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Introduction

Prompted by a chance encounter, a man remembers his past.

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Background

The corruption of innocence is at the heart of Kim Brandstrup's Ceremony of Innocence – a major theme in the work of composer Benjamin Britten. The ballet was created as part of the celebrations of the composer's centenary. Brandstrup chose Britten's Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge (1937), a brilliant early work that shows the young composer just on the cusp of his maturity. Britten wrote the work a few months after the sudden death of his mother, and dedicated it to his old teacher, Bridge. From this context of loss and reminiscence Brandstrup creates a haunting narrative work on age and memories of youth.

Ceremony of Innocence was first performed in 2013 at the Aldeburgh Festival, as part of the global celebrations of the centenary of Britten's birth. Video designs by Leo Warner of 59 Productions (The Royal Opera's Salome and The Minotaur) create an impressionistic, shadowy world permeated by joy and loss.