Reviewed by Deborah Mackenzie
Scottish Ballet are celebrating their 50th birthday; opening a fabulous double bill with a world premiere by Resident Choreographer Sophie LaPlane,’Dextera’, alongside ‘Elite Syncopations’ choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan; working in collaboration with ‘Scottish Ballet Orchestra’.
Sophie LaPlane’s Dextera fifth and latest work is an ode to creators and their hands, paying attribute to artistic vision which involves hard physical graft. This composition is danced to a selection of Mozart’s excerpts from his 25th Symphony to Cherubino’s Aria from the Magic Flute.
My interpretation of the story is a scene from a marionette workshop and the workers, all wearing orange gloves. Dance partners carry and manipulate stiff, marionette-like bodies, partnerships did not stick to the normal male and female together, we had male and male, female and female partners. Each lift and hold tells the story, there are bold energetic images that make you laugh till the final slap dance. This stunning work from Sophie LaPlane deserves a standing ovation and left me reliving scenes in my mind.
After the interval was Elite Syncopations by Kenneth MacMillan, which first premiered by the Royal Ballet in 1974. It is a burst of colour, with a carnival dance involving all the dances on stage as well as the band. A fast-stylish choreography inspired by social dances of the 1920s, like the Charleston, is fun, witty and flirtatious as the dances vie with each other for the limelight.
Soloist Jamiel Laurence captured my eye in his role without a partner and how he weaved his way to get the girl. The dance with Grace Horler was remarkable how they make extremely difficult moves look smooth and simple.
What a wonderful way to celebrate 50 years with these uplifting, fun and party like performances. We sat captivated as we were drawn into both performances celebrating along with the Scottish Ballet.
Tickets cost from £12 to £32.50 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Scottish Ballet: Spring! is at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow from 4-6 April 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/venues/theatre-royal-glasgow or call the box office on 0844 871 7647.
Theatre Royal, 282 Hope Street, Glasgow, G2 3QA | 0844 871 7647