Birmingham Royal Ballet

Birmingham Royal Ballet

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Encyclopedia
Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) is one of the three major ballet companies
Ballet company
A ballet company is a group of dancers who perform ballet, plus managerial and support staff. Most major ballet companies employ dancers on a year-round basis, except in the United States, where contracts for part of the year are the norm...

 of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, alongside the Royal Ballet and the English National Ballet
English National Ballet
English National Ballet is a classical ballet company founded by Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin and based at Markova House in South Kensington, London, England. Along with the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet, it is one of the four major ballet companies in Great...

.

Founded in 1947 as the Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet, the company was established under the direction of John Field
John Field (dancer)
John Field was an English ballet dancer, choreographer, director and teacher. He was a renowned member of the Vic-Wells Ballet and Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet and was also Artistic Director of the La Scala Theatre Ballet.- Biography :Born John Greenfield in Doncaster, South Yorkshire in 1921,...

, and was formed to continue ballet performances at Sadler's Wells theatre, after its predecessor (today's Royal Ballet) moved to become the resident ballet company at the Royal Opera House
Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The...

 in Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin's Lane and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as...

, London. The company was later granted a Royal Charter, becoming the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet and following relocation to Birmingham in 1990, the name was changed to Birmingham Royal Ballet, with the company becoming the resident ballet company at the Birmingham Hippodrome
Birmingham Hippodrome
The Birmingham Hippodrome is a theatre situated on Hurst Street in the Chinese Quarter of Birmingham, England.Although best known as the home stage of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, it also hosts a wide variety of other performances including visiting opera and ballet companies, touring West End...

 theatre.

It is now independent of the Royal Ballet in London, although it retains strong links with the company and the Royal Ballet School
Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet School is one of the most famous classical ballet schools in the world and is the associate school of the Royal Ballet, a leading international ballet company based at the Royal Opera House in London...

. As a resident company, Birmingham Royal Ballet has extensive custom-built facilities, including a suite of dance studios, the Jerwood Centre for the Prevention and Treatment of Dance Injuries and a studio theatre known as the Patrick Centre
Patrick Centre
The Patrick Centre for the Performing Arts is a studio theatre located on Thorp Street in the Chinese Quarter of Birmingham, England, next to the headquarters of the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Birmingham Hippodrome...

. In 2002, the need for Birmingham Royal Ballet to have its own school led to a new association with Elmhurst School for Dance
Elmhurst School for Dance
Elmhurst School for Dance is one of the foremost classical ballet schools in the United Kingdom and is the official associate school of the Birmingham Royal Ballet. First established in Camberley, Surrey, the school is the oldest established vocational dance school in the United Kingdom and...

, which is now its official ballet school.

History


In 1926, the Irish-born dancer Ninette de Valois
Ninette de Valois
Dame Ninette de Valois, OM, CH, DBE, FRAD, FISTD was an Irish-born British dancer, teacher, choreographer and director of classical ballet...

 founded the Academy of Choreographic Art, a dance school for girls. Her intention was to form a repertory ballet company and school, leading her to collaborate with the English theatrical producer and theatre owner Lilian Baylis
Lilian Baylis
Lilian Mary BaylisCH was an English theatrical producer and manager. She managed the Old Vic and Sadler's Wells theatres in London, and ran an opera company, which became the English National Opera , a theatre company, which evolved into the English National Theatre, and a ballet company, which...

. Baylis owned the Old Vic
Old Vic
The Old Vic is a theatre located just south-east of Waterloo Station in London on the corner of The Cut and Waterloo Road. Established in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre, it was taken over by Emma Cons in 1880 when it was known formally as the Royal Victoria Hall. In 1898, a niece of Cons, Lilian...

 and Sadler's Wells theatres and in 1925 she engaged de Valois to stage dance performances at both venues.

Sadler's Wells reopened in 1931 and the Vic-Wells Ballet and Vic-Wells Ballet School were established in premises at the theatre. These would become the predecessors of today's Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Royal Ballet School
Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet School is one of the most famous classical ballet schools in the world and is the associate school of the Royal Ballet, a leading international ballet company based at the Royal Opera House in London...

.

In 1939, the company lost its link with the Old Vic theatre and, in 1940, Sadler's Wells theatre was bombed during World War II. These events forced the company to begin touring the country, becoming known as the Sadler's Wells Ballet. The company did return to Sadler's Wells theatre, where it stayed until 1946, when the company was invited to become the resident ballet company of the newly re-opened Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. The company relocated to the opera house the same year in 1946, with their first production at the venue being Ninette de Valois' staging of The Sleeping Beauty.

