All that will now have to wait until well after the end of the lockdown, as the dancers cannot be expected to go back to performance immediately after a period, which so fundamentally disrupts their normal training.
Meanwhile, though, Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) is launching Home from Home, its own online offer in collaboration with the BBC Arts virtual programme, Culture in Quarantine.
The first streamed performance in BRB’s Home from Home programme will be a short but deeply engaging classic: The Swan.
Choreographed by Mikhail Fokine at the turn of the 20th century for the legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova, this short four-minute piece has become known as The Dying Swan. Set to the 'Swan' section of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals, it follows the final moments in the life of a swan.
Throughout the years, most of the great ballerinas have left their own imprint in this ineffable solo work; BRB’s The Swan will be performed at home by company principal dancer Céline Gittens, accompanied by principal pianist Jonathan Higgins and cellist Antonio Novais, from BRB’s own orchestra.
Céline Gittens is a strong, but delicate and very expressive dancer, so her Swan should be a delight. It’s her debut in the role, so there’s no film of it yet, but just to whet your appetite, here she is as another famous Swan: the Swan Princess Odette in Swan Lake.
BRB’S The Swan will be slightly different from the traditional piece: although he admits it's one of his favourite works, Carlos Acosta has changed the ending. In Acosta’s own words: ‘This is a dance of promises, it represents the end of something and the beginning of something else, and in these crazy times that we are living we all need a new beginning.’
BRB HOME FROM HOME: THE SWAN
|What||Birmingham Royal Ballet online – Home from Home|
|Where||Online | MAP|
08 Apr 20 – 08 Jul 20, Available 15:00 onwards