Birmingham Royal Ballet announce Japanese tour

Programme to include work never before performed outside UK.

Swan Lake - Artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet ©Bill Cooper (2)

Birmingham Royal Ballet is currently in the final planning stages for its international tour to Japan in April and May. Two years in the planning, the first international tour for the Company since April 2013 will see the Midlands-based ballet troupe perform in three cities across the southern region of Japan. From 26nd April to 3rd May the tour will include dates in Japan’s capital city of Tokyo, plus performances in Nagoya and Nishinomiya.

Promoted by NBS Performing Arts Foundation based in Tokyo, the tour highlights two of the Company’s much-admired works from its varied repertory. The classical favourite in Sir Peter Wright and Galina Samsova’s Swan Lake and David Bintley’s stunning Cinderella will be performed in some of Japan’s finest theatres. The company last toured to Japan in May 2011, just two months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck in March of the same year.

Dancing alongside Birmingham Royal Ballet Principal Jenna Roberts, Matthew Golding will guest in the role of Prince Siegfried in two performances of Swan Lake in Tokyo (25th and 27th April). Born in Saskatchewan, Canada and trained at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and the Universal Ballet Academy in Washington DC, Golding won the Youth America Grand Prix and a Prix de Lausanne scholarship in 2002 to study at the Royal Ballet School. In 2014 he joined The Royal Ballet as a Principal after dancing with American Ballet Theatre (2003-09) and Dutch National Ballet (2009-14).

Swan Lake, considered by many to be the greatest classical ballet from Imperial Russia, with a cast of over 70 dancers and actors, tells the story of a grieving prince who witnesses the transformation of a swan into a beautiful princess by a moonlit lake. Compelled by an evil spell to spend her days in the form of a bird, she can only be saved by the power of love.

Filled with exquisite ensembles, lyrical pas de deux and bravura solos, Swan Lake is atmospheric, romantic and beautiful – an unforgettable experience. With Tchaikovsky’s legendary score and original choreography by Marius Petipa, this lavish production is by the Company’s Director Laureate, Sir Peter Wright, creator of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s popular production of The Nutcracker. Philip Prowse, the designer responsible for the Company’s The Sleeping Beauty, provides the designs for the sumptuous sets and over 100 beautiful hand-sewn costumes, and lighting is by Peter Teigen.

Cinderella is one of David Bintley’s most successful creations to date. Neglected and abused by her cruel stepmother and stepsisters, Cinderella’s life is one of drudgery and hardship. Then, on the evening of an extravagant ball at the Palace, amidst swirling, magical mists, her Fairy Godmother appears and casts a spell that will change her life forever.

Arriving at the ball in a beautiful dress, Cinderella draws everyone’s eyes to her, including those of the handsome Prince. He sweeps her off her feet and they dance the night away, until the clock chimes midnight and the party comes to an abrupt end. Thrust back into her miserable existence, Cinderella can only dream of what might have been, until an unexpected royal visitor comes to her home, searching the land for the mysterious owner of a jeweled slipper…

Created for the City of Birmingham to celebrate the Company’s twentieth anniversary in 2010 and televised by the BBC on Christmas Day that year, this will be the first time that Cinderella has been performed anywhere outside the UK. With breathtaking designs by John Macfarlane, designer of the Company’s famous production of The Nutcracker, and music by Sergei Prokofiev, who wrote the beautiful score to Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella is simply stunning.

The Royal Ballet Sinfonia’s Principal Conductor Paul Murphy and Conductor Philip Ellis will conduct the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra in Tokyo, as well as the Osaka Symphony Orchestra who will play for the Company in Nagoya and Nishinomiya. Seven students of the Royal Ballet School will join Birmingham Royal Ballet for the tour.

Pics (c) Bill Cooper