David Bintley, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Artistic Director, has dropped two adjectives from his new ballet after the International Olympic Committee banned him from using the Olympic motto as its title.
Bintley’s new creation places dance and sports alongside in what is presumably a compare and contrast exercise. Just the sort of thing to reflect the spirit of the Cultural Olympiad one would have thought.
Faster is inspired by the Olympic motto, Faster, Higher, Stronger. My ballet originally had the full motto as its title, but the IOC said we couldn’t use it. We applied for the Inspire Mark, which they begrudgingly gave us. But they also said that we had to change the title,
said a peeved Bintley.
I was pretty peed off quite honestly. It was absurd. The rules surrounding it seem to be quite nonsensical. They are handled with an across the board clumsiness. You’re lumped in alongside gift shops and people who want to trade off the movement, who set out to make economic gains from everything they make. Yet this is a serious work of art, inspired by the Olympic ideals.
Of his ballet Bintley says,
I’m interested in the psychological aspect of sport, the focus and discipline. That continued repetition of small details resulting in the perfect throw or run or jump on the day. Like a performance.
I’m avoiding being too literal. Each character will move in ways inspired by a number of sports, rather than specifically basing each one on a particular event. So the movements of fencers and tennis players get combined in one instance, and elsewhere divers and jumpers get mixed up into shapes in the air.
Everybody gets these short, fast, high-impact moments, that build towards a whole, like a team. Like sport, the new work will be explosive, obviously fast, and certainly virtuosic!
Faster will be premiered at Birmingham Hippodrome on June 27.