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PRINCE OF THE PAGODAS at Birmingham Hippodrome

February 28, 2014

David Bintley’s beautifully insightful choreography, Benjamin Britten’s haunting and mesmerising music, Rae Smith’s exquisite design and Peter Teigen’s perfectly complimentary lighting make the PRINCE OF THE PAGODAS the most interesting and the most enjoyable ballet I have seen by Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Birmingham Hippodrome. The choice by Bintley to collaborate with the National Ballet of Japan and transplant Britten’s ballet to Japan was a master stroke.

The Japanese Cultural setting to the story gives an added dimension which somehow creates a whole separate Universe on stage. I have incredible respect for the Japanese culture and the refined and beautiful art of the Geiko. Bintley’s ballet embraces this culture and through the dance and the design connects us to a Universal story told through the Ancient Japanese court.

Act II and Act III are really like nothing I have ever seen in ballet before. The best way to describe the experience is the closest I have ever felt to actually dreaming. There was a hypnotic quality which suspends disbelief and just transported us into the story. Of course this wonderful experience was delivered by the exceptional company of dancers from the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Yaoqian Shang and Delia Mathews are a delight. My absolute favourite was “King of the East” danced superlatively by William Bracewell.

UNMISSABLE for Ballet fans.

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