Birmingham Royal Ballet director Carlos Acosta shows his commitment to exciting contemporary dance alongside the traditional ballet repertoire with his Carlos Curates programs.
As they prepare for the festive Nutcracker favorite, the October reunion season at Birmingham Racecourse featured Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, and now two very different versions of the same story with a twist. modern.
R&J Reimagined begins with the 75-minute Romeo + Juliet choreographed by Rosie Kay for her own West Midlands-based dance company, which is associated with the BRB. Set in today’s Birmingham and mixing Berlioz’s classical music, performed by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, with an eerie electronic soundscape with police radio messages, it turns the Capulets and Montagues into gangs of young traffickers .
The anti-knife message isn’t really necessary for a ballet audience, but I hope the production reaches a younger audience who might be delighted with its dramatic blend of modern dance with hip-hop and kathak elements.
The second part of the evening is the sublime Radio and Juliet, the BRB version of a work created by Edward Clug for the Maribor Ballet of Slovenia in 2005, and on the melancholy art rock of Radiohead.
Perhaps not one for traditionalists, this 50-minute ballet is, however, an enthralling work loosely based on Shakespearean tragedy, only this time Juliet remains triumphantly alive after all the male aggression.
The austere ensemble is populated by costumed male dancers, with scantily clad Yaoqian Shang, as Juliette, the only woman. She turns out to be more than a match for men, even the mighty Tyrone Singleton as her Romeo (in Thursday’s cast).
The synchronized dance is spellbinding, mixing with the moving soundtrack of Thom Yorke and co to create a hypnotic and haunting experience.
Carlos Curates: R&L Reimagined is staged again today (Friday) and twice on Saturday.