See Birmingham Royal Ballet in one of its most adventurous programmes of work, exploring all that connects us and all that pulls us apart. The Polarity and Proximity mixed programme features two modern classics and a must-see premiere of new work, all of which demand extreme physical and emotional commitment from the Company’s world-class dancers.

Created in 2014 by Alexander Whitley for the Birmingham International Dance Festival, Kin. is an athletic, abstract piece danced to a pulsing, hypnotic score by Phil Kline. A former Birmingham Royal Ballet dancer, Whitley is a leading figure of the UK contemporary dance industry, having worked with companies including Rambert, Michael Clark Dance Company, Ballet Boyz and Candoco. Kin. celebrates the raw kinetics of dance, the virtuosity of ballet technique and the potential for movement to bring us together in different ways.

Embrace, choreographed by Worcestershire-born George Williamson to a specially commissioned score from Sarah Kirkland Snider with brand new designs from Madeleine Girling, premieres at Birmingham Hippodrome as part of the Ballet Now talent development programme. This highly personal journey explores the idea of sexuality and individual identity, and how these concepts can come into conflict with societal expectations. At its heart, Embrace is about letting go of who we are expected to be and embracing who we are.

The programme concludes with iconic American choreographer Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room. Quick-witted and even quicker footed, dancers in sneakers and striking red pointe shoes dominate the stage with energy, flair and finesse. From gravity defying lifts to fiendishly fast pointe work, the dancers push their bodies to the absolute physical limit in forty thrilling, explosive minutes. As The Guardian commented, “if your pulse isn’t racing, check you have one.”

The Polarity and Proximity mixed programme is at Birmingham Hippodrome, as part of the Birmingham International Dance Festival, 20-23 June.