Project information

Ballet Now

Birmingham Royal Ballet wants to provide opportunities to nurture emerging ballet talent. Ballet Now will provide these opportunities over the next five years. 10 new ballets, which means 10 new Choreographers, 10 new designers and 10 new ballet scores.

June 2017 - June 2022

Charity information: Birmingham Royal Ballet

Birmingham Royal Ballet logo
  • Need


    Ballet has one of the smallest repertories of all the performing arts. There are limited opportunities for companies and choreographers to develop their creative voices and reputations. Professional development opportunities for ballet choreographers, who may have established reputations but have not yet worked in the large-scale arena, simply do not exist.


    Over 5 years, Ballet Now will provide opportunities for 10 choreographers, 10 composers and 10 designers to create 10 new commissions. Each choreographer, composer and designer will be given a bursary, studio time, the use of our dancers and our orchestra, a production budget and the support of technical and marketing expertise from across the organisation to realise and fully exploit their creative visions. All the pieces will be performed as main stage productions.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Investment in the professional development of Choreographers, Composers and Designers.


    » A structured skills development and mentoring plan for each Artist culminating in their first large scale ballet production.

    What success will look like

    Artists will set personal development objectives and evaluate each project with the Creative Consortium, forming a mentoring relationship and real time review of performance.

    Aim 2

    Invest in new, innovative and diverse ballet productions.


    » Invest in 30 artists and create new collaborations resulting in 10 new ballets.

    What success will look like

    On completing each creative project there will be an outcomes focused review that will evaluate the project from artistic, personal development and commercial perspectives.

    Aim 3

    Grow new, younger and culturally diverse ballet audiences.


    » The 5 year duration of the project will enable us to create a strong Ballet Now brand that will resonate with new audiences wherever we are touring.

    What success will look like

    Demonstrated by ticket sales, number of reviews & level of interest from promoters, festivals and others who may be interested in taking the produced work into their repertory.

  • Impact


    We will enrich and enhance the ecology of world ballet. It will supply the missing piece of intensive professional development for world-class creative talent with provision that offers maximum distinctiveness, rigour, international appeal, practice, awareness, professional exposure and career opportunity. Audiences will have the opportunity to see 10 new ballets and Birmingham Royal Ballet will enhance it's reputation as a World Class ballet company where talented artists can thrive.


    Financial support of Oak Foundation & others, underpinned by a 5-year fundraising plan, provides greater certainty to the creation of the 10 new ballets. Programming existing popular ballets around the new pieces will balance financial risk of new works and ensure financial security in the coming years. Artistic talent will be selected, supported & mentored by a diverse international panel of experts ensuring that creative risks are critically evaluated during the process of selecting artists.


    Donors will be thanked for their support once they have given. They will also be invited to an onstage rehearsal of each of the Ballet Now pieces in the year that they support (2 each year). Supporters will be kept updated through our supporter newsletters and project reports.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £2,097,881

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      Amount Heading Description
      £110,381 Project Management Project Management costs, Producer Salaries, Office Accommodation and Overhead
      £250,000 Bursaries Bursaries for the Composers, Choreographers and Designers
      £87,500 Creative Consortium Fees, Expenses, Travel and Accommodation for the Creative Consortium
      £1,575,000 Production and Performance Cost of Sets, Costumes, Technical, Studios and Performing in Birmingham, London and Elsewhere
      £50,000 Marketing and Publicity Marketing and Publicity specifically for Ballet Now brand
      £25,000 Training Programme of professional development for the Composers, Conductors and Designers

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Oak Foundation £1,100,000 Guaranteed
    Anonymous Donor £150,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The artists taking part in the programme will be
    selected by an international team of leading industry
    experts, the Creative Consortium, who will oversee
    the commissioning of each work and the associated
    mentoring programmes. The new ballets will be created using Birmingham Royal Ballet's studios, dancers and facilities. The 10 pieces will be performed in Birmingham, London, elsewhere in the UK and internationally.


    The 30 artists chosen to create a piece for Ballet Now will have the opportunity to develop their skills as they create their first large scale ballets; At least 60 Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers who will dance the new works; Audiences, particularly young, diverse & new audiences that are attracted to innovation and experimentation in ballet; BRB by extending our commitment to nurturing talent at the highest level; and finally, it will attract the world’s best talent to work in Birmingham.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Birmingham Royal Ballet has a track record of creating new ballets, including a new ballet each year for the last 5 years. Through our work with primary schools, dance schools, work placements and conductor fellowships we have demonstrated a track record of identifying and developing talented individuals. As a professional Ballet company creating ballet for the main stage we have the necessary infrastructure & networks to provide all the necessary support to the participating artists.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    David Bintley & Koen Kessels

    The Project will be led by Birmingham Royal Ballet's globally acclaimed Artistic Director & Music Director who will lead the creative consortium.

    Creative Consortium

    Alistair Spalding: Artistic Director & CEO Sadler's Wells & Cassa Pancho: Artistic Director Ballet Black.

    Creative Consortium

    Ted Brandsen: Director Dutch National Ballet & Emma Southworth: Studio Programme Senior Producer The Royal Ballet;

    Creative Consortium

    Sally Beamish: Composer & Sally Cavender: Director, Performance Music & Vice Chairman Faber Music