Tag Archives: Scottish Ballet

NEWS: Scottish Ballet announce their 2020/2021 season

Scottish Ballet CEO/Artistic Director Christopher Hampson reveals an inspirational 2020/2021 programme that sees the company perform on local, national and international stages.

The 2020/2021 season includes:

  • The world premiere of a reimagined production of Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling: ‘The Scandal at Mayerling’the first time MacMillan’s sumptuous historical masterpiece will be produced in the UK, outside of London.
  • The Kennedy Centre, Washington USA premiere, and Spoleto Festival USA transfer, of Helen Pickett’s award-winning The Crucible, which gained audience and critical acclaim following its world premiere at Edinburgh International Festival in 2019.
  • Cutting-edge contemporary works MC 14/22 and Sibilo to make the company’s Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, London debut.
  • The return of two of the world’s most popular ballets: Scottish Ballet’s raw and intense Swan Lake, and festive family favourite The Nutcracker.
  • Tickets for Scottish Ballet’s 2020/2021 season are now on sale at co.uk

Announcing the 2020/2021 season launch Christopher Hampson, CEO/Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet, said: ‘It’s been an incredibly exciting time for Scottish Ballet during the company’s 50th anniversary year. The 2020/2021 season connects us with audiences from across the world through an invigorating repertoire showcasing some of today’s most cutting-edge choreographers, and Scottish Ballet’s adventurous, daring and unique style.’


SPRING

This Is My Body
Double bill: MC 14/22 and Sibilo

Scottish Ballet launches their 2020/2021 season with a programme of contemporary work, which sees them make their Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, London debut with This is My Body from 31 March – 3 April.

A contemporary double bill of work that celebrates and tests the power and versatility of dancers’ bodies, This is My Body includes MC 14/22, choreographed by Angelin Preljocaj and Sibilo, choreographed by Sophie Laplane.

MC 14/22 (Ceci est mon corps) is a meeting of the spiritual and the carnal, drawing on St Mark’s version of The Last Supper in the Bible: ‘Take, eat: this is my body’. Created for twelve male dancers by Angelin Preljoçaj, with soundscapes by Tedd Zahmal, this powerfully sensual and passionate work is a hymn to the male body, stripped down to its deepest reality.

Sibilo, by Scottish Ballet’s Artist in Residence, Choreographer, Sophie Laplane, is a joyful, humorous and surreal work featuring eight dancers, whose eclectic movement is led by audible whistles (sibilo is Latin for whistle) in the soundtrack. Laplane collaborated with Scottish electronic DJ and music producer Alex Menzies (aka Alex Smoke) to create the original musical composition for this piece.

This is My Body will also tour to New York, with details announced in November / December 2019. Sibilo is being presented in London and New York thanks to the generous support of Sir Sandy & Lady Crombie.

Swan Lake

Alongside work in London and New York, Spring will see Scottish Ballet present its contemporary take on the ballet world’s most popular title, as it tours Scotland, following a sold-out debut in 2016.

Opening on 9 April 2020, this sleek and unmissable Swan Lake, choreographed by David Dawson, is a production retold for a new generation.

Arching backs, spiralling arms and mesmerising patterns push the Company dancers to their physical limits in this tale of purity versus seduction. David Dawson’s daring, visceral choreography is perfectly paired with the rich, romantic Tchaikovsky score, played live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

Swan Lake will tour to Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Glasgow from 9 April-2 May 2020.

The Crucible

Following a triumphant world premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2019, and a critically acclaimed tour of Scotland, Helen Pickett’s award-winning The Crucible will travel to its spiritual home to make its US premiere as it opens at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC from 13-17 May, before transferring to open the dance programme at Spoleto Festival USA from 22-24 May 2020.

Adapted from Arthur Miller’s masterpiece of power and persecution, Helen Pickett’s award-winning choreography unleashes the full emotional force of the story as a new narrative ballet.

The first major dance adaptation of Miller’s work, created in collaboration with director James Bonas, The Crucible is an allegorical comment on the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s; Miller’s chilling account of the 1692 Salem witch trials that recalls a community destroyed by fear, hostility and hysteria.

Designers David Finn and Emma Kingsbury bring the theatrical elements to life with costumes, lighting and set, and the performances are vividly accompanied by Peter Salem’s haunting new score.

