Britney the ballet comes to stage

LONDON Fri Feb 1, 2008 11:46am GMT

Britney Spears performs at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas in this September 9, 2007. ''Meltdown'', a modern ballet about the troubled Spears, will be performed by the Rambert Dance Company in London on Friday. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Britney Spears performs at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas in this September 9, 2007. ''Meltdown'', a modern ballet about the troubled Spears, will be performed by the Rambert Dance Company in London on Friday.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

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LONDON (Reuters) - "Meltdown", a modern ballet about troubled U.S. singer Britney Spears, will be performed by the Rambert Dance Company in London on Friday.

The dance portrays Spears fending off the paparazzi, shaving her hair and being carried off the stage on a stretcher, according to the BBC.

"I became fascinated by the fact we are fascinated with her," choreographer Hubert Essakow told the public broadcaster.

"You can't open a newspaper without her being in it. I became obsessed by every detail of her life."

The music was composed by Richard Thomas, who helped create the controversial "Jerry Springer - The Opera", a musical that offended many Christians in Britain.

Playing Spears is Gemma Nixon, who called Spears' public persona "sort of grotesque."

A spokesman for the group said "Meltdown" was envisaged as a one-off and would last about 16 minutes. It is part of a new choreography season designed to allow dancers to create their own works.

Spears, 26, who has been hounded by the tabloid press and lost custody of her two young sons, was taken to a Los Angeles hospital on Thursday where she was on psychiatric hold for the second time in a month.

She has been held for a three-day mental evaluation on the orders of her psychiatrist, her manager said.

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