ballet black

Ballet Black Triple Bill


Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome


This triple bill by Ballet Black presented three very different pieces of dance.

House Of Dreams, a set with four dancers in a series of pas de deux opened the evening. The accompanying music, composed by Claude Debussy was pleasant enough, although a little more volume would have added power to the interpretations of emotions created by the dancers.

Dreaming of love, joy, tenderness, passion, trust, abandonment, betrayal and finally loss, the execution was classical in content, and a gentle starter to begin the programme.

The four movements, with choreography by Michael Corder, costume design by Yukiko Tsukamoto were performed by dancers, Sayaka Ichikawa, Damien Johnson, Marie Astrid Mence and Jacob Wye.

Piece two, was Captured with music by Dmitri Shostakovich. Again, four dancers, with effortless grace and precision enacted this more contemporary piece with dynamism. Vying for position, weaving and twisting with energy, form, shape and flow, the athleticism connected the movements beautifully.

A delightful high octane offering, the focus being to gain personal space from their rivals whilst tackling a variety of emotions along the way. Simple but effect.

Choreographer Martin Lawrence, Costume design Rebecca Hayes and dancers Jose Alva's, Isabela Coracy, Cira Robinson and Mthuthuzeli November


It is oft said that the best is always saved until last and there is no doubt that this adage is totally appropriate for describing the superb, Red Riding Hood.

This familiar fairy tale, though the content, like many children's stories has underlying tragedy, danger and heartbreak, (leaving many a poor infant quaking in floods of tears,) is given the full on treatment in this striking adaptation.

Cira Robinson as the innocent Red Riding Hood all too soon takes the dangerous pathway to grandmama’s house, deep within the woods. Her encounter with howling, hooting, frightening creatures, accompanied by the haunting music and atmospheric lighting is a stunning mixture of dance forms.

Creativity and the visual feast throughout are outstanding. Jacob Wye as the cheeky wolf weaves his magic with a sinister seductive charm, using his captivating, and charismatic magnetism to lure the naive Red Riding Hood to her inevitable, sorry fate.

In his leathers, jaunty hat and a tail of incalculable proportions, he is certainly no 'run of the mill ' wolf! With a hint of modernity, (think Michael Jackson, 'Bad'), the skill and interpretation of his performance is sparkling.

A touch of humour, balloons that cleverly seem to appear from nowhere, dancers in gorgeous masks who change characters and costumes in a flash, this piece is glorious on so many levels, and to top it all, a male grandma who dances en pointe, whilst adopting the crouching stance of

an old lady! Amazing! Dancing at its very best.

Choreography Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Costume and prop design Yann Seabra. Company of wolves, Jose Alves, Isabella Coracy, Damien Johnson, Marie Astrid Mence, and Mthuthuzeli November.

Elizabeth M Smith and Rosemary Manjunath


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