The first of Scottish Ballet’s ambitious commissioning programme Five in Five which will see the company stage five new full-length ballets over five years, The Crucible will tour the US from 13 May-24 May 2020.

AUTUMN

The Scandal at Mayerling

Dramatically reimagined and adapted for Scottish Ballet by Gary Harris and Christopher Hampson, The Scandal at Mayerling will feature bold new designs from Elin Steele and a new orchestration from Martin Yates. This dramatic new interpretation of Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s iconic ballet Mayerling, will open at Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, 17 September 2020.

True to the original, the story is set in Vienna in 1889 and follows the story of Crown Prince Rudolf, an anti-hero as compelling as Hamlet, who has a morbid fascination with death and a voracious sexual appetite. The Scandal at Mayerling is an intense and lavish period production, a story of obsession and mortality, with a backdrop of sumptuous set and costumes. The story is brought to life by the music of Franz Liszt, performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

Developed in association with Lady Deborah MacMillan, this is the third of Scottish Ballet’s ambitious commissioning programme Five in Five.

The Scandal at Mayerling tours to Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Glasgow from 17 September – 10 October 2020.

WINTER

The Nutcracker

Rounding off the 2020/2021 season, The Nutcracker returns due to never-ending demand as it opens at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh from 5 December 2020.

A firm family favourite, this magical story takes you on a journey through the eyes of a child as it follows the adventures of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Nutcracker Prince and the larger-than-life Rat King.

Leaving children and adults in awe, this heart-warming tale places Peter Darrell’s choreography centre-stage as dancers perform to Tchaikovsky’s score, that transports audiences to a far-away land of dreams…and baubles.

The Nutcracker tours to Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, Glasgow, Newcastle and Belfast from 5 December 2020 – 13 February 2021.

2020/2021 Listings:

Swan Lake
Choreographed by David Dawson
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh:                          9-11 April 2020

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen:                  16-18 April 2020

Eden Court, Inverness:                                   23-25 April 2020

Theatre Royal, Glasgow:                                29 April – 2 May 2020
#SBSwanLake

 

The Scandal at Mayerling
Choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh:                          17-19 September 2020

Theatre Royal, Glasgow:                                24-26 September 2020

Eden Court, Inverness                                    2-3 October 2020

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen:                  8-10 October 2020
#SBMayerling

 

The Nutcracker

Choreographed by Peter Darrell

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh:                          5-31 December 2020

Theatre Royal, Glasgow:                                6-16 January 2021

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen:                  20-23 January 2021

Eden Court, Inverness:                                   27-30 January 2021
Grand Opera House, Belfast:                         10-13 February 2021

The Nutcracker will also be presented in Newcastle, with more information announced in Spring 2020.

NEWS: Swan Lake taking flight in 2020 with Scottish Ballet

Lose yourself in the raw intensity of this sleek and unmissable ballet, returning to Scotland after its sell-out 2016 debut.

Arching backs, spiralling arms and mesmerising patterns: the struggle between purity and seduction pushes our dancers to their physical limits. David Dawson’s daring, visceral choreography is perfectly paired with the rich, romantic Tchaikovsky score, played live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

Tickets on sale to the general public 10am Tuesday 5 November.

Glasgow Theatre Royal

29 April – 2 May 2020

REVIEW: Scottish Ballet’s Wee Hansel and Gretel – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Scottish Ballet present “a wee version of a big ballet”, a perfectly distilled version of their family favourite Hansel and Gretel, specifically aimed at children aged three to eight.

A dangerous (well, mildly perilous but age-appropriate) adventure into the deep dark wood with the inquisitive siblings – Wee Hansel and Gretel faithfully follows the traditional tale: there’s the worrisome witch, her mysterious raven companion, the magic forest and the enchanted gingerbread house.

The addition of a narrator (James Siggens) who presents a rhyming introduction to set the scene and explanation of the unfolding action, is a neat touch. He engages the audience from curtain up with a whole heap of audience participation, including magically controlling the lights, much to the amazement of the tiny theatre-goers.

Set to the music of Engelbert Humperdinck, recorded by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, the production includes students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The tutu-clad trio provide the traditional costumes expected by the mini-ballet buffs, though these three tutus on stage are vastly outnumbered by the gloriously clad audience who are decked in their best ballet finery for the occasion. In the role of Hansel, Constant Vigier is, as always, a safe pair of ballet slippers and his Gretel, Alice Kawalek is a star in waiting.

