Scottish Ballet: Geometry And Grace
Troupe perform Sir Frederick Ashton’s Scènes de ballet
‘Fitter, happier, more productive,’ say Radiohead in their song of (almost) the same name – used to superb effect by Scottish Ballet in its 2007 piece, Ride The Beast. Three years later, it’s a slogan which still fits the company like a glove.
Ever since Ashley Page took over the reins of our national ballet troupe in 2002, the quality of the dancing has steadily grown, with no sign of plateauing out. And arguably one of the most challenging pieces Scottish Ballet has tackled in recent years is Sir Frederick Ashton’s Scènes de ballet. Created by Ashton for the Royal Ballet in 1948, and performed by Scottish Ballet at the 2009 Edinburgh International Festival, the work is as stylish as they come, but fiendishly tricky to dance.
To show it off to a wider audience, and give the dancers another shot at it, Page has included Scènes de ballet in the company’s upcoming autumn season, Geometry and Grace. Sitting alongside it will be Page’s own award-winning (and equally tricky) Fearful Symmetries and a brand new work by San Francisco-based choreographer, Val Caniparoli.
‘Scènes de ballet is one of Ashton’s greatest works and will always be a challenge,’ says Page. ‘Dancers, like Olympic athletes, seem to be able to do more and more with their bodies as time goes on, but Scènes de ballet remains as tough as it always was. It’s an absolute classic though, with a fantastic Stravinsky score and glamorous and sophisticated designs – Ashton got it all absolutely right.’
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Thu 16–Sat 18 Sep; Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Thu 23–Sat 25 Sep