Tag Archives: Sophie Laplane

WHAT TO WATCH: Scottish Ballet premieres new dance film Indoors, created by Resident Choreographer Sophie Laplane

Scottish Ballet present the world premiere of dance film Indoors – a playful new work created by Resident Choreographer Sophie Laplane, in collaboration with in-house filmmaker Eve McConnachie, now available on the company’s Facebook page.

Commissioned by CEO / Artistic Director Christopher Hampson, Indoors consists of 28 doors and 36
dancers; bringing the full company together, virtually, as they perform within their own homes.

Set to Papageno, Papagena by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Indoors is true to Laplane’s quirky and unique style, as she uses humour and props to drive her abstract narratives forward. Replacing the use of jackets (Sibilo) and gloves (Dextera) with doors, in this case, her choreographic language transcends from stage to screen.

Rehearsed via Zoom and recorded in lockdown, the new short film was created and filmed in a week, and explores how we can open our doors to new possibilities.

Talking about Indoors, Laplane said:
“Indoors brings each dancer together in a piece that aims to reflect Scottish Ballet’s uniqueness – they are a company that aren’t scared of trying new things, so we saw this as an opportunity to test the possibilities of technology. Having not choreographed on Zoom before, it has allowed me to grow as a choreographer; discovering different settings, and seeing them as spaces to create.”

Filmmaker Eve McConnachie added:
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Sophie on a couple of films, having worked together on Idle Eyes and Maze. Not only is she a talented choreographer but she is a joy to collaborate with; always experimenting.”

Indoors can be watched from Wednesday 22 July at 1pm on Facebook and YouTube thereafter.

REVIEW: Scottish Ballet Autumn Season Sibilo/Emergence – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

The most gratifying thing about Scottish Ballet’s Autumn Season launch isn’t the two undoubtedly striking pieces of work on show – Sophie Laplane’s Sibilo and Crystal Pite’s Emergence, rather the sheer quantity and diversity of its audience. With increasing dialogue on the inaccessibility of the arts, to all but the middle aged, middle class, it’s gratifying to see a packed house of all ages.

The two contemporary pieces, one from the most in-demand choreographer of the moment Pite, the other from one of Scottish Ballet’s own dancers Laplane, are equally compelling.

Sibilo, Laplane’s first full-length piece for the company, after last year’s ‘surprise’ showcase at the autumn season launch, is built around the themes of routine in society, loss of spontaneity and showing your true self, it is deftly handled, hugely entertaining and highly amusing. Refreshingly, as choreographer and dancers are working together daily as colleagues, the short vignettes showcase the personalities of the six dancers perfectly. Laplane’s original and innovative work grabs the attention from the start and keeps it throughout, more than holding its own against the world-renowned Pite.

Emergence, created by Pite for the National Ballet of Canada in 2009, takes as its starting point “the way that complex systems or structures arise out of a multiplicity of simple interactions”. To Owen Breton’s atmospheric score, and against the nest-like set design of Jay Gower Taylor, the entire corps de ballet, a times solo, in duos, trios, quartets, and sextets explore the concept of swarm intelligence – the movements: ritualistic, mesmerising, insect-like, build to a stunning climax where the 36 company members dance onstage together. It is a disciplined display that beautifully marries classical and contemporary technique.

Mention must also be made of this year’s ‘surprise’ piece, Jack Webb’s Drawn to Drone, a compelling solo, performed by principal Christopher Harrison. Lying supine on two chairs, Harrison carves the space in stunning style, rippling muscles appearing other-worldly, alien, insect-like. Stylistically and thematically it is a perfect fit for Pite’s Emergence. Webb is most definitely a talent to watch for.

Runs until 1 October 2016 in Glasgow, then touring Scotland.

Details: https://www.scottishballet.co.uk/event/autumn-2016

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