This 50-minute tiny treasure of a production is small, but absolutely perfectly formed. The run time is ideal, the storytelling judiciously edited to fit in everything it needs to shine. It captures and keeps the attention for the entirety of the performance and provides a satisfying morning’s or afternoon’s entertainment for adults and children alike. More of this please!

The tour continues until October :  Glasgow tomorrow (Sunday 14 July) 

For complete touring dates and venues visit: scottishballet.co.uk/event/wee-hansel-gretel

Images: Rimbaud Patron

 

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Behind the Scenes as Scottish Ballet stage Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling

Back in 2013, GTB was invited to breakfast with Scottish Ballet as they went through their morning class before the matinee and evening performances of Matthew Bourne’s innovative take on La Sylphide Highland Fling.

Here, from the archives are some rehearsal videos and behind the scenes shots of this hard-working (6 days a week!) company. Excuse the ropey camera phone video quality. Such a fabulous show – set in Glasgow – it deserves another moment in the spotlight.

Sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll is not the usual tag line for a Scottish Ballet production but Matthew Bourne could never be accused of being your usual choreographer and Scottish Ballet continue to cement their reputation as a company with a clear artistic vision, breaking new ground by introducing  innovative modern works alongside their vast classical repertoire.

This piece marks the first time Matthew Bourne has ever allowed another company to perform one of his works, such is his control over his artistic vision. That said, the two seemed destined to come together, Bourne’s Glasgow-set ballet finally coming home to the city and Scotland’s national ballet company.

Inspired by the classic romantic work La Sylphide, Highland Fling  is an imaginative re-working by Bourne with his usual wry twist and trademark eye for detail.

Highland Fling follows the story of James, a restless young Glaswegian recently married to his devoted girlfriend Effie, but James’ addiction to excess and desire to break free of  the restrictions and expectations  placed on him by his environment finds him in the fateful company of a beguiling gothic fairy.  As his love for the strange and beautiful sylph becomes an obsession, he embarks on a fateful journey that takes him from the mean streets and nightclubs of Glasgow into a magical world beyond reality and reason.

highland fling

 

As our (anti)hero staggers on-set and slumps to the floor against a urinal in the toilet of a Glasgow nightclub we are in no doubt that this isn’t going to be your usual ballet, but what really sets it apart, along with all of Bourne’s work, is the stunning complexity and intricacy of the choreography and the sharpness and accuracy with which it is executed. Owen Thorne’s performance as James is a testament to Bourne’s particular method of working: this is a character with a history, a back-story and Thorne manages to deliver the choreography whilst perfectly conveying the conflicted Glaswegian tough-guy persona underneath. Bethany Kingsley-Garner as the sylph is utterly other-worldly, beautifully conveying this bewitching creature from another realm. Both are ably supported by an ensemble of characters instantly recognisable to any city dweller.

highland fling scottish ballet

Lez Brotherston’s set design is a character in itself. It has more tartan than a tin of shortbread, delivering a technicolour assault to the senses, but looking beyond the obvious, witty nods to the best and worst of Caledonia abound. Brotherston also manages to perfectly evoke the eerie world of the sylphs nestled amongst the debris and detritus of a wasteland in the shadow of the Glasgow highrises.

Matthew Bourne's Highland Fling, performed by the Scottish Ballet

Part of the beauty of this cautionary tale is its brevity, at just over 95 minutes it packs a visual and emotional punch that leaves you reeling and begging for more.

highland fling scottish ballet kilt -4 matthew bourne highland fling

highliandfling_2549654b

FEATURE: NARS team up with Scottish Ballet for David Dawson’s innovative Swan Lake

In preparation for their innovative production of David Dawson’s Swan Lake, Scottish Ballet in partnership with NARS makeup invited some guests for a behind the scenes glimpse of the creation of the work which receives its world premiere this month.

swan lake christina reilly

Sophie Martin in rehearsal for David Dawson’s Swan Lake Image: Christina Reilly

David Dawson is a choreographer in demand throughout the world, and his work has been described as visceral and daring, always pushing dancers to their limits, challenging and extending the realms of classical technique. In the rehearsal room Dawson’s infinite eye for detail is clearly apparent, striving for perfection, making minute corrections to ensure his creative vision is represented on stage. Expect strength, darkness and precision as well as lyrical beauty when it premieres at the Theatre Royal.

