On Saturday 30 May, Vienna Festival Ballet come to Birmingham to play the Old Rep as part of their 35th anniversary celebrations. In the first of two instalments, we speak to Peter Mallek, company director of the Vienna Festival Ballet.
LMT: It's a significant anniversary for Vienna Festival Ballet, tell us a bit more about the company...
PM: We started the company 35 years ago with just seven girls and three boys. Since then we have expanded quite considerably and have gained a large following of avid fans.
LMT: You endeavour to perform on smaller and more intricate stages - why is this so important?
PM: Bringing the delights of live ballet to audiences who would not normally be able to see it is a key ethos of the company – small and intricate stages tend to come as part and parcel of that!
LMT: What have been some key changes over the years - both with audiences, touring and with the company itself?
PM: Perhaps the most significant change over the years has been the location of our tours. When we started out we toured mainly on the European continent and now we have a very faithful audience in the UK that has kept us busy for many years. We do still venture further afield (we have also toured in Dubai and Kenya) but this tends to be on an exclusive date basis rather than an extended tour.
LMT: What can audiences expect from this anniversary gala?
PM: Where do I start?! The Anniversary Gala is a very special occasion for us, and for audiences, as we have compiled a spectacular programme of excerpts from several of the most well-known ballets by composers like Tchaikovsky and Gershwin. We have striven to ensure that the best bits of each production is featured and this has ensured that the audience gets the most exciting evening possible. From the classical beauty of the Rose Adage from Sleeping Beauty, to the ground-breaking choreography and music of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, the Gala is a fantastic evening that celebrates the magic of dance.
LMT: If you could use 3 words to describe this performance what would they be?
PM: Glamorous. Exciting. Stunning.
LMT: And finally, what would you say to the people of Birmingham who haven't yet booked a ticket?
PM: Why not?!
For more information and to book for the Vienna Festival Ballet 35th anniversary celebrations on Saturday 30 May, click here or call the Old Rep's box office on 0121 359 9444.