BRB2: Carlos Acosta’s Classical Selection review - Ballet's future stars dazzle on Northampton stage

BRB2 (left to right): Mason King, Jack Easton, Mailene Katoch, (Carlos Acosta), Frieda Kaden, Oscar Kempsey-Fagg. Photo by Drew TommonsBRB2 (left to right): Mason King, Jack Easton, Mailene Katoch, (Carlos Acosta), Frieda Kaden, Oscar Kempsey-Fagg. Photo by Drew Tommons
BRB2 (left to right): Mason King, Jack Easton, Mailene Katoch, (Carlos Acosta), Frieda Kaden, Oscar Kempsey-Fagg. Photo by Drew Tommons
Anna Brosnan reviews BRB2: Carlos Acosta’s Classical Selection at the Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Going to a ballet is usually a solid commitment to enjoying one style, one story and a single set of lead performers in one show.

What we have in Carlos Acosta’s Classical Selection, brought to Royal & Derngate by the BRB2 company, is a sequence of all the ‘best bits’ – like a tasting menu at a top class restaurant.

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What is brilliant about Acosta’s show, which graced the Northampton stage on Saturday (May 25), is it is performed by new talent in the form of a troupe of international dance graduates.

The production opens to a simple set with a ballet barre in the background. Dancers casually saunter onto the stage in relaxed fashion, chatting and hugging each other, stretching and getting ready for their moments to shine.

Birmingham Royal Ballet director Carlos Acosta has certainly given all performers their chances to dazzle in a packed programme which balances both classical and contemporary.

Highlights include a beautifully choreographed pas de deux from Swan Lake to Tchaikovsky’s famous score, featuring an elegant performance by Amelia Thompson and Mason King.

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Dancers Oscar Kempsey-Fagg and Alexandra Manuel also shone in Diana and Actaeon, from La Esmeralda.

My favourite part of the show was a dance with a comic twist – Les Bourgeois, choreographed by Ben Van Cauwenbergh, which brings together drunkenness and ballet - an unexpected pairing. This was performed brilliantly by Tom Hazelby.

BRB2 unites some of the best young stars from across the world – with dancers hailing from the UK, USA, Ukraine, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. It seems fitting that the show content also reflects an international feel, for example featuring dances set to Edith Piaf’s Je ne Regrette Rien and music by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla.

Acosta’s eclectic show is a real treat for all ballet lovers and Saturday’s performance was greeted with a standing ovation from a very impressed Northampton audience.

Visit royalandderngate.co.uk for details of future productions at the theatre.

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