which melted away to the full emptiness of the stage, and this repeated at the end as the stage was filled with a rising sun - completing a fantastic journey from dark to light. But oh the design, it was so rich and textured and lavish. I just sat and relished every inch of it. Beautiful costumes. The multi multi pleated tail coats of the gents issuing forth yards of fabric as they moved. Also Bintley moved his corps into such breathtaking groupings....though I bet they are cursing Bintley for including throwing oranges about. A tricky and effective dance....well it was for me as I was on the front and could see the oranges. At the back maybe it might be different. But I simply loved it all, and it worked on all levels. It utterly captivated me, and moved me, and took my breath away. Classy, intelligent, sophisticated and magical. Thank you David.

You can imagine the mood i was in afterwards, and I was pleased I was first out of the car park, but less pleased to get stuck in rowdy football crowds. Two worlds so close.