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Concerto marked the start of a new phase in Kenneth MacMillan's career. He had recently become director of Berlin's Deutsche Oper Ballet, and was keen to redefine the company and showcase its full range. He selected a score of youthful vivacity - Dmitry Shostakovich's Piano Concerto no.2 in F, which was created to mark the 19th birthday of the composer's son. Concerto was greeted with a standing ovation on its premiere in 1966 and MacMillan received immediate performance requests from ballet companies worldwide. MacMillan's choreography complements the precision and invention of Shostakovich's score perfectly. In the energetic first movement, the corps de ballet marches en pointe in unison, in response to a military flourish in the music. A slow, sensuous Andante follows, featuring a pas de deux that was inspired by seeing Lynn Seymour, MacMillan's friend and muse, warming up at the barre. The final movement brings the work to a spirited close, with a large corps de ballet dancing with quick, joyous steps. Jurgen Rose's bright designs confirm the ballet's warmth and energy. Birmingham Royal Ballet - Kenneth Mac Millan: a National Celebration - Concerto website
.Company Birmingham Royal Ballet. Choreographer Kenneth MacMillan. Music Dmitry Shostakovich. Design Jurgen Rose. Lighting John B Read.
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