I met with Rob Lindsay, who gave me tour of the building, my highlights being the huge dance studios and of course the costume department, which holds rails and rails of costumes for just a portion of the shows. I also found it fascinating to see the shelves filled with boxes, each one containing scraps of fabric for each costume design, on hand so that repaired costumes feature the exact materials.
Chris took a few snaps when he went last, which you can view on Flickr to get an idea of what Im talking about.
After my tour, I had the pleasure of watching some of the final stage rehearsals of In the Upper Room and Concerto, two of the pieces from Pointes of View. Complete with lighting and smoke machines, I was able to get a near full experience of the performances, which were rehearsed to a tape of Philip Glass score for In the Upper Room, and a piano accompaniment for Concerto.
In between each pieces, dancers assembled on stage to get feedback and tweeks from Keith Richards, who has been overseeing In the Upper Room, and Ballet Mistress Marion Tait who was providing notes on the performance throughout Concerto.
Theres a nice album of photos from the wings of Concerto on the Birmingham Royal Ballet site, offering a view from behind the curtains, plus Jesse Huot gives the low down on In the Upper Room.
To get a full feel of what goes on in rehearsals and who was knocking about during my visit, Rob was also live blogging throughout the afternoon. You can still check out the feed on Birmingham Royal Ballets website, which I also chipped in on with a few tweets from WestMidlandsDance.