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Scottish Ballet Spring 2005
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Scottish Ballet Spring 2005

Scottish Ballet
By Allen Robertson for The Times

SCOTTISH BALLET — the new Scottish Ballet, that is — is on a roll. Its spring programme illustrates that the appointment of Ashley Page as artistic director has instilled new life and energy into the company.

Page, who used to dance with the Royal Ballet, has revamped Scottish Ballet into a tight-knit ensemble that gives the impression that it could dance anything. Which is just as well, because this touring programme provides a bit of everything. The big treat is the company’s acquisition of Frederick Ashton’s Façade, a perennial audience favourite.

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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Wed Apr 20, 2005 2:53 pm ]
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Ellie Carr reviews the Spring mixed repertory program in The Sunday Herald:

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:11 pm ]
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Thom Dibdin reviews the spring mixed repertoire program in the Evening News:

Author:  ksneds [ Sat Apr 23, 2005 6:28 am ]
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For other reviews of , previews about and articles on the Spring Season, check out the Scottish Ballet 2004-05 Season News topic.

Also, the Scotsman reports that the Scottish Ballet has been invited to perform in Europe, England (now it's time for the English companies to come up here!) and eventually China.

Click here for more details.


Author:  ksneds [ Sat Apr 23, 2005 11:27 am ]
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Scottish Ballet
Edinburgh Festival Theatre
April 21, 2005
Mixed Repertory

The second leg of the Scottish Ballet's Spring Season tour brought the company across Scotland to the spacious stage of the Edinburgh Festival Theatre. Though opening night in Glasgow was impressive, the additional rehearsal time and performance space in Edinburgh lifted the company to new level, with the dancers sparkling in pieces by Balanchine, Page and Ashton.

Devoid of sets, storyline or costumes, George Balanchine's "The Four Temperaments" is pure dance - an exploration of movement to music. The choreography is as diverse as the temperaments it embodies - both smooth, sinuous, angular and forceful. Often it seems like Balanchine is playing with the dancer's bodies as a musician would his instrument. A ballerina is lifted upside down, her knees bent with feet together - a human pendulum; another is dragged offstage in a split. The focus is on detail - from the jutting angles of arms to the frequent, deliberate steps in which the ballerinas "stab" the ground with their pointe shoes.

And it was the Scottish Ballet ballerinas who stood out in Thursday night performances of "The Four Temperaments". While then women, for the most part, have grasped the nuances of Balanchine's choreography, the men appear less at home with the challenges of the angular choreography. Paul Liburd was again the standout, his Melancholic solo richly textured and deeply felt, though with a more contemporary than classic feel. Also impressive was Cristo Vivancos, who with his long, elegant lines and solid presence, improves with each performance.

A trio of pieces by artistic director Ashley Page: "The Pump Room", "Walking in the Heat" and "32 Cryptograms", comprise the core of the program. Diana Loosemore, Jarkko Lehmus, Sophie Martin and Paul Liburd gave the performances of the evening in Page's new "The Pump Room", oozing power and confidence in the weighty choreography. The unlikely pairing of Sophie Martin and Paul Liburd - she tiny and sleek, he big and muscular, is one of the strengths of the piece. Though dwarfed, she never seems in the least overwhelmed and the contrast makes their interaction fascinating.
Cristo Vivancos returned to partner Tatiana Loginova in the brief, but sizzling, "Walking in the Heat" She in lace ruffles, he in dark suit, the pair brought a deliberate, paced sexiness to the duet. Adam Blyde and Luke Ahmet were eye-catching in a dynamic performance of "32 Cryptograms", a piece which has come to epitomize the new, cool, powerful image of the company.

After the dark intensity of Page's choreography, the lighthearted frolic that is Frederick Ashton's "Façade" is a welcome change in mood. "Façade" has the same carefree feel as Ashton's full length ballet, "La Fille Mal Gardee", but while Fille has a story - Façade is just that - a collection of delightful variations that have no pretense but to be entertaining.

As always, the Scotch Rhapsody - kilts a swirling - is an audience favorite. The tiny Tomomi Sato delivered a punchy performance in the Polka, but was sometimes overpowered by the brass section of the orchestra. Paul Liburd's round-spectacled Foxtrotter was amusingly geeky, but most nimble footed. But it was Claire Robinson and Cristo Vivancos who brought down the house with their nuanced, comic performance as the over-the-top, and not-quite-so-nimblefooted tangoing couple. And the rip-roaring finale to William Walton's jolly score completed the evening's performance in high style.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:58 pm ]
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In a brief notice in The Herald, Mary Brennan reviews second casts of the Balanchine/Page/Ashton program:

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun May 01, 2005 2:46 am ]
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Jann Parry is impressed:

Pump it up
Ashley Page continues to give his dancers room to manoeuvre. By Jann Parry in The Observer:

Ashley Page has given Scottish Ballet a heart with his latest work. The Pump Room, to thumping music by Aphex Twin, sets two couples pacemaking in what appears to be the chambers of the heart. An erotically charged quartet, it furthers Page's mission of providing his dancers with choreography they can love, tailormade to show off their abilities.

