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Digital Dance: Birmingham Royal Ballet's Home From Home

BIRMINGHAM Royal Ballet is launching Home From Home, a new series of online content which will give an exclusive insight into the company’s daily routine and specially curated performances as they stay fit and creative whilst in isolation at their homes across the globe.

The Birmingham Royal Ballet: Home From Home series will open with Ballet Class Live, an exclusive live-streamed class led by Ballet Master Dominic Antonucci that company members will be dialling into voluntarily from wherever they live in the world.

Initial programming will also include a very special ‘living-room’ performance of The Swan, set to Camille Saint-Saëns’s Le Cygne from Le Carnaval des animaux.

It will be introduced by Birmingham Royal Ballet Director Carlos Acosta and performed at home by principal dancer Céline Gittens, accompanied by principal pianist Jonathan Higgins and cellist Antonio Novais from Birmingham Royal Ballet’s orchestra, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

Both projects have been created in partnership with BBC Culture in Quarantine. Launched by BBC Arts, Culture in Quarantine is a virtual festival of the arts rooted in the experience of national lockdown whereby UK Creative industries can come together to share content and ideas. Jonty Claypole, BBC Head of Arts, says:

“The mission of Culture in Quarantine is to support the arts and ensure the greatest possible access to culture in people’s homes.

“We’re thrilled to be working with one of the greatest dance companies in the world, Birmingham Royal Ballet, on this unique project.

In Ballet Class Live, anyone at home can join Birmingham Royal Ballet in warm-ups and basic steps. And in a special performance, Céline Gittens will dance the iconic The Swan solo, which has an added poignancy at this time of isolation and national lockdown.”

Home From Home: Ballet Class Live – Friday, April 3 from 11am BST via BBC.CO.UK/ARTS

Tune in to watch (and participate) with the Birmingham Royal Ballet company as they dial in to a special ballet class live from their homes all over the world including Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand, the USA and UK.

Led by one of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Ballet Masters Dominic Antonucci, the class will give access to the daily physical warm up routine of these world-class dancers, with online participants including Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet Carlos Acosta, who says:

“Every dancer needs to stay fit and flexible and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. During this period of self-isolation and quarantine, it is vitally important that our company, based in their homes all over the world, continue to meet up online and take daily ballet class.

“As part of the Birmingham Royal Ballet: Home From Home series, we will be giving exclusive ballet class access to BBC’s Culture in Quarantine from 11.00am GMT on Friday 3 April.

“Why not tune in and watch our company of world-class performers in class, and why not even participate yourself from the comfort of your own home?”

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Home From Home: Ballet Class Live will be led by Ballet Master Dominic Antonucci and accompanied by pianist Ross Williams.

Home From Home: The Swan – Wednesday, April 8 at 3pm BST via BBC.CO.UK/ARTS and BRB.ORG.UK

At 3pm on Wednesday, April 8, BBC’s Culture in Quarantine will make available a specially curated performance of The Swan, introduced by Carlos Acosta and performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet principal dancer Céline Gittens, accompanied by principal pianist Jonathan Higgins and cellist Antonio Novais from Birmingham Royal Ballet’s orchestra, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

This poignant piece, set to Camille Saint-Saëns’s Le Cygne from Le Carnaval des animaux, was originally choreographed by Mikhail Fokine for legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova and is popularly known as The Dying Swan.

Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta says: “Welcome everybody in this moment of stillness.

“We are going to try an experiment; I frankly don’t know how it’s going to turn out. We are going to perform for you one of my favourite pieces, The Swan. I have purposely changed the end, so this is a dance about life, about hope.

“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.

“This is a gift from Birmingham Royal Ballet to you, enjoy”