I’ve never really watched a professional ballet, so I was thrilled when I got the opportunity to go for the first time ever. I was slightly apprehensive as I didn’t know how much I was going to enjoy the show. I was watching the Birmingham Royal Ballet perform at Theatre Severn in two pieces; ‘Seasons in our World’ and ‘Peter and the Wolf’.
I managed to catch the pre-show talk, in which both pieces were introduced and discussed by the choreographers, Laura Day and Ruth Brill. ‘Seasons of the World’ was described as completely new, costumes, music, set and choreography. It was an exploration of the different seasons and nature. ‘Peter and the Wolf’ was performed from the acclaimed musical composition written by Sergei Prokofiev. A narrator tells the story, while the orchestra illustrates it. While it is still quite a frequently performed piece of work, and it has been recorded many times, I was slightly unfamiliar with it.
Both performances were around 35 minutes long. The first performance was pure dance and live music, which I'm completely unfamiliar with. I really enjoyed the artistic way group sections and solos were used to tell the theme. I thought I would have to decode what the dancers were performing and figure out a story, but I soon realised that I could just sit back and enjoy the dancing. The performance was short and sweet and it seemed like the performers and the musicians were having fun while they performed this piece.
‘Peter and the Wolf’ blew me away. I found it slightly easier to understand because of the narration and theatre-like characterisations of each dancer. It was so fun to watch, with each of the dancers embracing and expressing their characters and dancing with them in mind. The costume and lighting really added to the characters and story. I really enjoyed the spin this performance put on the piece - I won’t give too much away in case you have the chance to see it. My only problem with this piece is that it wasn’t longer, as it really was amazing!
When we were walking back to the car after the performance, we saw two young kids trying to copy the ballet they had just seen on stage. They were dancing along the kerb and it was wonderful that the performance had inspired them. I think it is important that more young people are encouraged to see traditional art forms as they can inspire new and old stories. Young people are the ones who will be creating these stories and it is important to tell them in as many different forms as possible. I will certainly be seeing ballet again!