Following the relocation of the company the school was relocated to its own premises in 1947 and a sister company was established to continue performances at Sadler's Wells, called Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet. This sister company would become the predecessor of today's Birmingham Royal Ballet. The first Artistic Director of the Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet was John Field
John Field (dancer)
John Field was an English ballet dancer, choreographer, director and teacher. He was a renowned member of the Vic-Wells Ballet and Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet and was also Artistic Director of the La Scala Theatre Ballet.- Biography :Born John Greenfield in Doncaster, South Yorkshire in 1921,...

, who was later made co-director of the Royal Ballet and also worked as artistic director of La Scala Theatre Ballet and English National Ballet
English National Ballet
English National Ballet is a classical ballet company founded by Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin and based at Markova House in South Kensington, London, England. Along with the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet, it is one of the four major ballet companies in Great...

.

In 1955, Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet temporarily lost its link with Sadler's Wells theatre and relocated to the Royal Opera House as a touring unit of the main company.

In 1956, a Royal Charter was granted for both companies and the school and they were subsequently renamed the Royal Ballet, Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet School.

The Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet returned to Sadler's Wells theatre in 1970, whilst continuing to tour the country. The first indication that the company would leave London came in 1987, when the company was invited to become the resident ballet company at the Birmingham Hippodrome theatre. Consequently, the company relocated to Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

 in 1990, being given its current name Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Sir Peter Wright remained as the company's Artistic Director and held the post until his retirement in 1995, when the current Artistic Director, David Bintley was appointed. In 1997, Birmingham Royal Ballet was made independent of the Royal Ballet and ceased to be managed by the Royal Opera House.

As an independent ballet company, Birmingham Royal Ballet no longer has official links with the Royal Ballet or Royal Ballet School. To further establish its reputation as a separate entity, in 2002, it began a new relationship with the Elmhurst School for Dance
Elmhurst School for Dance
Elmhurst School for Dance is one of the foremost classical ballet schools in the United Kingdom and is the official associate school of the Birmingham Royal Ballet. First established in Camberley, Surrey, the school is the oldest established vocational dance school in the United Kingdom and...

, which is now its official associate school. Elmhurst is the oldest established vocational dance school in the United Kingdom, and was previously based in Camberley
Camberley
Camberley is a town in Surrey, England, situated 31 miles  southwest of central London, in the corridor between the M3 and M4 motorways. The town lies close to the borders of both Hampshire and Berkshire; the boundaries intersect on the western edge of the town where all three counties...

, Surrey. It relocated to premises in Edgbaston
Edgbaston
Edgbaston is an area in the city of Birmingham in England. It is also a formal district, managed by its own district committee. The constituency includes the smaller Edgbaston ward and the wards of Bartley Green, Harborne and Quinton....

, Birmingham in 2004, becoming known as Elmhurst School for Dance, in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Works performed


Principals

Name Nationality Training Joined BRB Promoted to
Principal
Information
Jamie Bond UK Royal Ballet School
Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet School is one of the most famous classical ballet schools in the world and is the associate school of the Royal Ballet, a leading international ballet company based at the Royal Opera House in London...

2003 2009 The Royal Ballet, 2002–2003
Eurovision Young Dancers
Eurovision Young Dancers
The Eurovision Young Dancers is a biennial dance showcase broadcast on television throughout Europe. Since 1985, using a format similar to the Eurovision Song Contest, every country that is a member of the European Broadcasting Union has had the opportunity to send a dance act to compete for the...

 – Finalist (Great Britain), 2001
Young British Dancer of the Year – Winner, 2000
Chi Cao Beijing Dance Academy
Beijing Dance Academy
Beijing Dance Academy , also known as Beijing Dance Institute, is the only institution of higher education in dance in China. There are three specialties: performance, choreography and dance studies. It offers Master's degrees and Bachelor's degrees....


Royal Ballet School
Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet School is one of the most famous classical ballet schools in the world and is the associate school of the Royal Ballet, a leading international ballet company based at the Royal Opera House in London...

1995 2002 Varna International Ballet Competition — Gold Medal, 1998
Gaylene Cummerfield Australian Ballet School
Australian Ballet School
The Australian Ballet School was founded in 1964 as the primary training facility for The Australian Ballet by Dame Margaret Scott. It is part of the Australian Ballet Centre, which is located in the Melbourne Arts Precinct, Southbank in Melbourne, Victoria...

