Choreography by Ruth Brill
Music by John Harle
Triple Bill May-July 2017
Birmingham Royal Ballet First Artist Ruth Brill captures the idyllic lost world of Arcadia in her brand new work for the Company. Inspired by music composed by John Harle, Arcadia is set in the land of the title; an idyllic lost world of perfect bliss, a pastoral paradise. This is the land roamed by Pan, the god of the woods, fields, shepherds and flocks. Arcadia is Ruth Brill’s first main-stage creation for Birmingham Royal Ballet and promises to be dramatic, accessible and otherworldly.
Three enthralling one-act ballets complete the season: In Le Baiser de la fée a young boy’s life is marked from the moment a fairy saves his life in the snow, unleashing magical joys and sorrows in choreographer Michael Corder’s beautiful interpretation of this classic Hans Christian Andersen tale.
Pineapple Poll, a thoroughly English Gilbert and Sullivan tale of a gang of girls, a crew of sailors and ballet aboard the HMS Hot Cross Bun features the timeless choreography of John Cranko.
Finally, in Arcadia the ancient god Pan is unleashed, as Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Ruth Brill makes her first commissioned piece to a new score composed by renowned saxophonist John Harle. Triple Bill May-July 2017
Triple Bill May-July 2017
Ruth Brill talks about Arcadia, the ballet she's creating for the Company for 2017.
The piece is entirely inspired by a score from the saxophonist, John Harle. David Bintley gave me the music to listen to and said ‘see if this inspires you’. It certainly did and the more I listen, the more I love it. Its dramatic qualities make it perfect for a ballet. I’ve been working closely with John to make some slight changes. It has been a great experience for me to have a collaborative approach with the composer.
None of the pieces I’ve made in the past have been completely abstract. Arcadia is also a narrative piece. While not telling the full story of a single myth, it draws inspiration directly from Greek mythology. The characters are Pan, the nymphs and a chorus. I also want to evoke the landscape of Arcadia as a mountainous region of Greece, through the choreography for the chorus and through the designs.
I started working on this piece for a choreographic workshop in January 2016 - after sharing my ideas, David gave me some helpful feedback. It wasn’t until a month or so later that I was invited to a meeting in David’s office. That was the moment when he said, ‘I would like to commission you to create a piece for the Company for the main stage’.
I do feel it’s a big challenge, but I don’t feel daunted by it. It’s a big step up to make something for the main stage but you have to take that leap at some point. I feel ready, I feel excited. This is an amazing opportunity and I want to learn as much as I can about the process of creating: how you get from the beginning to the end. It’s about managing all the elements, making connections with people as well as responding to the music with creative choreography. There’s so much to it. I want to soak up as much as I can!