CriticalDance Forum

Scottish Ballet - 2007 Spring Season
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Author:  ksneds [ Sat Feb 10, 2007 5:17 am ]
Post subject:  Scottish Ballet - 2007 Spring Season

Scottish Ballet Charity Auction - Dine With A Dancer!

Scottish Ballet has teamed up with eBay and The Hallion in two special charity auctions with money-can’t-buy prizes: a fantastic opportunity to bid for the chance to win a dinner date with one of Scottish Ballet’s internationally acclaimed dancers.

You can choose to bid for the opportunity to savour dinner with Scottish Ballet’s beautiful soloist, dancer Soon Ja Lee. Born in Korea and raised in Japan, Soon Ja joined Scottish Ballet in 2002 and has danced many leading roles with the Company, including both Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother in Ashley Page’s critically acclaimed production of Cinderella.

Or, if you are in search of a Prince Charming, you can bid to have dinner in the company of Scottish Ballet’s award-winning Jarkko Lehmus. As well as enjoying critically acclaimed performances with the Company, Jarkko is a motorbike enthusiast, and his diverse career includes a spell in the Finnish army and dancing onstage with Robbie Williams.

You and your dinner companion will be wined and dined in The Hallion, a private members club of the defiantly unstuffy variety. Situated on Bath Street in Glasgow’s city centre, The Hallion boasts over 1000 members, including Lord Of The Rings star Billy Boyd among many other celebrities.

Relax in the luxurious restaurant and enjoy a divine three-course dinner created by The Hallion’s award-winning chefs. Head chef Derek Blair has put his unique stamp on the cuisine and menus, and has an easily digested ******* philosophy: the simple done extraordinarily well.

Bids for these special charity auction are open here at a starting price of £50, and bidding will close at midday on Valentine’s Day, Wednesday 14th February.

Scottish Ballet is a registered charity and supported by the Scottish Arts Council. Every year, Scottish Ballet aims to bring audiences award-winning dance of the highest quality, and access to dance for thousands of people in Scotland and beyond. Like many arts organisations, the cost of producing this standard of work cannot be financed through income generated by tickets sales alone. By bidding for this unique experience, you will be providing invaluable support for the future of Scotland’s national dance

Author:  kurinuku [ Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:30 am ]
Post subject: 

Scottish Ballet Spring Season, Theatre Royal, Glasgow
by ZOE ANDERSON for the Independent
published: April 16, 2007

The 1971 Othello, revived to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Darrell's death, sets the Shakespeare story to the declamatory first movement of Liszt's Faust symphony. Darrell loved the theatre in ballet, turning readily to stories and drama, but he wasn't a great creator of steps. ...

Page's 1997 Room of Cooks is a self-consciously enigmatic work for two men, a woman and a meat cleaver. The cleaver, disappointingly, is tidied away, leaving the dancers to prowl around the ******* table, registering sexual tension and mutual distrust.

Author:  ksneds [ Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

Scottish Ballet – Mixed Repertory
Edinburgh Festival Theatre
April 18, 2007

Now that the Scottish Ballet has re-established its presence at the Edinburgh Festival, there is a nearly eight month gap between repertory performances in Edinburgh. This spring's program, an eclectic mix of classical, modern and theatrical, was a treat well worth waiting for. In program which included George Balanchine's "Agon", Peter Darrell's "Othello", Ashley Page's "Room of Cooks" and Krzysztof Pastor's "In Light and Shadow", the company's confidence and comfort in a wide range of styles was amply displayed.

"Agon" was last on display during the company's triumphant 2006 Edinburgh Festival appearance, and this evening's performance suggested that not all the cobwebs have been shaken off the production. Eve Mutso and Erik Cavallari were standouts in the pivotal pas de deux, with Mutso rock solid in the penultimate supported 180-degree penchee. It remains inexplicable that Mutso is still a soloist when she consistently out dances all the current principal dancers. Cavallari was ever the supportive partner, but on his own, he lacks a certain fluidity and ease of motion. Within the corps, particularly the women, there was a noticeable lack of harmony and crispness. The dancers were not helped by a sub par performance of Stravinsky's quirky score by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra under the normally sure baton of Richard Honner.

While "Agon" appeared a stretch for the company in this performance, Peter Darrell's "Othello" couldn't have been a more perfect fit. The company has been blessed with a number of exciting developing male talents, two of whom – Adam Blyde and Christopher Harrison – were featured as Iago and Cassio. Both men, Blyde in particular, gave some of the finest dramatic and balletic performances I've seen from Scottish Ballet. Opposite them Erik Cavallari was in his element as the doomed Othello. Cavallari can seem a bit restrained in other ballets, but Darrell's dramatic mime and leaping choreography brought out an intensely dramatic and passionate side of him that we have not seen before. Claire Robinson, the company's resident 'princess' was a perfect foil to him as the delicate, but feisty Desdemona. Peter Farmers designs and the soaring Franz Liszt music were ideal partners for Darrell's choreography. As a note, it was very unhelpful that the program has absolutely no background to Othello, leaving those of us with no knowledge of the story a bit bewildered for much of the ballet.

