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May 3, 2006 by Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Birmingham Hippodrome (as part of a triple-bill which also included George Balanchine’s Apollo and Folkine’s The Firebird)
Performances: May 3 – 6, 2006 and then on tour
Birmingham Royal Ballet
Pulcinella - Robert Parker
Pimpinella - Ambra Vallo
Rosetta - Laetitia Lo Sardo
Prudenza - Carol-Anne Miller
Caviello - Iain Mackay
Florindo - Chi Cao
Fourbo - Kosuke Yamamoto
Il Dottore -Valentin Olovyannikov
And artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet
Birmingham Royal Ballet
Birmingham Hippodrome, 3 May 2006
“At the programme's heart is Kim Brandstrup's Pulcinella.... Brandstrup is a skilled dance-maker...”
Clement Crisp, The Financial Times, October 26, 2006
“Centre-programme was Kim Brandstrup’s new telling and very watchable production of “Pulcinella”. Here we saw Parker at his best as the put upon Pulcinella, who just wants a peaceful nap but who just gets nothing but one disturbance after the next. Brandstrup manages to bring a sort of sit-com approach to the story, managing to bring the humour out of the situation rather than forcing it."
“Brandstrup’s shows a master storyteller’s touch in his characterisations and the way he shows the relationship between Parker and Ambra Vallo’s superb Pimpinella. Highlight of the piece is undoubtedly a duet between the two, both acrobatic with lots of inventive lifting, and tender and lyrical. Pulcinella’s movement features lots of jumps and turns, often done in a sort of loose, bouncing around kind of way. Think of a puppet that has had most of its strings cut and you have some idea of what it looks like; simple but effective. Brandstrup also uses Stravinsky’s orchestration of the score very well, even managing to match some of Pulcinella’s turning in his sleep with the music."
David Mead, Criticaldance.com
The scenario for Pulcinella, as most scenarios for commedia dell’arte, are brief outlines for the actors to explore. They are not stories as such, but a series of situations that the performers, with their stock characters, improvise around. Commedia is driven by character, not plot, and the outline Diaghilev gave to Stravinsky and Massine was a simple one: After another day of beatings, the eternal underdog and endlessly abused Pulcinella pretends to be dead. To his delight he discovers he is mourned and missed, even by his absusive partner, Pimpinella. It transpires that all who have chased and beaten him actually want to be him, to dress up him the minute he is not there. For a brief moment the tables are turned and Pulcinella, if only in secret, enjoys his new status.