Birmingham Royal Ballet to perform at Shakespeare Live! from the RSC

Company will be touring in groundbreaking co-operation.

Birmingham Royal Ballet Principal Dancers Elisha Willis and Tyrone Singleton will be making the short journey to Stratford-upon-Avon this week to take part in the BBC and Royal Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare Live! From the RSC.

During 2016 Birmingham Royal Ballet are presenting seven different ballets in ten theatres around the UK to commemorate 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death, including two world premieres and two pieces new to the Company; all inspired by Shakespeare’s stories, characters and prose. On Saturday two of BRB’s most celebrated dancers will travel to Stratford-upon-Avon to help the BBC and the Royal Shakespeare Company mark the 400 year anniversary by performing an excerpt from David Bintley’s The Shakespeare Suite at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra will accompany Birmingham Royal Ballet’s dancers for the occasion.

The performance in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre will be given in front of an invited audience, which will include His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who is President of both Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, as well as RSC supporters, partner schools and theatres, local residents and the general public through a series of ballots for free tickets.

On Saturday 23 April, Elisha Willis and Tyrone Singleton will be performing an excerpt from Birmingham Royal Ballet’s current Shakespeare season. The Othello pas de deux from David Bintley’s The Shakespeare Suite sets two of the Bard’s best-loved characters, Othello and Desdemona, to a swinging Duke Ellington score. One of Ellington’s earliest masterpieces, Black and Tan Fantas’, accompanies the tragic union of Othello and Desdemona and will be played by the Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Commenting on the Company’s involvement in the BBC and Royal Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare Live! From the RSC, Birmingham Royal Ballet Director David Bintley said, ‎“It is a great honour for Birmingham Royal Ballet to be performing at Shakespeare Live! From the RSC.

“Elisha Willis and Tyrone Singleton are two Principal dancers who are well known to Birmingham Royal Ballet audiences, and they are very much looking forward to performing at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. They will be dancing the roles of Othello and Desdemona in an excerpt from The Shakespeare Suite, my ballet based on Duke Ellington’s Such Sweet Thunder, a jazz composition inspired by Shakespeare’s immortal characters which forms part of our season marking 400 years since the Bard’s death. We are thrilled too that the Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra will be accompanying us.

I know that Shakespeare Live! From the RSC will be hugely enjoyable for anyone lucky enough to be there, and also everyone watching on screens around the world. We at Birmingham Royal Ballet are very proud to be involved.”

David Tennant will be hosting the show alongside Catherine Tate and will be joined by performers such as Judi Dench, Rufus Wainwright, Ian McKellen, Joseph Fiennes, Helen Mirren, Gregory Porter and Benedict Cumberbatch. This once in a lifetime cast, assembled and directed by Gregory Doran, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, will come together to stage a unique show which will be broadcast on BBC2 at 8.30pm on Saturday 23 April. It will also be screened live to 368 cinemas in the UK and Europe by Picturehouse Entertainment.