Something is definitely cooking in Ashley Page's "Room of Cooks", and it's not dinner. On a darkened stage, a single spot reveals a couple, their intensity of their slow movements suggesting an unspoken intimacy. The lights go out, flicking on to reveal the woman posed across a table from another man, a butcher knife stuck in the table between them. We never find out exactly what has happened or perhaps, what nearly happened, but the tensions between the three characters are played out in this striking, stunningly danced piece. The slow and sinuous choreography is some of Page's best; the erotic tension and repression in this three-way relationship revealed in every muscular twitch and ripple. The themes of repression and freedom are subtly hinted at in the shades of John Morrell's costumes – the first man is in bright colors, while the couple (who appear with the knife between them), are in duller colors, the woman's ever so slightly brighter blue dress covered with a drab, brown apron.
While Page has had a tendency to rely on overly loud, atonal modern music, here he strikes gold with Jon Morrell's quirky, eclectic score, which manages to mix modern and musical in just the right portions. Completely the package was a trio of outstanding performances by Diana Loosemore, Paul Liburd and Jarkko Lehmus, three of Page's favorite contemporary dance muses, were outstanding. Lehmus frequently looks out of his comfort zone in more classical pieces, but Page's choreography he soars, compliment by the un-paralleled contemporary talents of Liburd and Loosemore.

The evening concluded with the joyous, freewheeling "In Light and Shadow". Propelled by a Bach's "Goldberg Variations" and "Third Orchestra Suite", the dancers criss-cross the stage in a series of variations ranging from solos to 15+ dancers. In a program dominated by intimate ballets, it's a chance to see the variety and quality of the company dancers. Stand outs were Sophie Martin and – again – Adam Blyde – in the slow, extended initial pas de deux, Luke Ahmet in the final pas de deux, as well as Gregory Dean and Christopher Harrison. The company, despite being thin in the top ranks, has an overflow of young male talent, yet the young men often seems hidden away, only revealed in smaller roles and later casts whilst just a few men – especially Erik Cavallari – are cast in ballet after ballet. It would be wonderful to see the company – and visiting stagers – take more chances with younger male dancers in major roles as they did to great critical acclaim last summer with Harrison in "Afternoon of a Faun". My wish list includes Gregory Dean opposite Eve Mutso in "Agon".

Author:  ksneds [ Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:48 am ]
Post subject: 



The dancers of tomorrow only have a short time left to apply for a place in Scottish Ballet’s prestigious Associate Schemes. Offering classical training of the highest standard, the Associate Schemes have a long-standing tradition of producing highly talented dancers with excellent technique. Many dancers who have been through these schemes have gone on to study at prestigious dance schools across the country, such as The Royal Ballet School, English National Ballet School and The Dance School of Scotland.

Former associates include some of Scottish Ballet’s very own dancers! Kara McLaughlin of Irvine, Daniel Davidson of Edinburgh, Christopher Harrison of Kippen and Glasgow’s Mark Kimmet have all been through the Associates scheme, and have gone on to dance high profile roles with Scottish Ballet, with Kara delighting audiences as a stepsister in Cinderella, and Christopher earning international acclaim for his performances at last year’s Edinburgh International Festival.

The Associate Scheme is designed to supplement students’ own ballet tuition, encouraging the development of confident and motivated dance students.

“They can spend time establishing the basics of a secure classical technique which under pins the majority of dance styles,” says Penny Withers, Head of the Associates Programme.

As the training scheme of Scotland’s national dance company, students are able to access the expertise of the main Company, and their classes often incorporate sections of Scottish Ballet’s repertoire. Working in studios at Scottish Ballet’s headquarters, young dancers can experience the life and practises of professional dancers, and they even have the opportunity to watch their idols in the studio.

“They benefit from watching the Company dancers in rehearsals,” says Penny, “They can see the amount of commitment and dedication involved in becoming a dancer.”

A career in dance requires a great deal of hard work and discipline, qualities which the Associates Schemes aim to develop, but the classes strike the perfect balance between work and fun, and this mix has proved very popular with its students.

“Classes can be hard work, but it is great to feel like a real ballerina,” says Junior Associate Hattie Grieg. “Tuesdays can’t come quick enough!”

“I just love to wake up in the morning and think it’s Scottish Ballet today,” agrees Senior Associate Victoria Patterson. “I love Penny’s classes; they’re so exciting and different every single week. It’s so inspiring.”

The schemes are divided into two age groups. The Junior Associate Scheme is open to children in primaries 5 and 6 at school, and the Senior Associate Scheme is aimed at students in S2, S3 and S4.

The closing date for Junior Associate applications in Friday 27th April, with auditions taking place on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th May. Senior Associate applications must be returned by Friday 4th May, and auditions will be held on Saturday 2nd June. Application forms and further information are available from Anne Stephen, Associate Scheme Administrator, on 0141 331 2931, or can be downloaded from

So don’t miss the chance to audition - applying to join Scottish Ballet’s Associate Schemes is the first step towards making your dancing dreams come true!

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