Going to the Ballet is seen as a very sophisticated and elegant thing to do, which costs and arm and a leg and requires a very posh accent. We say, “Definitely not!” Ballet Theatre UK are an outstanding professional Ballet company who tour across the United Kingdom and regularly perform at the Albany, their shows are affordable, extremely beautiful and technically refined, completely accessible for all types of audience and are jammed packed with new and innovative original productions.
On Thursday October 20th, Ballet Theatre UK premier their interpretation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet on our stage. This piece has been rigorously rehearsed and polished, the costumes are utterly breathtaking and have been hand made by Ballet Theatre UK’s costume designers.
For those who may be less familiar with the story of Romeo and Juliet, it is the tale of a long feud between the Montague and Capulet families which disrupts the city of Verona and causes tragic results for Romeo and Juliet. Revenge, love, and a secret marriage force the young star-crossed lovers to grow up very quickly and fate causes them much despair. In ballet dance, the dancers do not talk or sing, they express every feeling through movement and gesture, consequently Ballet Theatre UK’s exploration of Romeo and Juliet will be highly unique and innovative much like their previous productions.
Ballet Theatre UK was founded in 2008 by Artistic Director Christopher Moore. Based in Leicestershire their facility features three huge studios, class/lecture rooms, recreational areas and wardrobe space. The building is also home to the newly launched and full time School of Ballet Theatre UK.
Read Artistic Director Christopher Moore’s interview here…
Q: Ballet Theatre UK has been described as ‘innovative’. Why is that exactly?
‘I’ve taken traditional ballets, which to some people have become museum pieces, bringing them up-to-date for the modern audience and engaging our audiences with a passion and energy that I hope is inspiring. The dancers bring much to the company making me able to create choreography which best shows their techniques.’
Q: For how long do the dancers train for a new work?
‘Rehearsals are generally four to five weeks, but it never stops once on tour. Work continues on the nuances of the production, honing and perfecting the delivery of the show’
Q: How many people work behind the scenes on a production, and what kind of things do they do?
‘We have a Ballet Mistress, who is responsible for the daily class the dancers undertake and the wellbeing of the dancers; a Technical Manager who ensures the show is installed in each theatre and is ready to roll out on time every night; a Tour Manager who organizes, amongst other things, cast accommodation and their transportation to each venue; a Wardrobe Mistress and Admin staff. Their roles are varied and very important to the smooth running of the company’.
Q: Who will be dancing the lead roles during the tour?
‘We are lucky enough to have multiple lead dancers. We have a company ethos of dancer development and care for their wellbeing. We operate a rotational system allowing each member of the cast to share in taking on the lead roles. This allows also for a freshness to be brought to each show.
Q: For those who have never watched ballet, how would you persuade them to come along?
‘I had a retired gentleman approach me after one of our shows who said that he had never been to a ballet before and was so pleased he had now done so, having enjoyed it immensely. I think it should be considered as one of life’s experiences; you’ll never know till you try it. A live show with a high visual content and rousing music will always set the heart beating faster! Romeo and Juliet is a perfect introduction as it is such a well-known story yet the complex choreography challenges for the seasoned classical ballet fan.’