For a start Birmingham Royal Ballet have a fabulous exhibition. To celebrate their 20 years in the city, you can get up close and personal to costumes and props from productions they have performed here including Arthur and the popular Still Life at the Penguin Cafe. And there are some outstanding photographs of the company by Bill Cooper.
A breathtaking sculpture by Birmingham fine art graduate Rebecca Turner has been a popular piece for visitors to photograph since it went up in our foyer last week. 10,000 mirror squares and 1,000 Swarovski crystal rhinestones create an amazing ball gown which took Rebecca over 200 hours to make.
If you are here when the sun goes down then you’ll get the chance to see our latest installation entitled ‘Waves’. It’s part of International Dance Festival Birmingham and is projected light on the piazza just outside the main entrance which responds to the heat of passers-by. We’ve had lots of people dancing in and around the light every night so please have a go if you are passing by. If you take some good photos, why not send them to us?
Meanwhile, backstage in our studios the creative theme continues with much excitement – Ballet Nacional de Cuba have set up camp! This is the first time the company have performed here and their first time in the UK outside London. Ballet superstar Carlos Acosta, who trained with the company, makes a special guest appearance (27/28 April) and I know from the reaction of some of my colleagues here he’s also setting a few hearts fluttering… Kate was lucky enough to spend some time with him – in the lift!
The company opened last night with a glorious mix from their repertoire and legendary Artistic Director Alicia Alonso (nearly 90 years of age) was escorted on stage for the curtain call and rightly given a standing ovation by many in the audience. She went on to give an extremely interesting post-show talk with our Chief Executive and still found time (and energy) to attend a sponsor’s reception at the Crowne Plaza till the early hours Tonight’s performance is sold out but you still have the chance to catch the company later in the week when they perform the full length ballet Giselle.
International Dance Festival, which the Hippodrome co-produces, is now into its second week. If you don’t have tickets for the Cubans here this week, why not take a trip up the road to The Rep where you can watch Sutra, a dance work featuring 17 monks from the original Shaolin Temple in China? Our very own Patrick Centre studio and Ikon Eastside host the premiere of Outspoken, a weekend of performance from Arab artists; and, over the Bank Holiday weekend, get yourself and your family up to Victoria Square for a FREE dance performance event called Utopia – you’ll never see the Floozy in the Jacuzzi in the same way again!