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ORLANDO, Fla. – They’re calling it the first true heavy metal ballet experience. Next week, you can catch the Black Sabbath Ballet show with dancers pirouetting to Black Sabbath hits, including “Paranoid” and “Iron Man.”
Ozzy Osborne’s former band, Black Sabbath, has been closely involved in developing this unique collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
The Birmingham Royal Ballet director, Carlos Acosta, said he was drawn to the band’s work and legacy.
“I had always been fascinated by this kind of music, which wasn’t freely available when I was a youngster in Cuba. It was only after I came to the UK that I started listening to it properly and my admiration for Black Sabbath grew,” Acosta said.
“I really wanted to find a way of celebrating Black Sabbath’s music and history. At BRB (Birmingham Royal Ballet), we are always looking for opportunities to reach out to our wider communities and encouraging new audiences to experience the magic of ballet,” Acosta went on to explain.
The show first premiered in Birmingham, England, on Sept. 23. He said around 60% of their sell-out audiences have never been to a ballet before.
“I have never seen such an engaged, receptive and noisy response to a ballet premiere in my career and we are speaking to those wonderful people to create opportunities to come and see our other shows,” Acosta said.
Breaking the mold in the ballet world is something Acosta envisions for the future. He said he wants to see the art form become more diverse. The Birmingham Royal Ballet even offers a program called “Dance Track,” which offers free lessons to 4,000 dancers who come from all kinds of backgrounds.
“Until my father sent me for ballet lessons in Havana, I didn’t know much about the artform and, in fact, I would much rather have been playing football, break-dancing or hanging about with my friends than attending ballet school. But eventually it clicked. My teachers recognized that I had talent and ability and a possible future. This was a turning point for me,” Acosta said.
When it comes to young Hispanic dancers wanting to get into ballet, Acosta had this message: “Tira hacia delante con todo y verás que llegarás!”
The Black Sabbath Ballet show is part of the six-day Residency Festival with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. It’s the first year for the event, but Dr. Phillips wants to bring it back and make it an annual event.
“We couldn’t pass up an opportunity to visit the beautiful Sunshine State, of course, but Orlando is known to have a public that loves ballet, with many people already big fans of the great Orlando Ballet,” Acosta said.
The lineup includes legendary music icon Diana Ross:
Birmingham Royal Ballet – Tuesday, Oct. 3
Beck – Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023
Harry Connick Jr. – Thursday, Oct. 5
Diana Ross – Friday, Oct. 6
Broadway Royalty featuring Sutton Foster, Brian Stokes Mitchell – Saturday, Oct. 7
The Bach Festival Choir – Sunday, Oct. 8
You can purchase tickets to see the Black Sabbath Ballet show on Tuesday here.
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