With its glittering new sets, its clean, classical choreography and its ‘full-blooded’ score, Aladdin – a collaboration between Carl Davis and Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Director, David Bintley – has delighted audiences across the country. The UK premiere was given at the Birmingham Hippodrome in February, and the ballet then travelled to Salford, Plymouth, Sunderland and London’s Coliseum.
Aladdin began life as a Scottish Ballet commission, but when David Bintley heard the music (he and Carl Davis were working on Cyrano at the time), he decided he would like to produce a new production of the ballet. The perfect opportunity arose in 2008 when Bintley was appointed Director of the National Ballet of Japan. He chose Aladdin to launch his first season there and it played to packed houses in Tokyo, sparking another Japanese revival in 2011. Having now wowed audiences in the UK, the work crosses continents once more for performances with co-producers Houston Ballet in 2014.
‘A full-blown piece of three-act splendour, originally choreographed by BRB director David Bintley in Japan in 2008, it looks absolutely astonishing; in fact its real star is set designer Dick Bird, who creates scene after scene of retina-ravishing beauty… Carl Davis’s supple, fluid score resonates with Eastern influence.’
The Telegraph (Laura Thompson), 19 February 2013
‘Carl Davis’ score has cinematic sweep and touches of Ravel, with lots of scope for dancing.’
The Independent (Zoë Anderson), 18 February 2013
‘It tells the story from the Arabian Nights with gusto, packed with incident and full of dancing. The music, by Carl Davis, is reworked from a score he wrote in 2011 for Scottish ballet. It sounds big-scale, filmie and is never short of a resounding climax…;
The Sunday Times (David Dougill), 3 March 2013
‘…[the score] has a richness that suits the fullness of movement, and is suggestive of the Orient without hammering the point home.’
Dance Europe (Diarmaid O’Meara), 1 March 2013
‘…Carl Davis has produced a tub-thumping, full-blooded score…’
Sunday Express (Jeffrey Taylor), 24 March 2013
‘David Bintley’s Aladdin is a magic carpet ride to a world of Oriental enchantment; a ballet of vivid escapism where every aspect of dance jigsaws together in a piece of well-honed perfection. Choreographed to Carl Davis’ celebrated score, it is a dazzle of delights.’
The Plymouth Herald (Roger Malone), 8 March 2013
‘…a magnificent and magical production…Carl Davis really does use every section of BRB’s orchestra in a sweeping score packed with beautiful themes… The score is simply a modern classic and as I listened I could envisage it being use as themes for other shows – maybe film or television – because of its rich content and melodic variety.’
Western Morning News (Su Carroll), 8 March 2013
‘….[with] Davis’s vibrant score, it turns into an engrossing delight.’
The Newcastle Journal (Dick Godfrey), 16 March 2013