- Kelly Apter
- 4 September 2008
Since its reinvention five years ago, Scottish Ballet has embraced a wide variety of dance styles, the full gamut of which it's managed to squeeze into one diverse mixed bill. Featuring works by the mother of American postmodern dance, Trisha Brown, New York choreographer, Stephen Petronio and Scottish Ballet's artistic director, Ashley Page, the company's autumn season has the proverbial something for everyone.
Trisha Brown's For MG: The Movie met with a mixed response at last year's Edinburgh International Festival - and is likely to do the same this time. At first glance, the piece can look like a bunch of dancers running around or standing still. But the genius is in the detail, and Brown's work is worthy of a second look, not least because of her influential standing in dance history.
For those who prefer modern ballet with a narrative twist, Page's new work, Pennies From Heaven, should prove an intriguing prospect. Inspired by Dennis Potter's TV drama of the same name, the piece features stylish costumes and catchy songs from the 1930s, while Page himself has yet to produce a bad step since his arrival at Scottish Ballet.
Completing the bill is Stephen Petronio's energetic Ride The Beast. Last seen alongside Brown's work at the 2007 Festival, the piece uses a soundtrack of Radiohead songs to devastating effect. What made Petronio opt for the UK rockers? 'Because they're a great band,' he says simply. 'I really need to be inspired by music because I have to listen to it so much when I'm creating. And I listen to Radiohead a lot anyway, so it was fun choreographing to their music.'
The music may be British, but the piece is pure Stateside. Named after a water ride in Manhattan's Central Park, Ride The Beast is fast-paced and frenetic, with moments of real beauty - much like Petronio's home town. 'The thing about New York is there are all these lives intersecting,' he says. 'And they're part of a flow chart of movement on the street, but they're so unrelated. That's been very inspiring to me and shows up in my work.'
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Thu 18-Sat 20 Sep; Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Thu 25-Sat 27 Sep