In sporting terms, the Royal Birmingham Ballet sent its second XI for its three performances at the Hall for Cornwall – a nicely balanced blend of old-hand experience and youthful enthusiasm.
With a program that extended neither performers nor audience, the dancers provided a highly enjoyable sampler of ballet’s delights – an easy-watching evening of excerpts from some of the artform’s best-known pieces.
It was a program to delight the young girls in the audience who see themselves as the next Fonteyn and also to enthuse those who have yet to fully embrace this arm of the arts.
With 40 minutes of intervals and 70 minutes of dance no one was in danger of suffering tedium or tired backsides.
The company’s principals were brought to the fore in showpieces such as the pas de deux from The Dream and The Sleeping Beauty while the entire company graced the stage with lively interpretations of Allegri diversi, Coppelia and the oldest ballet of them all, La Fille Mal Garde.
This latter offering was greatly enhanced by an Osbert Lancaster backdrop complete with diving cows and a hilarious clog dance from Rory Mackay.
All-in-all a pleasant and non-challenging evening that showcased all that is appealing about classical ballet.