During an evening that is a total triumph, with the company dancing their hearts out, Bintley (now in his 20th year as director of Birmingham Royal Ballet) re-imagines the origins of this classical ballet from the perspective of the teenage Louis XIV who, in 1643 danced Apollo the sun god at Versailles in Le Ballet de la Nuit appearing in a costume of pure gold.
Thereafter he was known as Le Roi Soleil, the Sun King, a sobriquet the king apparently adored, although by nature he was inclined towards bad temper and melancholy.
More importantly the seeds of classical ballet were planted at Versailles engendering a lingua franca (pas de bouree, arabesque, port de bras etc) still in use today.
In this evening which, in its way, is completely unforgettable, (shared after the interval with the excitingly sung and danced piece Carmina Burana) Bintley imagines the intimate ballet the king devised for intimate members of his circle, something which separated Le Ballet de la Nuit from the heavily formal state balls which were also part Louis's reign.
Here, the exciting brilliance of the piece in four parts, begins with a sombrely-dressed circle of young men holding flambeaux, the flickering light of the flames casting expressive shadows against the existential darkness which enfolds the ballet.
Bintley's sense of the dramatic comes to the fore as La Nuit (Iain Mackay) appears in a dark, filmy version of court dress with a silvery headpiece which discreetly parodies the high piled wigs of the period (superb designs by Katrina Lindsay).
Mackay is a fine dancer and his entrance uses the turn out which originated at Versailles when courtiers swung the leg wide to avoid brushing the tops of their boots ( to touch the boot top drew ridicule).
It is a wonderful entrance, mysterious, engaging and sexy in a subtle way befitting the time place.
Court women appear in silk pannier skirts their white masks suggesting the dead-white maquillage of the French court at this time, the Sun King floats dreamily in an out as a reminder whose occasion this really is, and La Nuit partners Selene ( the Moon) his other half in an exquisitely made pas de deux where love is allowed then disallowed.
That Louis (the marvellous William Bracewell) had nightmares is generally allowed. To this end Bintley introduces a demonic session in the Third Watch of the ballet, (it has four watches )where witchcraft is triumphant, the king gets a bit of rough housed and the company become werewolves, demons etc and the Devil appears in scarlet.
The final moments of this glorious evening are spellbinding. Lights blaze in an up-stage circle, providing a perfect setting for Louis to appear radiant and glistening in a magnificent golden costume with an aureole of gold circling his head like a saintly nimbus.
The king is regal and barely acknowledges the adoration of his courtiers. It is all about divine right and Bracewell , in shoulder-length blonde curls knows it, and leaves an indelible image. Until June 20 then the programme change to Sylvia on June 24.