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News - Shadows of War - Arnold and Bliss

Friday, September 19, 2014

Birmingham Royal Ballet present their Shadows of War triple bill this October in Birmingham, London and Plymouth. It includes music by Arthur Bliss and Malcolm Arnold.

Robert Helpmann's 1944 ballet Miracle in the Gorbals (music by Arthur Bliss) was a great leap forward for British ballet. Set in a run-down and dangerous Glasgow suburb, it dispensed with all the frippery of traditional ballets, replacing it with a gritty realism that proved an enormous success. After the shock of a girl's suicide, the arrival of a mysterious stranger who is able to bring her back to life creates waves among the violent inhabitants of the tenements. This ground-breaking dance drama is being re-created by Dame Gillian Lynne (a member of the original cast), using original set designs by Edward Burra, a leading 20th-century British artist. Miracle in the Gorbals is supported (2014) by The Bliss trust and Birmingham Royal Ballet's Director's Appeal.

David Bintley's Flowers of the Forest is a ballet in two parts. Set to music by Malcolm Arnold, Four Scottish Dances presents a light-hearted and nostalgic, 'picture postcard' view of Scotland, whilst 'Scottish Ballad' strikes a more serious note, and is danced to a folk-inspired score by the young Benjamin Britten. The composer's pacifist views found voice in this piece, which takes its title from the famous ballad for the flower of Scottish youth slain on Flodden Field.

Dates and tickets:

Birmingham Hippodrome 8 - 11 October 2014
Sadler's Wells Theatre 17 - 18 October 2014
Theatre Royal Plymouth 28 - 29 October 2014

Flowers of the Forest
Music Malcolm Arnold; Benjamin Britten
Choreography David Bintley
Costumes Jan Blake
Lighting Peter Teigen

Miracle in the Gorbals
Music Arthur Bliss
Choreography Gillian Lynne After Robert Helpmann
Scenario Michael Benthall
Designs Adam Wiltshire After Edward Burra
Lighting Peter Teigen



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