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Birmingham Rep and Birmingham Royal Ballet to present live shows this October

The shows mark a new collaboration between the organisations

Lazuli Sky
© Samuel Wyer

Birmingham Rep and Birmingham Royal Ballet will collaborate on a series of shows this autumn.

New dance work will be presented at the heart of Birmingham across October, in line with social distancing guidelines.

From 22 to 24 October, there will be four presentations of a medley of three pieces, with 150 live audience members permitted per performance. With music by Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the piece will be broadcast in November via ‘pay per view' media to audiences unable to attend the live shows.

Will Tuckett's new show Lazuli Sky, a one-act ballet, was commissioned by director of Birmingham Royal Ballet Carlos Acosta at the beginning of lockdown, inspired by the idea of "social distancing". An "augmented reality experience" will supplement the show, created by James Simpson.

The piece has music by John Adams, video by Nina Dunn, costumes by Samuel Wyer, conducting by Paul Murphy with a cast compossed of Damen Axtens, Ryan Felix, Haoliang Feng, Tori Forsyth-Hecken, Kit Holder, Yu Kurihara, Gus Payne, Rachele Pizzillo, Emma Price, Tom Rogers, Eilis Small and Yuki Sugiura.

Ten Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers will perform Vicente Nebrada's Our Waltzes, inspired by Venezuelan composers of the late 19th and early 20th century, with music by Teresa Carreño, Salvador Llamozas, Manuel Guadalajara, Isabel de Maury, Sofia Limonta, Ramon Delgado Palacios and Heraclio Fernández.

Finally, Wagner's music for Tristan and Isolde will be the prompt for Valery Panov's new solo show Liebestod.

The pieces will then play at Sadler's Wells in London from 29 to 31 October.

Carlos Acosta, director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, says: "After joining Birmingham Royal Ballet at the beginning of the year, I set about making new friends in the city, knowing that collaboration was key to a successful and creative art form. Sean Foley, also new to the job of Artistic Director of The Rep, and I spoke about an exciting cross-sector partnership, using the best of our creative networks in theatre and in dance to develop new work. It became clear that we shared a vision and commitment to making Birmingham the greatest city in the Arts.

"This year, Birmingham Royal Ballet celebrates 30 years of working in the heart of Birmingham. Whilst the Company continues to enjoy strong bonds with its home venue, Birmingham Hippodrome, our work to bring back large-scale, classic ballets with them is not yet complete, and will require government approval. The new partnership between Birmingham Royal Ballet and The REP will complement the relationship with Birmingham Hippodrome, and enhance creative development throughout this great city."

The two organisations have announced a further project that will premiere in May 2021. Entitled City of a Thousand Trades, the show is choreographed by Miguel Altunaga, with music by Mathias Coppens, designs by Guilia Scrimieri and lighting by Michael Lee-Woolley.

The show is a one act abstract ballet, exploring the diversity and industrial heritage of Birmingham.

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