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Performer: Céline Gittens

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BRB's The Nutcracker* lights up the Royal Albert Hall

Birmingham Royal Ballet in The Nutcracker at the Royal Albert Hall © Annabel Moeller
A unique marriage of production and performance space provides a spactacle synonymous withe spirit of Christmas 
****1
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Williamson breaks new ground with BRB

Artists of BRB in Williamson's Embrace © Emma Kauldhar
It is good to see Birmingham Royal Ballet in such fine fettle. This triple bill is well conceived and deftly performed. Not always flawless in its execution, but a five star programme nonetheless.
*****
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Plenty of life in Bintley's Penguin Café

Ruth Brill (The Great Auk) in Bintley's 'Still Life' at the Penguin Café © Andy Ross
It starts like a scene from Mary Poppins, with penguin waiters nimbly weaving between waltzing couples, but ends with a deft blow to the stomach to deliver its environmental message.
****1
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Starry, starry night: BRBs celestial Cinderella

Cinderella © Bill Cooper
David Bintley's 2010 Birmingham Royal Ballet version of Cinderella is the antithesis to Ashton. Instead of pantomime, he offers pure fairy tale every magical step of the way.
*****
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BRB: A Shakespeare tribute

It can’t be easy to programme a Shakespeare season that has something new to say about this giant figure in a year of excellent productions up and down the country, but this programme achieves it. 
****1
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A unique Swan Lake

True to its origin in the Romantic period of the 19th century, this Swan Lake dances the Royal Birmingham Ballet into history because of the beauty of its leading dancer, Céline Gittens, one of the world's first non-white ballerinas.
*****
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