Scottish Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Tue 11–Sat 29 Dec
Since his arrival at Scottish Ballet, Ashley Page has been like a Christmas cracker – when his festive shows open, you never know what you’ll find inside. Both The Nutcracker and Cinderella were quirky, innovative takes on well-worn tales. And now, Page has tackled a third Tchaikovsky ballet – Sleeping Beauty, giving audiences another helping of storytelling with a twist.
Teaming up once again with designer Antony McDonald, Page has created an epic tale set in two countries and spanning a hundred years. Themes of light and dark dominate, as do precarious sharp objects, while the setting has given McDonald the chance to create stunning costumes from two distinct eras.
‘We’re teasing out lots of things within the story itself, and the history of the original ballet,’ explains Page. ‘We start in 19th century Russia and end up in 1940s London. We’re also making the most of the two big jumps in time – 16 years and then a hundred.’
But while the set and costumes have the wow factor, it’s the dancers who have turned Scottish Ballet into a world-class company. In particular, French-born Sophie Martin, a stunning performer who will once again take on the lead role in Page’s production.
‘Sophie has been a rising star since my third programme,’ says Page. ‘She started playing major roles when she was just 18 and has been gradually promoted up to Soloist, because that’s one of the things I’m doing here. Dancers come in at the bottom and are promoted up through the ranks – and Sophie’s a good example of that happening successfully.’