Birmingham Royal Ballet's The Prince of the Pagodas
David Bintley's new interpretation of The Prince of the Pagodas is one of the most exciting UK ballet premieres of 2014. With spectacular and imaginative costumes by War Horse designer Rae Smith and inspired by Benjamin Britten's only full-length ballet score, these London premiere performances are the culmination of the year-long Britten 100 celebrations. Through a lonely childhood Princess Sakura mourns her brother's death and the slow disintegration of her father the Emperor, whose wicked new wife takes control of his kingdom. Presented by her stepmother with four powerful and wealthy suitors, Sakura's memories of the true love she felt for her brother give her courage to reject them. She is determined not to follow her stepmother's bidding, but when a fifth suitor arrives – a scaly Salamander, both fascinating and repellent – Sakura throws herself on his mercy. After a long and dangerous journey through earth, air, fire and water, they arrive at the Salamander's kingdom - but Sakura's adventure has only just begun.