2008 2009 Australian Ballet, 1998–2008
Royal New Zealand Ballet
Royal New Zealand Ballet
The Royal New Zealand Ballet is based in Wellington, New Zealand.The Royal New Zealand Ballet is a company of 32 dynamic dancers, performing an eclectic repertoire of outstanding dance, for national and international audiences, whilst continuing to build a style that is ultimately unique to the...

, 1997–1998
Genee International Ballet Competition
Genée International Ballet Competition
The Genée International Ballet Competition is one of the world's most prestigious classical ballet competitions. Organised and promoted by the Royal Academy of Dance, the competition is held annually, and is named in memorial to Dame Adeline Genée, one of the founders of the Academy.-Overview:The...

 – Bronze Medal, 1996
Asian Pacific Ballet Competition — Winner, 1996
Matthew Lawrence Australian Ballet School
Australian Ballet School
The Australian Ballet School was founded in 1964 as the primary training facility for The Australian Ballet by Dame Margaret Scott. It is part of the Australian Ballet Centre, which is located in the Melbourne Arts Precinct, Southbank in Melbourne, Victoria...

2008 N/A Promoted to Principal – Australian Ballet, 2004
Australian Ballet, 1996–2008
Iain Mackay UK
Royal Ballet School
Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet School is one of the most famous classical ballet schools in the world and is the associate school of the Royal Ballet, a leading international ballet company based at the Royal Opera House in London...

1999 2003 Promoted to Soloist — Birmingham Royal Ballet, 2001
Carol-Anne Millar
Royal Ballet School
Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet School is one of the most famous classical ballet schools in the world and is the associate school of the Royal Ballet, a leading international ballet company based at the Royal Opera House in London...

1997 2009 National Dance Awards – Spotlight Award, Female (Classical), 2007
Promoted to First Soloist — Birmingham Royal Ballet, 2005
Promoted to Soloist — Birmingham Royal Ballet, 2001
César Morales
César Morales (dancer)
César Morales Anderson is a Chilean ballet dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Born in Rancagua, Chile, César Morales began dancing at the age of eleven at the Ballet School of the Municipal Theatre of Santiago where he trained for three years before being offered a scholarship by Ben...

Municipal Theatre of Santiago
Houston Ballet Academy
Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy
Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy provides ballet training for over three hundred students. More than half of the professional company's dancers have come from the ranks of the academy....

2008 N/A Principal Guest Artist – Vienna State Opera Ballet
Vienna State Opera Ballet
The Vienna State Opera Ballet, like the opera company, is based at the Vienna State Opera House in Vienna, Austria. The original building was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1945....

, 2006
English National Ballet
English National Ballet
English National Ballet is a classical ballet company founded by Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin and based at Markova House in South Kensington, London, England. Along with the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet, it is one of the four major ballet companies in Great...

, 2004–2006
Altazor Prize
Altazor Awards
The Altazor Award of the National Arts or simply Altazor, is a Chilean award which is awarded annually. The winners are chosen by the own creators and performers of the arts. Were established in 1958, but were not awarded until 1999....

  — Winner, 2002 & 2003
New York International Ballet Competition — Gold Medal, 2003
Prague International Ballet Competitions — Gold Medal, 2002
Ballet de Santiago, years unknown
Natasha Oughtred
Natasha Oughtred
Natasha Oughtred is an English ballerina and a principal dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet.- Biography :Natasha Oughtred was born in North Cave, a village near Kingston upon Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire...

Vanessa Hooper
Vanessa Hooper
Vanessa Hooper, FIDTA, ARAD, is a retired English ballerina and theatre dancer who now works as a dance teacher, freelance choreographer, lecturer and examiner...

 & Niall McMahon
Royal Ballet School
Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet School is one of the most famous classical ballet schools in the world and is the associate school of the Royal Ballet, a leading international ballet company based at the Royal Opera House in London...

2007 2009 Promoted to First Soloist — Birmingham Royal Ballet, 2008
Promoted to Soloist – The Royal Ballet, 2004
The Royal Ballet, 2000–2007
Genee International Ballet Competition
Genée International Ballet Competition
The Genée International Ballet Competition is one of the world's most prestigious classical ballet competitions. Organised and promoted by the Royal Academy of Dance, the competition is held annually, and is named in memorial to Dame Adeline Genée, one of the founders of the Academy.-Overview:The...

