Three highlights from David's 25-year career
Theatre Royal, Plymouth
Birmingham Royal Ballet celebrate the work of their artistic director David Bintley with a glorious retrospective covering 25 years of choreography.
This triple bill was one delight after another – from a lesson in physics to animal antics.
The evening began with E=mc², inspired by Einstein's Theory of Relativity. E is for energy – frenetic movement, sometimes random and at other times synchronised. M is mass – slower, heavy movement and a sharp contrast to the final part of the equation, speed.
Inspired lighting by Peter Mumford and a compelling score by Matthew Hindson created a delightful atmosphere for this totally engaging piece of work, premiered in 2009.
Tombeaux, is a much darker, more contemplative piece written when Bintley was disillusioned with life at the Royal Ballet and the direction the company was taking.
With a sombre, elegiac score from William Walton, this is a gentle and mournful work but beautiful in its concept and execution.
Saving the best until last, we have Still Life at the Penguin Cafe, which Bintley wrote in 1988 – an environmental wake-up call, reminding us of the dangers many animals faced of extinction.
A cavalcade of animals arrive at the Penguin Cafe – a flea, a kangaroo rat, a woolly monkey, a zebra; all with their own performances, before the company joins together in a joyous finale.
It's easy to see why this is still a firm favourite after 25 years.