Touring – reviewed at The Lowry, Salford
Beauty & the Beast is certainly a ‘tale as old as time’, and in this beautiful interpretation by Birmingham Royal Ballet the magical relationship between Belle and the Beast appears more captivating than ever.
Since it was first created in 2003, David Bintley’s Beauty & the Beast has become a timeless classic in the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s repertoire. The honest and charming narrative makes it the perfect ballet for younger dance enthusiasts, and the masterful, heartfelt solos and tender pas de deux are sure to leave any audience member feeling warm and fuzzy – touched by a sprinkling of ballet magic. This fairytale production is presented as part of Bintley’s final season with the company.
Philip Prowse’s wonderfully gothic set design is ingeniously layered – opening and closing like a storybook to transform a dark, misty woodland into the interior of the Beast’s castle. The eerie lighting design by Mark Jonathan moves smoothly through the shadows of an enchanted forest to the warmth of candlelight inside the castle. Accompanied by a live orchestra with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Canadian composer Glenn Buhr’s specially commissioned rich musical score offers the perfect backdrop for Bintley’s animated choreography.
Yvette Knight dances Belle with elegance and vulnerability – a truly stunning performance. Brandon Lawrence’s Beast portrays muscular agility and humility. Balancing grace with storytelling – the pas de deux between Belle and the Beast are truly dazzling.
Every year, I look forward to Birmingham Royal Ballet’s performance at The Lowry and this year is no exception. With a playful dash of humour, Beauty and the Beast is sure to lift the heaviest of hearts – leaving seasoned ballet lovers and dance newbies with a spring in their step all the way home.