50 years since the Royal Charter was first bestowed, Birmingham Royal Ballet is looking forward with renewed vigour and security. Following ten years of applause for David Bintley’s creative leadership, the Company now has a wonderful home in the acclaimed new Hippodrome complex, which includes a state-of-the-art theatre, the Jerwood Centre for the Prevention and Treatment of Dance Injuries, and the Patrick Centre, a studio theatre for new work. The Company can also boast a new Chief Executive, Christopher Barron, who is presiding over a company now in a renewed position of important financial security.

Birmingham Royal Ballet was formed in 1990, when Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet moved to Birmingham. Everyone connected with the Company proudly celebrates the versatility and flexibility of an organisation that creates challenging new work alongside the classics.

For Bintley, it is standing on the shoulders of giants that allows a view into the future: ‘The hallmark of the Royal Ballet Companies has always been a mixing of classical and more avant garde work. I feel very influenced by The Royal Ballet of the 1950s and 60s under Ninette de Valois; she said we must have one foot in the future and one in the past. Today this is crucially important, both nationally and internationally.’

BRB is welcomed enthusiastically around the world. The Company has recently completed successful tours to the USA, Hong Kong and South Africa, and plans to increase its international profile. Barron believes audiences, both at home and overseas, hunger after the classical history of the Company, the startling energy of its new work, and the unique pool of talent it contains, on stage, in the orchestra pit and behind the scenes. The arrival of Elmhurst School for Dance in Edgbaston in 2004 is another crucial plank in the Company’s determination to nurture and retain the best young dancers in the world.

BRB certainly has a devoted and growing audience in Birmingham and beyond. Bintley is particularly appreciative of this core support, and claims it is this loyalty and constancy that allows the Company to be adventurous. Both Bintley and Barron are passionate about the relationship with Birmingham and celebrate the way the Company has become secure and grounded in the life of the city. ’15 years ago the only dance in this city was touring dance,’ Barron says. ‘Now it is an exciting home for creating dance and dancers.’ For Bintley and his dedicated team the driving force remains the same as it was for Ninette de Valois when she founded the first company at Sadler’s Wells Theatre 75 years ago: dance. ‘Of all the dance performing arts, ballet is the most diverse and the most popular,’ Bintley concludes. ‘From classics to the avant garde, from comedies to tragedies and abstraction, ballet does it all.’