REVIEW: Pennies From Heaven – Scottish Ballet 30th September 2011

The second half of the programme was the work that most people had come for; Pennies from Heaven, using music and costumes from 1930s Hollywood.

When the curtain rose to show a perfect art deco bar with gleaming chrome, revolving door, ruched curtains and coloured neon, I couldn’t help be reminded of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. When the Latin gigolo and white dinner jacket-clad crooner appeared, it was as if I was there with Miss Pettigrew, Delysia and Michael in Nick’s club. The costumes were breathtaking and given all the more magic being moved in so beautifully. The music was totally evocative and this half of the programme just flashed by in the blink of an eye. A visual and aural feast, proving that (in my opinion) in ballet, the music is just as important.

The ballet’s website gives some background to the music; it’s well worth a look as the composers of some of these lesser known tunes went on to write some astonishingly famous hits.

Down Sunny Side Lane

The Clouds Will Soon Roll By

Pennies From Heaven

I’ve Found the Right Girl

You’ve Got Me Crying

Serenade in the Night

Yes Yes My Baby Said Yes Yes

Riptide

Painting The Clouds with Sunshine

Roll Along Covered Wagon

March Winds and April Showers

Dreaming a Dream

My Woman

You and the Night and the Music

Back to the dancers – particularly impressive were (below from top) Remi Andreoni and Katie Webb in their two featured pieces, both had a naturalness of movement and synchronicity with one another as did Sophie Martin and Christopher Harrison. Sometimes it’s hard for ballet dancers for all their grace, talent and technique to relax into a piece like this as they seem to depend on the precise structure of ballet moves, but these four had a natural grace which was a charm to watch.