Tag Archives: Swan Lake

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.

REVIEW: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

It isn’t hyperbole to say that Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake changed the face of classical dance forever. Retaining Tchaikovsky’s original score, the rest of the ballet is turned completely on its head. For all its fantasy, in Bourne’s hands the story takes on a much more ‘human’ form. Instead of the Odette/Odile/Siegfried triangle it is now the tale of a melancholic, maternally rejected prince whose emotional demise we track through the course of this exquisitely conceived and delivered production. It is a dark and at times sinister tale of repression and sexual fantasy, punctuated throughout with clever humour. It is also, of course, that show with the gender swapped swans: instead of the prettily prancing pens, it’s a herd of predatory and powerful cobs sizzling with electricity and a large dose of menace. In ridding the story of its expected gender roles it has much more power.

Literally seen by millions around the world, it returns in 2019 with a fresh new (though not radically changed) look for the 21st Century at the hands of original designer Lez Brotherston, with a new lighting design from Paule Constable and with a few of the more tired background characters refreshed. This is a show that even without the changes can withstand multiple re-visits.

The stage bristles with life from curtain up and with intriguing choreographic ideas and mesmerising sequences of movement throughout, it is impossible not to be captivated. Dominic North’s Prince is beautifully danced and emotionally poignant and Max Westwell has a formidable presence, ensuring a searing and memorable performance as the Swan/Stranger.

Tchaikovsky’s 1875/6 score is re-ordered here and is sufficiently varied that a modern interpretation of the story can hang on it perfectly. It is fundamentally beautiful whichever order it is played in, and in whatever era its ballet is set.

Ballet snobs will hate it, but you would need to be emotionally and artistically devoid to fail to appreciate the visual spectacle and the sheer originality of storytelling and staging. Nearly a quarter of a century on it remains as utterly perfect as it ever was. Unmissable.

Runs until 9 March 2019 | Image: Contributed

This post was originally written for the Reviews Hub

REVIEW: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake – King’s Theatre, Glasgow (2014 production)

Matthew Bourne's SWAN LAKE. 15-12-20095*****

Once in a while a production comes along that restores your faith in theatre. For me Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake is that show.

Since the original production in 1995, Swan Lake has been breaking records the world over (it is both the longest running ballet in both the West End and Broadway). Now firmly established as a modern classic it returns to Glasgow with a bang at the King’s Theatre this week.

1655987_690164987702206_2014433079_nUsing Tchaikovsky’s original score and the broad plot outline, the focus is redirected from Odette/Odile to the the Prince. Doomed to a life of royal duty, spoiled and saddled with a distant, un-loving mother (with whom he has a mummy fixation), he tries to find his feet in the world: dating unsuitable women, drinking heavily and struggling with his sexuality. He longs desperately for liberty and love. Bourne’s imaginative take injects a vitality, freshness and relevance to the story along with his trademark wit.

1939766_690165437702161_2012253257_nEnhanced by the fiercely imaginative design and staging by Lez Brotherston the production remains (19 years later) superbly atmospheric and brilliantly inventive. The action moving swiftly from palace to opera house to sleezy bar to ballroom with ease. There are visual gags and artistic treats throughout but to go into detail would spoil the surprise.

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1924665_690686037650101_1044259240_nAt first shadowy fragments at the edge of his consciousness, it takes until Act 2 for the now famous male corps de ballet to appear to the Prince. The atmosphere is tangible – you can feel the anticipation grow as we edge closer to the arrival of the swans. Explosive, exhilerating and electrifying – they do not disappoint. The striking sequences of movement are finely detailed, dangerously sexual and utterly spine-tingling.

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1689010_691258464259525_1985150737_nThe superb central performance by Chris Trenfield as The Swan/The Stranger is simply stunning: strong, sensual, masculine and mesmeric. Liam Mower is in turn delicately sensitive and conflicted as the Prince.

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1779039_691771810874857_1350535719_nHeard at the interval “I never want to see a bunch of women tottering around in tutus in Swan lake again”, I can only agree – Bourne leaves you in no doubt that this is how Swan Lake really should be. He also goes some way to redressing the imbalance in ballet: it is a rare treat to see the physicality and artistry of male dancers showcased like this.

Utterly moving and exhilerating it is a rare treat for the soul.

The global phenomenon is still as radical, riveting and richly crafted as it ever was and judging by the thunderous applause and standing ovation from the sell-out audience the public can’t get enough.

This is a work that truly deserves to be called a masterpiece.

REVIEW: Swan Lake – St. Petersburg State Conservatory

I  don’t often go to the ballet but one memorable visit was a trip to Russia where I saw Swan Lake.

The performance was at The Rimsky-Korsakov St.Petersburg State Conservatory (Санкт-Петербургская государственная консерватория имени Н. А. Римского-Корсакова) which was the first public school of  music in Russia and was opened in 1862.

The “Russian Ballet Theatre” is the company based here, founded in 1990 by Boris  Bruskin a former Kirov dancer and now run by Bruskin’s wife Galina Petrovskaya  and son Alexander (both ex-Kirov as well), this small troupe, with its  dancers from all regions of Russia, tours regularly in Europe. Due to the popularity of the  classical ballet repertoire among tourists this company’s repertoire has been  solidified in recent years to focus on the essentials: “Swan Lake”, “Nutcracker”, and “Giselle”. The troupe performs these classics with frequent  guest artists from the Maryinsky (formerly Kirov) Ballet.

On the warm July evening, us  tourists and locals who filled into the Soviet-style hall of the Conservatory  were in for a treat.

At just two and a half hours,  this pared down version of the classic is meant to address tourists’ needs: but this briefer performance  nonetheless communicated the essentials, and under the baton of Ilya  Derbilov the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory orchestra played Tchaikovsky’s  unforgettable score beautifully. Russian Ballet Theatre provides an  option for those wishing to see international level soloists in a more condensed version of the classics and depending on the casting, this  could well be worth the viewer’s while.