Dramatic set designs and sweeping contemporary ballet combine in this mixed bill from Birmingham Royal Ballet, which pieces together three new additions to BRB’s rep, each with a live orchestral score. Jiří Kylián’s “Forgotten Land,” created on the Stuttgart Ballet in the 80s, sends six couples wafting through the wilds of Benjamin Britten’s Sinfonia da requiem, while Uwe Scholz marshals the stateliness of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony in a like-titled ensemble ballet from 1990. The hardest-hitting piece, “Hotel,” a new commission from Morgann Runacre-Temple, isn’t as musically driven as its companions, though Mikael Karlsson’s score slickly informs its eerie mood. Either way, it’s a brilliant piece of stagecraft—the kind I’d be happy to see on any bill, outlier or not.
Birmingham Royal Ballet in “Forgotten Land” by Jiří Kylián. Photograph by Johan Persson
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading