CriticalDance Forum

Scottish Ballet - Edinburgh Int'l Festival
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Author:  kurinuku [ Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:20 am ]
Post subject:  Scottish Ballet - Edinburgh Int'l Festival

Starring role for once-troubled Scottish Ballet in Festival
the Scotsman

The return [of Scottish Ballet] forms part of a rich August line-up unveiled yesterday by the Festival director, Sir Brian McMaster, which includes a visit by the legendary Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim, the Pennsylvania Ballet, and the Dutch National Ballet.

Author:  kurinuku [ Wed Aug 10, 2005 1:17 am ]
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How Page made Scottish Ballet turn over a new leaf
by SUSAN MANSFIELD for the Scotsman

Reclining on a sofa in his Glasgow office, Page allows himself to look pleased for a moment. "We're much further forward than I thought we'd be. We're doing ballets I didn't think we'd be doing for five years. I'm throwing things at them now I would have thrown at the Royal Ballet."

published: August 10, 2005

Author:  jeffsh [ Sat Aug 13, 2005 2:38 am ]
Post subject:  ticket

I plan to visit Edinburgh Festival for the all Balanchine program. since I can not finalise the dates yet, I do not want to purchase tickets now. does anyone know the ticket situation for the performances? is Scotish Ballet very popular at the festival?

Author:  ksneds [ Sat Aug 13, 2005 3:02 am ]
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Plenty of tickets are still available for all three performances. You can see exactly how many and which seats are available by searching for tickets on the festival website ( - and you can search without buying.


Author:  jeffsh [ Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

Kate, thanks for the info. jeff

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Aug 21, 2005 3:30 pm ]
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Dancing feat
By JACKIE MCGLONE for Scotland on Sunday

They don't make pink satin ballet slippers for dancers with bunions as big or as painful as those Patricia Neary has on both feet. So here she is in Scottish Ballet's shabby studio in Glasgow, on pointe in a pair of battered trainers, demonstrating to one of the dancers how to move like a train at full speed. "You must do those bourrées like a choo-choo train," the former ballerina calls to the improbably tall and beautiful Eve Mutso.

click for more

Author:  kurinuku [ Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:46 am ]
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Perfect, but a bit of a stretch
by MARY BRENNAN for the Scotland Herald

... flags up a positively reassuring message about how Miss Neary rates the young dancers at Scottish. A stickler for hard work and concentrated focus, she sees excellence as merely the base camp for scaling the heights in this repertoire she so cherishes.

published: August 23, 2005

Author:  jeffsh [ Sat Aug 27, 2005 4:05 am ]
Post subject:  Scottish Ballet at Edinburgh Festival

I have not seen the old version of Apollo since 80's when I saw Royal Ballet did this piece in Beijing. I did not know too much about Balanchine then and it was 20 years ago and I did not remember much. I was surprised to see birth scene with girls in blue. Terpsichore was danced with very cool control
I am very impressed by Episodes last night. The corp dancers have done a very good job. It has been a while since I last saw this piece in NYC. How much have I missed the music
Rubies is rather rushed. Not sure why they used a blue backdrop

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Aug 27, 2005 5:10 am ]
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Hi jeffsh and thanks for your thoughts on the Scottish Ballet Balanchine programme. another company which performs the version of "Apollo" with the birth scene is the Kirov; can't remember the colour of the costumes, though.

Author:  ksneds [ Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:12 am ]
Post subject: 

My review follows...but first a few general comments

The company has improved greatly, even in the two years I've been in Scotland. And I am thrilled to see them performing Balanchine - we're ready and they're ready. But, I have to admit that, in light of the company being stronger in women than men, the choice of "Apollo" and "Rubies" was intriguing.

I would have loved to see Paul Liburd as Apollo - though I certainly trust in the company to pick casting that is appropriate to the needs of the ballets and the dancers. And Erik Callavari certainly was physically perfect for the role, and did a good job. Unfortunately I think that the Playhouse setting really dampened "Apollo" - with just four dancers for most of the piece, it needs an intimate theatre with proper sightlines in order to appreciate the shapes of the choreography. It's not a ballet that works well when you're lower than the stage or at a great angle.

I think "Episodes" was the best at showing off the company - it was in this ballet that the dancers really looked cool, collected and powerful. And that was a joy to see.

"Rubies" was a better fit for the Playhouse, but was very odd to see without the accompanying set, which would probably have given it a bit more context. Yet, the contrast of the bright red, sparkly costumes against the blue backdrop brought gasps and applause from the audience. (Though I'll admit that these are probably my least favorite of Karinska's costumes - those tunics flatter almost no male physique.)

Eva Mutso was truly the MVP of the evening appearing in all three ballets - and looking more powerful with each ballet. I do hope though, that in future peformances, casting will be more varied so one dancer does not carry so much of the rep.


Scottish Ballet
Balanchine Program
August 26, 2005
Edinburgh Playhouse

On Friday, the Scottish Ballet returned to the Edinburgh Festival after an absence of nearly two decades with a solid, if not spectacular, Balanchine programme. The trio of ballets, all staged by former New York City Ballet dancer Patricia Neary, represent nearly forty years of Balanchine's choreographic career, from the very early "Apollo" (1928), to "Episodes" (1959) and the later "Rubies", a part of the full length ballet "Jewels" (1967). Tackling such an ambitious programme on the International Festival stage was a daring step for the Scottish Ballet, but one that has mostly paid off.

Originally choreographed for the Ballets Russes, the neo-classical "Apollo" is one of Balanchine's earliest ballets, and his first major collaboration with the composer Igor Stravinsky. The ballet begins with the birth of the young sun god Apollo, and follows his capers with the three muses, Terpsichore, Polyhymnia & Calliope.

Spinning out of his swaddling cloth in flurry of pirouettes, Erik Cavallari was a physically appealing and kinetic Apollo, but his restrained performance suggested that he was still at the stage of focusing on the steps, and working on putting them together in a cohesive whole. Thus the powerful stage presence that Apollo needs was not present. The three muses, Eve Mutso, Soon Ja Lee and Claire Robinson, also had an unfinished quality to their dancing, with steps and shapes not fully defined. Yet, if the dancers can develop into the roles over time as well as they have with "Four Temperaments", the best is definitely yet to come.

The ballet also was not ideally suited to the vastness of the Playhouse, the intimate details and contrast of the bodies against the blue backdrop blurred in the distance between audience and dancers. Most unfortunate was the near invisibility of the famous pose of the three muses in arabesque, supported by Apollo, due both to the angle between audience & stage and the positioning of the dancers. The ballet should find more suitable settings when the company goes on tour to smaller theatres in the fall.

"Episodes", which followed, is the remaining part of a ballet that combined the choreographic talents of Balanchine and fellow dance legend, Martha Graham, and the music of Anton Webern. Today, only Balanchine's portions are performed, the first section, Symphony, Opus 21, typical of his 'leotard ballets'. The women in black, belted leotards, the men in black tights and white tops, there is nothing to draw the eye from the angular steps, and men's deft manipulations of the women. In Symphony, as well as the final two sections, Concerto and Ricercata, the company oozed confidence and power. Where there might not have been total synchronization in arms, there was a noticeable and effective unity of style and focus. Very impressive was Paul Liburd in the Ricercata, who with his years in the Rambert Dance Company seems well suited to the more neo-classical steps and accents that are typical of Balanchine's choreography

A complete contrast from the rest of the ballet, the second section, set to 5 Pieces, Opus 10, is a off-beat, wry pas de deux. The woman's white leotard stands out in the spotlight, while the man's full black unitard blends with the shadows. Balanchine plays with this contrast of light and dark, male and female, wrapping his dancers around each other, at one point the woman is flipped upside down, her bent legs sticking out above her partner's head. As the woman, Eve Mutso demonstrated the flexibility, strength and precision that made her the standout of the evening.

Though a crowd pleaser, the glittering "Rubies" was more a demonstration of where the company can go, not its current level. For reasons probably either financial and/or technical, the company chose to perform the ballet without the set - Karinska's ruby red, fake-jewel encrusted tunics and dresses a slightly odd contrast with the plain backdrop.

That oddity aside, the dancers zipped through technically challenging, but often playful choreography. Here Balanchine combines classical partnering and corps work, with giddy 'jogging' steps for the men. The standout was clearly Eve Mutso as the solo female - her long legs slicing the air in the vertical splits and her dancing crisp and spicy. Cristo Vivancos and Claire Robertson, however, were underpowered as the lead couple. A solid partner for Robertson, Vivancos lacked refinement and polish in his dancing: though his height in the jumps was impressive, the positions lacked stretch, pointed feet and crispness.