548823021569e1cd62ab392.70580517

Constance Devernay in rehearsal for David Dawson’s Swan Lake. Image: Christina Riley

From the rehearsal room to makeup; the creative artists at NARS have been challenged with creating the dual looks for the infamous black and white swans Odette and Odile. Dawson’s Swan Lake is more naturalistic and the makeup look reflects this, an easily wearable day look for Odette with a nude lip and with the mere change to a strong red lip colour – the dramatic look of Odile. The looks created are also durable and easily recreatable.

scottish ballet swan lake nars cosmetics

scottish ballet swan lake nars 2 swan lake nars 3

nars swan lake

nars swan lake 5

To achieve this stunning change for yourself the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil’s used were: Belle de Jour a flattering universal nude tone and Cruella a vibrant, classic red.

nars belle de jour matte pencil

NARS Belle de Jour

nars matte lip pencil cruella

NARS Cruella

The NARS counter in Frasers Department Store Glasgow offers comprehensive skin care and make up advice. Find out more here.

Scottish Ballet’s Swan Lake is at the Theatre Royal from Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 Apr 2016, for more information, see Scottish Ballet’s own website. To book tickets see the Theatre Royal’s box office on 0844 871 7647.

 

REVIEW: Cinderella, Scottish Ballet – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Christopher Hampson’s production, originally created for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, finally arrived in Glasgow this month after a European premiere and a festive stint in our capital city. Set to Prokofiev’s 1945 score and on Tracy Grant Lord’s grand set, it faithfully follows Charles Perrault’s much-loved, rags to riches story as we know it.

Whilst there is much to admire here, the complex choreography will delight ballet aficionados and the dancers largely deliver their roles with aplomb, the nearly two and half hour running time and the lack of visual ‘sparkle’ leaves it lacking that certain something that makes for a truly spectacular festive ballet treat, and the tiny audience members (of whom there were many) were wriggling and restless by the end.

Bethany Kingsley-Garner as the titular heroine is a divine dancer, but her fixed expression lacks the range of emotion the character requires. Christopher Harrison, usually a sure-footed and assured performer, suffered from some serious wobbles as the Prince and again the lack of emotion left one feeling cold. Most successful are Eve Mutso and Sophie Martin as the ‘wicked’ step-sisters, the pair are an absolute delight and their acting skills admirable (the company will feel the loss of Mutso greatly as she leaves to pursue a career as a freelance dancer/choreographer after this tour). This is a company with undoubtedly talented dancers, but one can’t help feel that they are lacking somewhat in the acting/emotion department.

Richard Honner and the Scottish Ballet Orchestra are on fine form and the sound throughout is sumptuous. This is a thoroughly entertaining production, with some real highlights but one can’t help feeling it could have been so much more.

Image: Andy Ross/ Scottish Ballet

REVIEW: Scottish Ballet Autumn Season – Maze, Motion of Displacement and Elsa Canasta – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

As a signal of intent, Scottish Ballet has started their new season with a bang with a world and a UK premier in one evening.

Those seeking tutus and pointe shoes may be disappointed, but this thoroughly modern trio of works is a refreshing move towards the future.

Opening with the unbilled Maze by company member Sophie Laplane, the innovative, original and hypnotic work is an intriguing exploration of the forms a body in motion can take. The male duos bristle with jagged, spiky, angular jabs, the female duos popping, fizzing and crackling with electricity. This arresting and visually compelling work looks set to assure Laplane’s career long after she’s hung up her pointe shoes.

New York choreographer Bryan Arias’ Motion of Displacement is an emotional response to the choreographer’s mother’s experience of leaving her homeland in pursuit of a better life. It is more free-form poem than linear narrative and hints at both the strength and heartbreak experienced on Senora Arias’ journey. At times, it is stunningly beautiful – the chain of dancers at the start and end delicately intertwined is stunning, but for all the glorious individual sequences there is a lack of drive and emotionally it feels very similar throughout.

As the old adage says: “save the best for last”, multi-talented (Turner Prize nominated, West End Musical choreographing, Olivier and Critics Circle Award-winning, music videos and ballet creating with the Pet Shop Boys) Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta is a witty and wonderful winner.