 – Gold Medal, 2000
Robert Parker Royal Ballet School
Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet School is one of the most famous classical ballet schools in the world and is the associate school of the Royal Ballet, a leading international ballet company based at the Royal Opera House in London...

1994 1999 National Dance Awards – Outstanding Male Artist, 2003
Laurence Olivier Awards
Laurence Olivier Awards
The Laurence Olivier Award is presented annually by the Society of London Theatre to recognise excellence in professional theatre. Named after the renowned British actor Laurence Olivier, they are given for West End shows and other productions staged in London...

 – Nominee, 2001
National Dance Awards – Nominee, 2001
Nao Sakuma Michiko Komori Ballet School
Royal Ballet School
Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet School is one of the most famous classical ballet schools in the world and is the associate school of the Royal Ballet, a leading international ballet company based at the Royal Opera House in London...

1995 2002 National Dance Awards – Nominee, 2001
Jackson Ballet Competition — Special Jury Prize, 1998
Ambra Vallo
Ambra Vallo
Ambra Vallo is a classical ballet dancer. Born in Naples, Italy, she is currently a Principal Dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet.-Biography and Career:She trained at the Royal Ballet School of Flanders...

Royal Ballet School of Flanders 1996 N/A Danza & Danza Magazine — Best Female Dancer Award, 2004
Positano Awards — Best Performance, 2002
English National Ballet
English National Ballet
English National Ballet is a classical ballet company founded by Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin and based at Markova House in South Kensington, London, England. Along with the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet, it is one of the four major ballet companies in Great...

, 1993–1996
Positano Awards — Most Talented Upcoming Dancer, 1991
Luxemburg International Grand Prix — Winner, Date Unknown
Rieti International Ballet Competition — Gold Medal, Date Unknown
Houlgate International Ballet Competition — Silver Medal, Date Unknown
Elisha Willis Australian Ballet School
Australian Ballet School
The Australian Ballet School was founded in 1964 as the primary training facility for The Australian Ballet by Dame Margaret Scott. It is part of the Australian Ballet Centre, which is located in the Melbourne Arts Precinct, Southbank in Melbourne, Victoria...

2003 2004 Promoted to Soloist – Australian Ballet, 2001
Australian Ballet, 1991999-2003

First Soloists


  • Joseph Caley  
  • Victoria Marr  
  • Jonathan Payn  
  • Jenna Roberts  

  • Lei Zhao  


Soloists


  • Mathias Dingman  
  • Samara Downs  

  • Laëtitia Lo Sardo  
  • Steven Monteith  

  • Angela Paul  
  • Tyrone Singleton  


  • Céline Gittens   

First Artists


  • James Barton  
  • Arancha Baselga  
  • Jonathan Caguioa  
  • Feargus Campbell  

  • Robert Gravenor  
  • Kit Holder  
  • Rory Mackay  

  • Valentin Olovyannikov  
  • Laura Purkiss  
  • Tom Rogers  


Artists


  • William Bracewell  
  • Laura Davenport  
  • Karla Doorbar 
  • Laura-Jane Gibson  

  • Jade Heusen  
  • Aonghus Hoole  
  • Yvette Knight  
  • Brandon Lawrence 
  • Delia Mathews  
  • Kristen McGarrity  
  • Nicki Moffatt  
  • Callie Roberts  

  • Nathanael Skelton  
  • Benjamin Soerel  
  • Oliver Till  
  • Lewis Turner  
  • Yijing Zhang  


See also

  • Elmhurst School for Dance
    Elmhurst School for Dance
    Elmhurst School for Dance is one of the foremost classical ballet schools in the United Kingdom and is the official associate school of the Birmingham Royal Ballet. First established in Camberley, Surrey, the school is the oldest established vocational dance school in the United Kingdom and...

    , official ballet school of the company since 2002
  • English National Ballet
    English National Ballet
    English National Ballet is a classical ballet company founded by Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin and based at Markova House in South Kensington, London, England. Along with the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet, it is one of the four major ballet companies in Great...

  • Royal Ballet School
    Royal Ballet School
    The Royal Ballet School is one of the most famous classical ballet schools in the world and is the associate school of the Royal Ballet, a leading international ballet company based at the Royal Opera House in London...

    , formerly official ballet school of the company
  • The Royal Ballet, sister company of the Birmingham Royal Ballet

External links