BPREVIEW: Swan Lake @ Symphony Hall 07.01

BPREVIEW: Swan Lake @ Symphony Hall 07.01




Words by Ed King / Pics courtesy of MMSPCB

On Saturday 7th January, Swan Lake comes to the Symphony Hall – performed by Marina Medvetskaya’s Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet (MMSPCB).Birmingham Preview

Doors open at 7:30pm with tickets are priced between £43 – £18, as presented by PMB Presentations. For direct event info, including details of the venue and online tickets sales, click here.

Performing their Birmingham debut on 7th January, Marina Medvetskaya’s Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet have been touring both Swan Lake and The Nutcracker across the UK and Ireland since November 2016.

Both written and first performed in the late 19th Century, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker were Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s first and last ballets respectively. Neither a particular success on debut, the bread of Tchaikovsky’s ballet triptych – the jam in this sandwich being Sleeping Beauty – have grown to become household names across the cultural world.

BPREVIEW: Swan Lake @ Symphony Hall 07.01Swan Lake was commissioned and written in about a year, reportedly distracting Tchaikovsky from his focus of scoring opera. But penned with excitement or frustration, Swan Lake is immediately recognisable – from the mournful strings of the introduction to the plucky waltz that evolves Act I, you’ll have heard some of it somewhere before.

A classic tale of love, betrayal, anthropomorphism and witchcraft, Swan Lake is the story of Prince Seigfried who, the night before he has to choose his royal bride, falls in love with the Swan Queen – the spellbound Odette. Transformed into a swan during daylight hours by the evil Baron Rothbart, Odette returns Seigfied’s love at the end of Act II – dancing alongside the lake where he first saw as a swan.

Keen for his own daughter, Odile, to marry the Prince, Von Rothbert casts a spell making her appear as Odette. When all the prospective brides are presented to Seigfried he falls for Von Rothbert’s spell and declares his intentions to marry Odile, whom he believes is Odette. Upon hearing her new love has betrayed her, even under the spell of Von Rothbert, the Swan Queen resigns herself to a broken heart and imminent death.BPREVIEW: Swan Lake @ Symphony Hall 07.01

Act IV concludes as Prince Seigfried realises his mistake and rushes into the dying arms of his beloved Odette. The ballet ends with lake swallowing both Odette and Seigfried, leaving only a corps de ballet of swans to mourn the tragedy of the young lovers.

Performed by Marina Medvetskaya’s Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet (MMSPCB), Swan Lake is the debut production in Birmingham from the contemporary Russian dance troupe. Formed in 1996, MMSPCB has previously toured across Scandinavia, mainland Europe, Russia and North America – presenting ‘the company’s presentations of the best-loved Russian ballets, accompanied by a full orchestra.’

Now the company’s Artistic Director, Marina Medvetskaya says, “It had been a dream of mine to bring this company to audiences in the UK. We enjoyed a wonderful season earlier in the year and I believe UK dance fans fully embraced the beauty, power and dexterity of our male and female dancers in these iconic ballets”

Swan Lake, as performed by Marina Medvetskaya’s Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet, comes to Birmingham for one show only at the Symphony Hall on Saturday 7th January 2017. For direct event info, including details of the venue and online ticket sales, click here.

For more on Marina Medvetskaya’s Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet, visit www.facebook.com/saintpetersburgballet

For more from the Town and Symphony Halls, including a full event programme and online ticket sales, visit www.thsh.co.uk


BPREVIEW: Ben Folds @ Symphony Hall 13.06

BPREVIEW: Ben Folds @ Symphony Hall 13.06

Words by Helen Knott

Ben Folds Five brightened up the mid 90’s with their goofy, piano-led pop – initially forming in 1993, initially disbanding in 2000, and releasing seven albums across their entire career. The naughties weren’t the end for Ben Folds Five, with the ebb and flow of reunions bringing the North Carolina trio (the name has more to do with alliteration than an actual number count) onto record store shelves and festival bills until 2013.Main with web colour bcg - lr

But in the midst of all this, in 2000 after the first break up, band leader Ben Folds struck out on his own –  carving a pretty successful solo career, releasing six solo albums and collaborating with artists as diverse as Weird Al Yankovic, William Shatner, Regina Spektor Amanda Palmer and author Nick Hornby.

It’s fair to say that Folds has had a varied career; he’s scraped the very depths of celeb culture as a judge on US talent show The Sing Off, and soared to the heights of classical music composition, writing a piano concerto for Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

And its classical music that’s the focus in this Symphony Hall show, as Ben Folds is joined by New York based yMusic chamber ensemble, to perform tracks from his 2015 album So There. As well as his piano concerto the album includes eight new songs written with yMusic.

But be warned, Ben Fold’s Live on Myspace concert hosted everything from an orchestra of classical guitars to a pretend suicide attempt practical joke. So expect lyrics about aging, failed relationships (having been married four times) and above all, that irreverent sense of humour that endeared him to us in the first place.

Ben Folds & yMusic – Meet the Band

For more on Ben Folds, visit www.benfolds.com

For more on the yMusic ensemble, visit www.ymusicensemble.com

For more from Birmingham’s Town & Symphony Halls, visit www.thsh.co.ukFollow-Birmingham-Review-on-300x26 Facebook - f square, rounded - with colour - 5cm highTwitter - t, square, rounded, with colour, 5cm high