The corps was sprightly, but the men didn't look completely convincing in the jogging steps, which much be done without the slightest self consciousness so as to not look 'cutesy', nor were they always up to the technical demands. However, like the female corps, they continue to improve with every performance. It was an enjoyable finale for the evening, while it was proof the the company is ready for the challenges of Balanchine, it also reveals where there is still is much work to be done, notably in the male contigent.

Nicholas Kok conducted the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, with Simon Crawford playing the solo piano section of Stravinky's score for "Rubies".

Author:  ksneds [ Sun Aug 28, 2005 1:15 pm ]
Post subject: 

Scottish Ballet
Balanchine Programme
August 27, 2005
Edinburgh Playhouse

Closing out a successful Edinburgh International Festival run, the Scottish Ballet brought three of George Balanchine's classic ballets to the Playhouse stage. In "Apollo", "Episodes" and the sparkling "Rubies" the company showed how far it has come under director Ashley Page, and where there is still room for growth.

A change in casting seemed to have made all the difference in the neoclassical "Apollo", giving the ballet the dramatic impact that was lacking on Friday evening. Cristo Vivancos was a muscular, kinetic Apollo, powering through the choreography without hesitation and exuding a godly proudness and egotism. If anything, Vivancos pushed a bit too hard in his dancing - Apollo should be brash, but not aggressive.

Vivancos was also perfectly matched with his trio of dark-haired muses, Martina Forioso, Sophie Martin and Luciana Ravizzi. The three were not only physically similar, but just the right height for Vivancos to manipulate through the twisting choreography. Each muse brought a precise, buoyant, musical tidiness to her solo, Sophia Martin leaving a particularly vivid impression. As a duo Vivancos and Forioso brought the ballet to high point, their pas de deux exuding an air of confidence, their dancing elegantly controlled and phrased.

"Episodes" was danced by the same cast as Friday night, with the exception of the coolly elegant Patricia Hines in the Concerto section.

Again, the glittering "Rubies", though enthusiastically danced and well-received, revealed some of the 'cracks in the façade'. The real power in the ballet came from the tireless corps in their 'jewel'-encrusted costumes. To a dancer, their performance was full of infectious enthusiasm and energy.

Out in front, Soon Ja Lee and Erik Cavallari began on a high, but fizzled in the ending moments. Each, at times, struggled with turns, Cavallari also lacking the power to carry off the leg-twisting double tours. Also, both dancers had a tendency to stop dancing and drop of out 'character' before totally disappearing into the wings. While shallow or cluttered wings can make it difficult to exit at full speed, it saps the energy and magic from the ballet to see a dancer 'slouch' off stage.

The real centerpiece of the ballet, however, was the stellar Eve Mutso - the unquestioned 'most valuable person' of the Scottish Ballet. Kicking those long legs sky (ceiling)-ward, she radiated a confident sassiness that truly captured the spirit of Balanchine's choreography.

Author:  kurinuku [ Mon Aug 29, 2005 7:13 am ]
Post subject: 

Scottish Ballet
by ALICE BAIN for the Guardian

From curtain up, this company were on the attack, eyes keen. Stravinsky's scoring, played deftly by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, led them to the place where dance transforms life into something magic.

published: August 29, 2005

Author:  kurinuku [ Mon Aug 29, 2005 8:07 am ]
Post subject: 

Edinburgh reports: brilliant spotlight on Balanchine's musicality
by ISMENE BROWN for the Daily Telegraph

That sense of novelty and audacity crackled through the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's excellent playing under Nicholas Kok, and though Scottish Ballet looks short of properly qualified leading dancers, its corps de ballet, quick on the uptake, gave a bold impression.

published: August 29, 2005

Author:  kurinuku [ Mon Aug 29, 2005 9:02 am ]
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MARY BRENNAN reviews Scottish Ballet in the fourth section of an article in the Scotland Herald.

Author:  kurinuku [ Thu Sep 01, 2005 7:47 am ]
Post subject: 

Revelations of pure beauty
by LYNDSAY WINSHIP for the Scotland Herald

Each section offers up more and more moments of physical perfection. Concerto, Op 24, sees a fine pairing of Paul Liburd and Patricia Hines in the lead, and finally, an ensemble of 16 dancers embody Webern's textured arrangement of Bach's Musical Offering. It's a shame that when Scottish Ballet embark on a short tour later this month, Episodes is the one piece they are leaving behind.

published: September 1, 2005

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