In October 2017, Birmingham Royal Ballet announced Ballet Now, an initiative dedicated to commissioning not just new dance, but new art in every area surrounding classical ballet. David Bintley, the comapny’s former director said of the plan, “There’s not been a commissioning programme like this since Diaghilev.”
According to the company, Ballet Now’s purpose is “to provide a unique and enriching pathway to aid the development of choreographers, composers and designers who show originality and world-class potential. Each participant will create new works that will be shared with audiences throughout the UK and beyond, premiering at either Birmingham Hippodrome or Sadler’s Wells, London. Over five years the initiative will support 30 new artists, ten choreographers, ten composers and ten designers providing them with mentoring, resources and access to Birmingham Royal Ballet’s outstanding facilities. “
The average American company premieres around two to three new works a season – many of these are commissions of the same choreographers year after year. In the same amount of time, Birmingham Royal Ballet will support more than just a choreographer creating a new work. The company will bring in multiple artists in a plethora of areas critical to developing the art form.
This news comes at a critical time, when audiences are craving new work but companies are favoring the same few artists.
Ballet Now will be overseen by a roster of professionals called the Creative Consortium, the recently-announced experts are evenly split in terms of gender and come from a wide range of backgrounds, representing the company’s commitment to equity and diversity.
David Bintley, CBE
Read more about Ballet Now here.
Read the Creative Consortium members’ backgrounds here.