David Bintley made his Aladdin ten years ago for the National Ballet of Japan, but it had ever been seen outside that country until this, the UK premiere.

In the well known story Aladdin and his mother are of course Chinese, but the Japanese company seems not to have noticed this until work was in progress. Relations between China and Japan are not so good, so, to solve the problem, Bintley re-located the story to “Arabia”, but kept the Chinese Laundry run by Aladdin’s mum – one of the marvellous sets by Dick Bird. She is played with quirky humour and a glint in her eye by BRB’s former star Marion Tait.

Aladdin was the likeable Cesar Morales, and the Princess is the luminous Nao Sakuma. The bones of the story are there: the poor Aladdin and his mother, the beautiful Sultan’s daughter, The evil Mahgrib ( Iain Mackay with glow-in-the-dark fingernails ) and of course the Djinn of the Lamp, who leads Aladdin to the Cave of Riches. But Bintley has concentrated on giving us a continuous series of sparkling dances.

The move to “Arabia” has allowed Sue Blane to indulge in the most exotic of costumes. She has filled the stage with lots of bejewelled dancers with bare midriffs in diaphanous harem pants – and that’s just the boys ! In the Cave of Riches, a wonderful cavern of luminous stalagmites and tites that change colour, pearls, emeralds and sapphires dance in a long sequence that is pure showbiz. China returns to the scene in the form of a huge carnival dragon that leaps and twists around the stage, and central to all the proceedings is the Djinn. Bintley had wanted a giant, but, that being impossible, has gone to the other extreme and chosen the tiny Tzu-Chao Chou, turning him into a speeding blue sprite who floats in the air on a puff of smoke.

This is a non-stop dance show, not all of it brilliant, but it adds up to a terrific couple of hours’ entertainment.