Embrace is a 39-minute narrative ballet choreographed by British choreographer George Williamson, the inaugural commission of Birmingham Royal Ballet's new Ballet Now program. This highly personal work explores ideas of sexuality and individual identity, and examines what happens when these concepts come into conflict with societal expectations. In the words of the choreographer, Embrace is about letting go of what society expects us to be, and embracing who we are.
Best Ballet Premieres of 2018 (Amanda Jennings, October 2018 issue)
“…as a showcase for [Williamson and Snider’s] emerging talents, 'Embrace' makes an exciting impression…Snider’s score is perfectly suited to Williamson’s theme, rooted in classicism but attuned to the modern ear, with its lushly filmic, melodic quality...I hope she will be commissioned for more dance works henceforth.” (Best Ballet Premieres of 2018)
“Sarah Kirkland Snider’s new and undoubtedly American score ['Embrace'] with its echoes of Bernstein, Copland, and Barber supports the action well. At a time when it seems de rigueur that new music has to be difficult, Snider manages to be challenging without being hard on the ear.”
“Embrace is the most interesting work I’ve seen from Williamson, who is associate artist at English National Ballet… The sense of collaboration is strong. Snider’s new score supports the action with atmospheric, lyrical music.”
“Embrace is a powerful work driven by a strong score and an ever simmering tension that revolves around the figure of the ‘outsider’.”
“'Embrace' is a new work by up-and-coming dance-maker, George Williamson, to a tremendous commission from the notable American composer Sarah Kirkland Snider. Snider creates a thrilling sound world, using the many sonorities of a full orchestra and building her music into truly impressive climaxes. It is rich and satisfying, an impressive first dance score from her, making one wish to hear more of her work very soon….superb.”