The Pump Room is for two powerful men - Jarkko Lehmus and Paul Liburd (both with contemporary dance backgrounds) - interacting with rogue particle women, Diana Loosmore and Sophie Martin.

Loosmore is demanding, complicated; her combative duet with Lehmus tugs and flows, ending in a truce or a possibly lethal kiss. Martin, on pointe, leads Liburd a mercurial dance before all four lock so closely together that they seem inseparable.

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Author:  ksneds [ Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:16 pm ]
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Scottish Ballet and Bank of Scotland were delighted to be presented with the Award for Sustained Arts Partnership at the 18th Annual Arts & Business Scottish Awards last night.

The award, which celebrates excellence in partnership between business and the arts, was sponsored by Arts & Business and marks the longstanding collaboration between Bank of Scotland and Scottish Ballet. A special citation acknowledged the Bank's support of the Company's brand-new production of Nutcracker, choreographed on the company by Scottish Ballet's Artistic Director Ashley Page in 2003, and revived in 2004. A further mention was made noting the Bank's commissioning of Public: Private, an innovative short film documenting Scottish Ballet by Daniel Warren in association with The National Galleries of Scotland.

Christopher Barron, Chief Executive at Scottish Ballet said:

"To be recognised in the category of Sustained Arts Partnership applauds the level of dedication and support of Bank of Scotland and Scottish Ballet. The companies' strong and productive partnership has developed into a true collaboration between a business and arts organisation, and the fact that the partnership between the two has endured significant structural and cultural change within both organisations is tribute to the strength and success of the collaboration."

Fiona Gibson, Scottish Ballet's Head of Fundraising & Sponsorship added:

"We are delighted that Bank of Scotland's long-term support for Scottish Ballet has been recognised by the Arts & Business award. Since the companies' initial collaboration in 1981, the partnership has developed and grown through an exciting period of change within both companies. The Bank's continuing commitment in sponsorship of Scottish Ballet's new production of Cinderella by Ashley Page, in 2005 and 2006, and its associated education programme, is a fantastic testament to this."

Sarah Mackie, Director of Sponsorship for Bank of Scotland, commented:

"A correctly targeted sponsorship allows you to really connect with your customers on an emotional level which just isn't possible with advertising. Out relationship with Scottish Ballet is an excellent example of two organisations working together over the long term with clear mutual benefits and we are delighted this relationship is continuing to prosper."

The partnership between Bank of Scotland and Scottish Ballet has been a twenty-four year relationship. In 2000 the Bank developed this partnership to support Scottish Ballet's yearly Christmas production, initially as Scottish tour sponsor of Aladdin, achieving the Bank's aim to make performances accessible to young people and family audiences. In 2003 and 2004 the Bank was the Main Sponsor of Ashley Page's new creation of The Nutcracker and sponsors of the Education Programme in SIP areas in Belfast and Glasgow, allowing many children to experience dance and the theatre for the first time.

In addition, Daniel Warren's video of Scottish Ballet, Public: Private, was created as a result of the partnership between Bank of Scotland, Arts & Business, National Galleries of Scotland and Scottish Ballet. The video reinterprets Degas' themes for a contemporary audience by following the life of Scottish Ballet at home and on tour, capturing the day to day activities of staff and dancers in classes, rehearsals, recreation time, backstage activity and performance. The collage of impressions was set to specially commissioned music. The video was made available to all HBOS employees and hospitality guests, and is now available for use as an education tool for schools and community groups.

Now in its 24th year, the relationship between Scottish Ballet and the Bank has flourished, with Bank of Scotland committing more than a quarter of a million pounds over the next two years in support of the Company's forthcoming new Christmas production of Cinderella.

Cinderella will be the second full-length production that Artistic Director Ashley Page will have created since his arrival at Scottish Ballet. Ashley believes: "It is a truly exciting time to be creating on the Company. The dancers have such varied strengths and personalities that I could not ask for a more favourable creative environment. We are thrilled that Bank of Scotland's continuing support enables this to happen."

Bank of Scotland's investment will also enable Scottish Ballet's Education Programme to complement the work of the main Company as it tours, giving participants the opportunity to experience an introduction to dance under the expert guidance of Scottish Ballet's Education Unit.

For further information please contact :

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