Arts Review: Birmingham Royal Ballet's Moving Stateside Triple Bill
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It was American choreographer George Balanchine who believed that “dancing is music made visible”, and such an idea is realised across Birmingham Royal Ballet’s All American Triple Bill. From early 20th century productions to recent in-company commissions, Beth Baker-Wyse uncovers how in moving stateside, we are exploring dance at its most ‘vivid and memorable’. Serenade Working with his much-loved theme ‘the glorification of woman as a ballerina’, George Balanchine’s first American production Serenade explores the lyrical artistry found in a community of women accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. The group appear to associate strongly with the moon, after what began as a stage of seventeen dancers tracing soft arcs in unison unfolded into spirited activity. Styling was sleek and saw the corps de ballet move with all the poise of porcelain up top, followed by the fine powder of their skirts. Lead by a principle cast of five, Balanchine set the fleeting fearlessness of Momoko Hirata’s infinite pirouettes against the calmed confidence of Céline Gittens’s arabesque turn, with the few male dancers lifting Elisha Willis as she ascends towards the moon and concludes the piece as ‘transformed into a goddess’. A ballet of shape and sophistication, it comes as no surprise that Serenade sits on the repertoire of all major ballet companies worldwide. Lyric Pieces
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