JMcN

David Bintley

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David Bintley, Artistic Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, is being appointed as Artistic Director of the New National Theatre Ballet Company of Tokyo. He is taking up the appointment, which is for three years, in 2010. To reassure all BRB fans, the appointment is part time and is in addition to his current post as AD of BRB.

There is a press release on the BRB website:

http://www.brb.org.uk/4714.html

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Tokyo-Birmingham. Now THAT's a commute!

Thanks for this JMcN

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It's a nice addition for Japan and it will certainly raise the profile of the Japanese ballet community.

They need some more Western influences to internationalize their company's standard, although as someone else mentioned in another forum, I'm not a huge fan of all of Bintley's works either.

I guess the issue also comes down to whether this major Japanese company, which will probably become the leading Japanese company in a few years, wants English, American, French, or Russian influence in the growth of their ballet tradition. I think choosing the English style would probably be best for the Japanese temperament -- the cultures are more similar than other countries raised here.

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Also, the other thing to remember is that:

IF ALL the most talented Japanese dancers who are dancing with foreign top ballet companies right now....

(this includes Aki Saito at Royal Flanders, Misa Kuranaga at Boston, Nao Sakuma at BRB, Yuhui Choe at RB, Shoko Nakamura at Berlin, etc etc etc etc!)....

decided to go back to Japan and join New National Theater Ballet altogether, then Japan would have a TOP LEVEL company a la ABT, etc.

Sadly, all these dancers don't want to go back because of the constraints (plus lack of $) within the system.

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Thank you JMcN and scherzo for your comments about Bintley's ballet Hobson's Choice. On the basis of your posts I ordered the dvd and yesterday spent an extremely enjoyable afternoon watching it... and am still smiling. It certainly is a spirit lifter!

Will try and find the play now. I am interested to know how close Bintley stayed to the original. My guess is fairly closely as underneath the comedy there are touches of reality which add depth to the story: the class consciousness, the use of the belt, similarities to King Lear....

David Bintley's Hobson's Choice is a comic masterpiece....
... I'd like to quickly add my thoughts on Bintley if I may. Of his story ballets I have seen Hobson's Choice. I suppose it is not an 'ambitious' ballet (which is one of the criticisms of his work) but that is part of its appeal: it has great warmth, a good sense of comedy and a good balance between mime and pure dance which sustains the audience's interest (which, for example, Macmillan did not always achieve). Above all, Bintley takes care creating his characters and each has clear personality, dramatically and choreographically, thanks to his inventive use of steps - so we care about what happens to them.

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