Combining the music of the legendary Cole Porter with de Frutos’ entertaining and inventive choreography, and fairy-dusted with the glorious singing of Nick Holder, this is a crowd-pleaser from start to end. As the vocalist reminisces on the heady days of the 20s and 30s, he reflects on the experiences he has lived through, the choices made and roads not travelled. Re-worked from his original piece for Rambert, the characters have been expanded by de Frutos and the balance of genders redefined.

There is so much to see here, glorious little sequences spring up all around the stage, it is sexy, sassy and a joy to watch. Particularly effective are the poignant and powerful male-male duet between Victor Zarallo and Thomas Edwards and the all-too-familiar boyfriend/girlfriend scuffle between the always entertaining Erik Cavallari and Sophie Martin.

As an opening to the new season – a crowd-pleasing triumph that leaves you wanting more.

Image credit: Andy Ross

Nick Holder and the dancers of Scottish Ballet in Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta

FEATURE: Scottish Ballet… in rehearsal

Scottish Ballet present their Autumn season this week, featuring work by two of the world’s most highly regarded and original choreographers.

scottish ballet in rehearsal elsa canasta

Javier de Frutos with Company dancers in rehearsals for Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley

Elsa Canasta is a dark, funny and sexy evocation of the music of Cole Porter. With a touch of music hall magic, a singer who will share the stage and breathtaking partnering, the Scottish Ballet dancers will be having a ball. Choreographed by Javier de Frutos, a unique figure in the world of dance with a résumé that includes West End musicals, a Turner Prize nomination, Olivier and Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards, music videos and a full-length ballet in collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys.

Also on the bill will be Motion of Displacement by Bryan Arias, winner of the 6th Copenhagen International Choreography Competition in 2013. Arias is a young American choreographer at the start of an exciting career that is sure to propel him to the heights of his profession, Scottish Ballet is the first company to bring his unique blend of dance styles to the UK.

An exclusive commission from Scottish Ballet, Motion of Displacement will explore the causes and effects of storytelling, inspired by his own childhood memories of his mother’s journey from her native land in pursuit of love.

rehearsal room scottish ballet

Scottish Ballet dancers in rehearsals for Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley.

scottis ballet rehearsal room

Constant Vigier in rehearsals for Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley.

eve mutso scottish ballet

Eve Mutso in rehearsals for Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley.

ballet mistress scottish ballet

Andrew Peasgood and Constant Vigier with Rehearsal Director Hope Muir in rehearsals for Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley.

male duet scottish ballet elsa canasta

Victor Zarallo and Thomas Edwards in rehearsals for Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley.

javier de frutosnscottish ballet elsa canasta

Javier de Frutos in rehearsals for Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley.

constance devernay scottish ballet elsa canasta

Constance Devernay with Rimbaud Patron in rehearsals for Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley.

 

ballet shoes scottish ballet

Shoes in the Peter Darrell Studio. Photo by Christina Riley.

For ticket information visit: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/elsa-canasta-and-new-work/theatre-royal-glasgow/

Pictures © Scottish Ballet 0141 333 1092

REVIEW: 5 Tangos – Tramway, Glasgow

Hans Van Manen’s 1977 work 5 Tangos has been revived by Scottish Ballet for the inaugural Dance International Glasgow (DIG) festival.

Characterised by its precision and above all by its exquisite symmetry, this fusion of classical ballet technique and Argentine tango is an audience friendly crowd-pleaser from a choreographer renowned as a pioneer of ‘modern’ ballet.

Nuevo tango master Ástor Piazzolla’s score provides an atmospheric soundtrack on which the step-perfect action plays out: the dancers tracing mesmerising geometric patterns across the vast floor of Tramway. If any criticism is to be levelled at the piece it is that it robs the tango of its dangerous sexiness, this work is more playful than passionate. That said there is much here to delight the audience in this hugely entertaining work and it is delivered throughout with an impressive energy, drive and precision.

A poignant and somewhat fitting footnote to 5 Tangos is that it sees Argentinian dancer Luciana Ravizzi leave the company after 13 years, which she does with an exquisite grace in her principal role.

Reviewed on Fri 24 Apr 2015 as part of Dance International Glasgow

This review was originally written for and published by www.thepublicreviews.com

« Older Entries