Birmingham Royal Ballet raise the curtain at John Lewis

Free events as part of Shakespeare birthday celebrations.

From Friday 22nd to Tuesday 26th April, Birmingham Royal Ballet will be ‘in residence’ at John Lewis, Birmingham with a host of exciting free displays and activities. This range of events for all age ranges will offer members of the public an up-close and interactive insight into Birmingham’s very own ballet company. The residency is also timed in conjunction with this weekend’s commemorations around 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death as Birmingham Royal Ballet present seven different ballets in ten theatres around the UK in 2016 based on the work of the Bard.

Talking about the collaboration Lisa Williams, Head of Branch at John Lewis, Birmingham said “We are delighted to be hosting Birmingham Royal Ballet at John Lewis Birmingham. Playing an active role in the communities in which we trade is really important to us, and this is a great opportunity for us to entertain and inspire our customers in a unique way. This is the first collaboration of its kind for the shop, and we look forward to developing further relationships and activities with the city”.

In the John Lewis Community Hub (next to TV and Audio on Level 4) Birmingham Royal Ballet present their collaboration with Birmingham-based photographer Marta Kochanek, Dressed for Work. This beautiful collection of photographs features four Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers, Momoko Hirata, César Morales, Céline Gittens and Rory Mackay, reflecting both their on stage and off stage personalities.

The Community Hub will also host a range of interactive goings-on for families such as a chance to try on costumes, make and do activities as well as insights into BRB’s celebration of all things Shakespeare in 2016.

A selection of costumes from the Company’s upcoming production of The Taming of the Shrew by John Cranko, which will be performed for the very first time by Birmingham Royal Ballet this June, will also be on display in store on Level 3.

Birmingham Royal Ballet First Soloist, Jonathan Payn will give a makeup demonstration on Friday 22nd April at 12.30pm and 1.30pm on Level 3 where he will give a close-up insight into the intricate and fascinating process character dancers go through in their transformation into some of ballet’s most recognisable characters.

On Saturday 23rd April three 20 minute ballet workshops designed for all members of the family led by a BRB practitioner will take place at 10am, 11am and 12pm. These workshops are a short and fun introduction to ballet designed for all to join in with. On Tuesday 26th April adults will have the chance fora brief, fun and informal workshop on the very basics of ballet at 12.30pm and 1pm.

Places for workshops are extremely limited and booking is open now – email with your selected time and number of adult and child places. Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult at all times and spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.