For the first time in over 20 years Scottish Ballet will bring Swan Lake to the stage. This world premiere adaptation is a modern and imaginative retelling of the timeless tale.
It’s the love story between Siegfried and the beautiful swan queen Odette, but he betrays her by mistakenly declaring his love for the dark seductress Odile.
Odette forgives him but the trust between them can’t be repaired.
At a bloggers’ event held at Scottish Ballet headquarters in the Tramway in Glasgow, we got behind the scenes and watched a rehearsal. Precision seems to be key. It’s not just enough to get the movements in place. The choreographer gets under the skin of every move to nail down minuscule details. A very subtle adjustment or emphasis really does make a difference even something such as “lead with the foot, not the thigh”. Meanwhile a dancer is told “I want feel like I don’t want to meet you in a dark alleyway and just now I’m feeling like I could take you”. Very subtly – the movement and emphasis changes as the dancer conveys an air of jerky, aggression and menace.
And what’s the difference between Odette and Odile, the good/bad swan? There will be many ways to convey these idiosyncrasies which will be carefully scrutinized by choreographer David Dawson – who knows exactly what he is looking for.
But apart from dance, other factors will come into play to differentiate between the two swans. One white and one black costume … and a quick change of lipstick.
Scottish Ballet have enlisted the help of NARS make-up artists, who have their work cut out to ensure that make-up stays put under the testing conditions of stage lighting, heat, sweat, close body contact with other dancers and many performances.
They also have to convey the differences and changeover from Odette and Odile, often portrayed by the same dancer, in a minimal amount of time. And a quick change of lipstick does the trick. With the make-up base in place including a classic smoky eye, Odette the white queen is luminous, natural and beautiful with a subtle nude lipstick. A quick wash with a bright red lipstick and she becomes Odile – dark, dangerous and seductive.
Swan Lake premieres at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow on April 19th, and tours thereafter. For tour dates see below.
For more information on Scottish Ballet and Swan Lake, see Scottish Ballet Website
NARS lipsticks used were: Velvet Matt Lip Pencil in Belle de Jour (nude) and Cruella (red). You can book an appointment at the NARS counter of Frasers Glasgow for advice and a make-over. For more information see Frasers Glasgow / NARS
Theatre Royal, Glasgow
Tue 19 – Sat 23 Apr 2016
Box office: 0844 871 7647
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
Wed 27 – Sat 30 Apr 2016
Box office: 01224 641122
Eden Court, Inverness
Wed 4 – Sat 7 May 2016
Box office: 01463 234234
Theatre Royal, Newcastle
Wed 11 – Sat 14 May 2016
Box office: 08448 11 21 21
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Wed 25 – Sat 28 May 2016
Box office: 0131 529 6000
Empire Theatre, Liverpool
Wed 1 – Sat 4 Jun 2016
Box office: 0151 702 7320