Standing tall in the heart of Birmingham, The Hippodrome came into being in the early 1900s. Seating 1,900 people, the theatre is beautifully designed to host touring theatrical shows from London’s West End as well as performances from Birmingham’s own Royal Ballet.
One rainy Saturday evening, I headed to The Hippodrome to enjoy a magical performance of Cinderella choreographed by David Bintley. Having seen many interpretations of the classic fairytale, I was excited to see the beautiful art of ballet take on a story which has mesmerised children for generations.
I have enjoyed many evenings at The Hippodrome, however this is the first time I have sat in the stalls. Sinking into my soft red chair for an evening of relaxation, I was cheerful with my closeness to the stage which had cost £50.
With Sergei Prokofiev’s orchestra piping up at 7.30pm to silence a sold-out theatre, the curtain rose and the story began to unfold before my eyes. The ballet dancers moved gracefully across the stage, proving hours of work behind the scenes were worth the sacrifice to play out effortlessly on stage. It was a clever recital, for many humorous aspects had been added which I had not been expecting from a serious ballet company. The costumes were remarkable from the frogs and mice who danced hilariously, to the stage glistening of at least 20 ballet dancers all dressed in sparkling regalia.
I was completely mesmerised during the scene where Cinderella entered the ball and a love-struck Prince laid his eyes on her for the first time. Stepping out at the top of the stairway amidst thick white theatrical smoke, Cinderella was exquisitely dressed in a twinkling white tutu. Standing on the top of her toes, she glided effortlessly like a ballerina from one side to the other, stepping down each step until she was met by the prince. Dancing alone together, the lifts and the twirls were captivating to watch.
I love going to the theatre and I love ballet. I have a great appreciation for the time and effort from childhood the performers have committed their life to, to perfect this beautiful art. Birmingham Royal Ballet never fails to deliver with the incredible talent harbored within their institution.
Have you been to a ballet? What did you see?