Carlos Acosta and “Black Sabbath–The Ballet”

Carlos Acosta—Cuban dancer, choreographer, and director of Birmingham Royal Ballet since January 2020—recently announced his collaboration with Tony Iommi for BRB’s newest production “Black Sabbath-The Ballet.” He said, “The great musical legacy of Black Sabbath will be entering the world of dance. It is a truly exciting challenge to bring these contrasting art forms together.”

The Guardian’s Lyndsey Winship writes: A ballet soundtracked by the music of Black Sabbath will premiere in September, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s director Carlos Acosta has announced. Billed as “the world’s first heavy metal dance experience”, the three-act ballet will feature eight songs by the Brummie band, including Paranoid, Iron Man, War Pigs and the eponymous Black Sabbath, re-orchestrated for the Royal Ballet Sinfonia – with added drums and electric guitars. The rest of the score will be newly composed, inspired by the band’s music. [. . .]

Description (Birmingham Royal Ballet): Black Sabbath forged their unique sound in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s home city. In Black Sabbath – The Ballet expect a spectacular theatrical evening featuring thrilling dance and original Black Sabbath recordings (including Paranoid and Iron Man) alongside full orchestrations of their work (another first) and original new orchestral compositions inspired by the sound of metal – all performed live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

In the second of three Birmingham-focussed commissions, Carlos Acosta was drawn to both the band’s work and its musical legacy as the originators of Heavy Metal. This full-evening ballet promises to be a unique undertaking with three composers and three choreographers, led by renowned Choreographer Pontus Lidberg (whose work has been performed by the Swedish Royal Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet) and Composer Chris Austin (whose work includes orchestrating the White Stripes music for Wayne McGregor’s Chroma) working alongside award-winning writer Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer, The Opera) to create an extraordinary metal symphony over three acts. Black Sabbath themselves have been closely involved in developing this unique collaboration.

Sparks will undoubtedly fly in this intriguing new response to Black Sabbath’s music and legacy – the first true heavy metal ballet experience.

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