Cardim’s abstract drama is fuelled by Paul Englishby’s big, lushly layered orchestral score that, in its later phase, tips over persuasively into Stravinskyesque urgency. The Times (Donald Hutera)
Birmingham Royal Ballet have launched a new one-act ballet, Imminent, set to a commissioned orchestral score by Paul Englishby. To choreography by London-based Brazilian, Daniela Nardim, Englishby's score was performed live by the Birmingham Royal Ballet Sinfonia under Paul Murphy.
Imminent is a Ballet Now Commission and formed part of the triple-bill, 'Curated by Carlos', heralding Carlos Acosta's first mixed-bill as BRB's new Director (it was originally set to launch last year). There were four performances at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 10 to 12 June, with London dates at Sadler's Wells to follow in the autumn.
Englishby's previous ballet scores include The Thief of Baghdad and Pleasure's Progress for The Royal Ballet (choreographed by Will Tuckett) and the full-evening Pinocchio for National Ballet of Canada (again to choreography by Tuckett).
'Imminent by Daniela Cardim, a Brazilian choreographer based in the UK, depicts a 16-strong community whose initially idyllic existence is for ever altered by an inexplicably powerful, unseen force. Cardim’s abstract drama is fuelled by Paul Englishby’s big, lushly layered orchestral score that, in its later phase, tips over persuasively into Stravinskyesque urgency.'The Times (Donald Hutera), 11 June'This is Altunaga’s biggest commission yet, and the same goes for Daniela Cardim, the London-based Brazilian who made the night’s other world premiere, Imminent, proving Acosta’s dedication to nurturing new voices. Cardim’s title refers to an unstoppable sense of change (the climate crisis is the obvious one: the set looks like a jagged ice sheet). The score by film and TV composer Paul Englishby immediately unleashes this feeling in ever rising swells that ride the crest, never quite peaking.… sound and vision are in accord, especially when spritely dancers are leaping across buoyant waltzes. They begin with blithe pleasure on smiling faces, but this bliss is an ignorant one. The onstage world takes a turn into fire and turmoil, yet, when the ice cracks, it’s a door, an opportunity. Cardim has hope, after all.'The Guardian (Lyndsey Winship), 11 June 2021'Daniela Cardim’s Imminent had some fine classical ballet moments as the dancers stretched, weaved and dueted across the stage. This was neoclassical movement infused with jazz at times and featured an interestingly deep custom score by Paul Englishby.'Dance Tabs (Bruce Marriott), 13 June 2021'Daniela Cardim’s Imminent also had a strong visual appeal with April Dalton’s designs including a vast backdrop suggestive of some geological formation, aligning with the declared relevance of the work to the climate change emergency. As the performance progressed, a doorway opened up in the backdrop and it concluded with the dancers progressing through the fissure – was it to a better world, to a better understanding of the climate crisis or to oblivion? The sixteen-strong cast was led by a magnetising performance by Eilis Small in a role that seemed to have some resonance with the concept of “a chosen one”.The original orchestral music was composed by Paul Englishby and it presented the novel challenge of having the orchestra stationed in a studio somewhere upstairs and relayed to the theatre through monitors on either side of the stage.'BachTrack (Graham Watts), 12 June 2021'The dance has lightness and freedom as Cardim puts together classical steps with ease to Paul Englishby’s largely melodic music…'Seeing Dance (David Mead), 11 June 2021