Dance Birmingham Royal Ballet
Saturday 25 May 1996
The Ashton ballet was in a double-bill with Bintley's Carmina Burana. The choreography is in the shadow of Orff's monumental score - magnificently sung on Tuesday by Judith Howarth, Martyn Hill, Anthony Michaels Moore and the Royal Opera Chorus - but the dramatisation of the fall from grace of three trainee priests definitely has its moments. Michael O'Hare and the Kirov-trained Yuri Zhukov enact their brushes with deadly sin with power and conviction but it is Joseph Cipolla who steals the show. As he removes his trousers to reveal a gleaming white posing pouch there is a sudden rip of Velcro as Covent Garden collectively gets out its opera glasses. Admiring Cipolla's lean, muscled physique would be strictly Chippendales were it not that his body is the instrument of a fine artist. Every movement and gesture is thoroughly focused as his love for Catherine Batcheller lures him to damnation.
The season's other mixed bill opens with Balanchine's Theme and Variations. BRB have had the measure of this work since 1988, and they continue to dance it superbly. Kevin O'Hare handled the fiendish pirouettes and airborne solos with unstudied ease. The corps performed superbly and were equally undaunted by Agon, led by Monica Zamora and Joseph Cipolla.
Thursday's triple bill concluded with Bintley's Still Life at the Penguin Cafe. Although unashamedly crowd-pleasing, it is interesting to see the work again after enduring several seasons of the Royal Ballet's Tales of Beatrix Potter. Where Potter's animals are slavishly created with thick padding and furry suits, Bintley's are cunningly suggested by light masks and painted body stockings. Suddenly Penguin Cafe is looking a lot more interesting and so is the company that danced it.
In rep at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London WC2 (0171-304 4000) to 31 May
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Dame Vivienne Westwood: The former Queen of Punk may now be an establishment pillar, but her work is still controversial – and much copied
Regin: Newly uncovered malicious software snooping since 2008 'was developed by a nation state'
Kim Kardashian recreates iconic Jean-Paul Goude naked 'Champagne Incident' photo
Henri de Toulouse Lautrec: Google celebrates 150th anniversary of French artist's birth
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
- 1 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Green Party Caroline Lucas interview: 'We could be on the edge of something very big'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Investigo: A growing group of top end restaurants l...
£200 per day: Ashdown Group: Working within a business that has a high number ...
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well-established and growi...