Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Birmingham's Offering Is Small but Perfectly Performed; Birmingham Royal Ballet at Gala Theatre, Durham

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Birmingham's Offering Is Small but Perfectly Performed; Birmingham Royal Ballet at Gala Theatre, Durham

Article excerpt

Byline: Dick Godfrey

THE full-length Don Quixote (Choreography: Marius Petipa. Music: Ludwig Minkus) has never found a place in British ballet's repertory and hearts. Its great and technically demanding pas de deux, however, is a regular feature of mixed bills.

The production in BRB's quartet of extracts and short works introduces us to the blossoming talents of the absurdly young William Bracewell, who has great skills, vigour and presence. He is currently found quite low in the BRB food chain, but he won't be there for long. A star has started to flicker.

However, the fully-fledged star of this performance by BRB's small-scale variant is unquestionably the opening work: a new and specially commissioned piece by American choreographer Jessica Lang, who learned her skills with the legendary Twyla Tharp. It shows. Lyric Pieces, set to Edvard Grieg's piano music, is a stunning confirmation that classical technique - with a few tweaks - can be as starkly and engagingly direct as the contemporary style.

With eight dancers and a set of lengths of concertinaed black craft paper creating a variety of spaces, it is variously moving, dramatic, witty and outright funny. …

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