Black Sabbath To Be Commemorated In Ballet In Their Native Birmingham

Birmingham Royal Ballet - Black Sabbath 2024
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Black Sabbath and ballet? Well, unlikely as it seems amid a cultural clash of extremes, it’s gotten the blessing of the band’s legendary frontman Ozzy Osborne and Tony Iommi.

Rehearsals for Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production are to begin in April with eight Sabbath tracks, including 1970’s Paranoid, to be re-orchestrated for the Sinfonia.

International ballet star Carlos Acosta has teamed up with the Birmingham metallers to create a production to join the ranks of Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.

We will hopefully pull in new audiences but also give the ballet fans what they come for by creating something original, an expression of art, an evening that moves people and ultimately celebrates the Birmingham-based band that invented and gave the world the heavy music sound,” he added.

Acosta has revealed that 74-year-old guitar legend Iommi had already offered to appear with his guitar.

Birmingham-born Iommi, the band’s co-founder said he had never imagined “pairing Black Sabbath with ballet . . . but it’s got a nice ring to it”.

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’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!

Acosta, who became director of Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2020, said he had immediately been drawn to the idea of a collaboration with Black Sabbath, who he said were probably the city’s biggest export and “most famous — and infamous — cultural entity”.

Acosta said the band “represents so many people, a generation of people for whom the band was speaking directly to them”, adding that the collaboration had been an amazing topic to explore. “What if we could try and translate that sound into a symphonia format?” Acosta said. “I want to bring stories that are non-balletic, that are not predictable, that are actually relevant,” he added.

The eight Black Sabbath tracks that will feature are Paranoid (Paranoid, 1970); Ironman (Paranoid, 1970); War Pigs (Paranoid, 1970); Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath, 1970); Solitude (Master of Reality, 1971); Orchid (Master of Reality, 1971); Laguna Sunrise (Vol 4, 1972) and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, 1973).

The music will be re-orchestrated and played alongside original new compositions inspired by Black Sabbath, all performed live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. On the stage guitars will be integrated into the performance.

, Black Sabbath To Be Commemorated In Ballet In Their Native Birmingham
Black Sabbath – Tony Iommi – Carlos Acosta – Ballet – Credit: Drew Tommons