David Bintley discusses casting for the forthcoming performances of Far from the Madding Crowd:

If I didn’t think we had the people to dance these roles, I might not have done Far from the Madding Crowd this season. But we do, although it’s been no small task as I’ve more or less had to recast it from the ground up. There are very few people here now who danced Principal roles last time round. I think Iain Mackay is one of the few, but he was very young.

Of course all of our Ballet Masters were in it. Wolfie created the role of Troy and Michael created Gabriel Oak, and Dominic has performed parts along the way as well. So there’s at least a first-hand knowledge of the piece amongst the ballet staff

I make pieces to be performed not just by the first cast, but by generations. And I feel that’s the measure of a successful work. And it’s not just that other people can dance it later, but that the piece has enough room to allow different interpretations in a single run.

I’ve obviously got a couple of casts. Were it going on tour I might have had a couple more, and we’ve got a strong enough company to have allowed for that.

David Bintley.

Birmingham Royal Ballet performs Far from the Madding Crowd at Birmingham Hippodrome, 20-23 June 2012.

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Above: The creation of Far from the Madding Crowd, 1996; photo: Bill Cooper