GOING OUT / Ballet: Biting satyr comes to Covent Garden

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The Independent Culture
THE choreographer David Bintley admits he went wild when creating Sylvia, his new full-length ballet for Birmingham Royal Ballet. You can see why - he had to make mythological figures real. For example, he had to give a satyr and a nymph (Vincent Redmon and Jessica Clarke, right) a contemporary feel, which he managed to do through the use of both humour and innovation. Sylvia is an unlikely heroine, who falls from grace after a boozy night with the psychopathic Orion, but is redeemed by the love of a good man (Amynta). Set to the music of Leo Delibes, the ballet is full of wit and weirdos and includes a magnificent pas de deux for the lovers. For the grand finale, a rippling body-builder, playing a god, descends from the sky. BRB's London season also includes the triple bill From Stars and Stripes, the highlight of which is a new production, Agnes de Mille's Fall River Legend. De Mille, who choreographed the original Broadway versions of Oklahoma] and Carousel, was inspired by the case of Lizzie Borden (danced here by Marion Tait), who in 1892 was accused of murdering her parents with an axe. Her work has never before been performed by a British company. Also in the programme is Kenneth MacMillan's sassy Elite Syncopations, set to Scott Joplin, and George Balanchine's ravishing Serenade for an almost all-female cast. Birmingham Royal Ballet are at the Royal Opera House, WC2 (071- 240 1066): Sylvia, Mon to Wed, 2 & 4 Apr; From Stars and Stripes, Thurs and 6 to 8 April.

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