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David Bintley has spoken a number of times about the work that continues on a ballet once it has been danced in front of an audience.

Despite its age, Far from the Madding Crowd, which Birmingham Royal Ballet dance at Birmingham Hippodrome this week, is no exception.

“I hope this revival will be a good one because Far from the Madding Crowd has had a little bit of a chequered history”, explains David. “There were things that were wrong with it in the initial presentation. We then made some changes to it during those early years, and while we fixed a lot, there were still some small elements that I was unhappy with. It’s now been ten years since we last did it, and all the time it’s been sat there I’ve still wanted to return to it again.

“It’s a piece that I’m extremely fond of. Not just because it’s the last piece that I did with Paul, but because I just really like it. I like the characters and the music is great, and I’d love to see it all really come together.

“I hope that there’s enough anticipation from audiences, especially those who saw it last time, and that there’s a good feel about the piece. I hope that in the future there will be enough public interest to earn it a wider airing. But more so, I want to get it right, and I’m hoping, this time, that I can say that the piece is finally finished!”

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

Click here for booking details.

Here you can see a video of Elisha Willis and Iain Mackay in rehearsals for Far from the Madding Crowd.


Nutcracker rehearsals have stepped up this week as we’ve been able to start running through the ballet on the vast Birmingham Hippodrome main stage.

Preparations still continue in the studios, however, with the dancers working regularly to maintain the stamina necessary to perform the gruelling Principal roles.

Here you can see a pair of Nutcracker rehearsal videos which we posted last week. The first shows the Sugar Plum Fairy solo danced by three of the ballerinas taking on the role this season. The second shows a short excerpt of a pas de deux between Iain Mackay and Angela Paul in the roles of the Nutcracker Prince and the heroine Clara!

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