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BLACK SABBATH ballet to premiere in Birmingham in September


A ballet soundtracked by the music of BLACK SABBATH will premiere in September at the Hippodrome theatre, Birmingham Royal Ballet has announced.

Commissioned by Birmingham Royal Ballet’s director Carlos Acosta and Ballet Now, the ballet will include eight specially reorchestrated BLACK SABBATH songs plus new music inspired by the legendary British heavy metal outfit.

The songs chosen are:

“Paranoid” (“Paranoid” album, 1970);
“Iron Man” (“Paranoid” album, 1970);
“War Pigs” (“Paranoid” album, 1970);
“Black Sabbath” (“Black Sabbath” album, 1970);
“Solitude” (Master Of Reality” album, 1971);
“Orchid” (Master Of Reality” album, 1971);
“Laguna Sunrise” (“Vol 4” album, 1972) and
“Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” (“Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” album, 1973).

The new score will be composed by Tony Award winner Christopher AustinMarko Nyberg and Sun Keting.

The creative team also includes lead choreographer Pontus Lidburg, additional choreographers Raúl Reinoso and Cassi Abranches, designer Alexandra Arrechea, lighting designer Kieron Johnson and dramaturg Richard Thomas.

Acosta commented: “BLACK SABBATH is probably Birmingham’s biggest export, the most famous (and infamous) cultural entity to ever emerge from the city — so I was naturally drawn to the idea of a collaboration between what most people might think are the most unlikely of partners. The band’s enthusiasm for the project is a huge endorsement. They are putting their trust in us to deliver something completely new and original, and that’s quite a responsibility but one that we are beyond excited to take on. Everyone in the BRB company is thrilled to be involved and we cannot wait to share the vision for the show in more detail in the coming months. I have hand-picked the creative team and will work closely with them to make a spectacular show.”

Tony IommiBLACK SABBATH co-founder, lead guitarist and co-songwriter, added: “I’m looking forward to seeing how this all develops! BLACK SABBATH have always been innovators and never been predictable, and it doesn’t come any more unpredictable than this! I’d never imagined pairing BLACK SABBATH with Ballet but it’s got a nice ring to it! I’ve met with Carlos several times and his enthusiasm is infectious. I performed alongside some of the dancers at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony and they had an incredible energy, so I’m happy to go along for the ride with them and see you on the other side!”

“Black Sabbath – The Ballet” will run from September 23 to September 30, with further dates to be announced for fall 2023 at Plymouth Theatre Royal and Sadler’s Wells in London.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4‘s “Today” program, Acostasaid he had been a fan of SABBATH for more than two decades, and said he felt the band’s classic protest song “War Pigs” still has particular resonance.

‘War Pigs’ is so relevant today, how sometimes politicians and governments hide behind words. And all the wars happening at the moment… it’s timeless.”

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