Birmingham Royal Ballet announced plans today for an upcoming dance show inspired by the music of legendary heavy metal band Black Sabbath.

The three-act Black Sabbath – The Ballet will have a world premiere at The Birmingham Hippodrome in September.

The brand new ballet show is commissioned by the world renowned Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta who is the current Director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB).

Acosta is on a mission to introduce the vibrant and exciting world of ballet to a new audience while at the same time celebrating the music and heritage of Birmingham.

Black Sabbath co-founder Tony Iommi is one of the minds behind the new balletAdam Bielawski
Black Sabbath co-founder Tony Iommi is one of the minds behind the new ballet

His very first commission – City of a Thousand Trades – reflected the contribution made by immigrants and the diverse working-class communities of Birmingham who have enriched the city in a myriad of ways.

The idea of a Black Sabbath ballet has been on Carlos Acosta’s mind since he first arrived in Birmingham at the start of 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic surged across the country creating upheaval and havoc which included the closure of theatres.

Acosta was aware that pioneering heavy metal group Black Sabbath had played their first ever gig in The Crown pub which is just a stone’s throw from BRB’s base in Thorp Street.

The iconic pub – deemed a heritage site by music fans – has been in a shuttered and derelict state for a number of years and there were fears the place might be lost but the building was recently saved from the wrecking ball.

Carlos Acosta and Sofia Liñares prepare for Black Sabbath - The BalletPerou
Carlos Acosta and Sofia Liñares prepare for Black Sabbath – The Ballet

Speaking about Black Sabbath, Acosta said: “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.”

Carlos Acosta, director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, is inspired by the music of Black Sabbath for a new showPedro J Pacheco
Carlos Acosta, director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, is inspired by the music of Black Sabbath for a new show

Acosta is working alongisde Black Sabbath co-founder and lead guitarist Tony Iommi on the show which has received the blessing of Ozzy Osbourne.

Discussing the exciting collaboration, Iommi said: “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!”

Sofia Liñares in a promotional photograph for the upcoming Black Sabbath balletPerou
Sofia Liñares in a promotional photograph for the upcoming Black Sabbath ballet

The show will feature eight classic Black Sabbath tracks which includes Iron Man, War Pigs, Orchid and Paranoid.

The music will be re-orchestrated for the Royal Ballet Sinfonia and performed live, and dancers will incorporate musical instruments into their performance.

Rehearsals for the innovative ballet show commence in April.

(Visited 937 times, 1 visits today)