“Be yourself, and others will find you”
“Be yourself, and others will find you”
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
Scottish fashion designer Iain MacDonald of Dead Sleekit is celebrating. He’s achieved 118% of his Kickstarter – Dead Sleekit Campaign reaching an incredible £4,786 (his target was £4,000 in four weeks), and with 140 backers, allowing him to start work on his second collection. The campaign ended on 28th February 2016.
Here’s his incredible story so far.
Who are they and what do they do?:
Dead Sleekit is the brainchild of Glasgow-based Iain MacDonald. A former Herald Scotland Graduate of the Year, Iain designs “wearable art”. He draws delicate and intricate prints by hand, which are then put together digitally and printed on a mixture of jersey and mesh. The results are wearable clothes in simple easy to wear shapes but their incredible prints make them stand out from the crowd.
Keeping everything Scottish, Iain uses local printing and his clothes are manufactured in Glasgow’s east end by a trusty band of seamstresses based at BeYonder Textiles, part of BeYonder Ltd, a great social enterprise company who call themselves ‘A Profit for Purpose Organisation‘. And with prices ranging from £30 – £80, it’s making wearable art accessible.
The dreams of millions of people have become a reality since Kickstarter’s inception. The company that consists of 135 people based in an old pencil factory in New York said:
“Since our launch, on April 28, 2009, 10 million people have backed a project, $2.2 Billion has been pledged, and 101,176 projects have been successfully funded”. Kickstarter
Iain’s success is a good example of a well thought out Kickstarter campaign. It ticked all the boxes. If you are considering Kickstarter, here’s a few things to consider.
To view Dead Sleekit’s Kickstarter campaign, see link Dead Sleekit – Kickstarter Campaign
I asked Iain to give a quick insight into Dead Sleekit.
Tell us a little bit about your background and training?
I studied and specialised in Textiles and Surface Design for fashion at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen. Prior to that I studied Graphic Design and Fine Art. I tend to use my my love for fine art and graphics in my textile designs for my clothing label. During my time at Art School I did a placement at Alexander McQueen.
Tell us about your business – Dead Sleekit, and your first and limited collection which was called Veranico.
Dead Sleekit is a clothing label that loves print and emphasizes print through each collection. Every collection has meaning behind it and is derived for love in Art, stories and music.
You’re about to start work on your second collection – what we can expect? How will it look?
The collection is inspired by American Horror Story, although this concept is quite dark it will have a pastel colour palette.
You’ve used Kickstarter as a way to fund this collection – how does this work and where does the money go / what does it help to fund?
Kickstarter helps a new business (or an existing business) to start a project which gets people involved. The aim is to raise money towards a project and also give back to people who pledge by offering exclusive rewards. We are offering bespoke scarves and dresses as well as prints and more unique gifts.
For people who donate and participate in the Kickstarter – what’s the benefits?
The benefits are backing an independent brand and watching them grow from the beginning of their development. Also, getting some exclusive rewards and one of products from the project.
You’ve exceeded your target of £4,000 to fund your collection – well done! What happens next?!
I will be working away frantically and excitedly on everyone’s rewards. It also means the new textile prints I’ve been working on will be digitally printed to fabric so I can start working on my new collection.
Meanwhile – here’s a little view of his previous collection – see below.
“Backing a project is more than just giving someone money. It’s supporting their dream to create something that they want to see exist in the world”. Kickstarter
St Luke’s is a music and arts venue based in a converted church in Glasgow’s east end. This beautifully restored Grade B listed building retains the church’s original features and includes stained glass windows and a pipe organ which dates back to the early 1800’s. Also within the venue is The Winged Ox bar & kitchen.
The venue was the perfect place to host the launch of Tenement TV’s – The People’s Film Collective – an event where music and movies come together, in unusual places.
Music came from Barrie-James O’Neill (Nightmare Boy) and The Bar Dogs. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of its release (is it really that long?!) we were treated to a screening of Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo & Juliet. And when the film reached its tragic conclusion (no spoiler alert – everyone knows how the story ends! ) with Romeo & Juliet dying on a church altar surrounded by candle light – it was fitting that we found ourselves watching the sad scene unfold in St Luke’s. Here’s a selection of photos from the night.
For more information on St Luke’s – see St Luke’s Glasgow Website
For more information on Tenement TV – see Tenement TV Website
If you want to sample the best that Scotland has to offer, you’ll find it just off a busy main road – the A84. Hence the name behind this cool establishment that is fast becoming a must-visit Scottish central belt hot spot. Think Route 66 but with glorious glens, mountains, mists and magical forests. And the location is perfect, it also services Cycle Route 7 and Rob Roy Way.
Stay overnight at the hotel or in one of the nearby cottages. Or simply take a drive out and visit. Driving from Glasgow will take you just over an hour and the nearest town is Callander.
What I loved about Mhor 84 is the relaxed vibe. All are welcome – take your dog, take the kids, even if you’ve been out cycling or hiking the hills, and looking a bit tatty – the doors are open. And there’s plenty walks and trails around this area, which is called Rob Roy Country (the grave of the famous Scottish outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor is only around two miles away located beside Balquhidder Kirk). See my other blog post Balquhidder, Rob Roy Country
Meanwhile at Mhor 84, there’s lots to enjoy – from the all day breakfast, to hearty soup, full blown lunches and dinners to hot chocolate, coffee and yummy cakes, then swill it all down with some fine wine, spirits, drams and beers. There’s no restrictions or stuffiness – choose whatever you fancy. You’ll easily sit, while away the day, and enjoy the beautiful views outside. There’s also a games room to keep kids and adults amused, which includes a pool table, TV, wi-fi, toys and board games.
Mhor 84 excels in its food. With a full menu offering lots of options and delivering some fine Scottish produce. It’s worth visiting for the food alone.
Also part of the Mhor brand is Mhor Fish – located in nearby Callander – around a 15-20 minute drive from Mhor 84. This is a top notch fish and chip shop restaurant with tasteful, contemporary decor. Serving up great quality fish encased in batter that is so light and crispy, it melts in your mouth. Delicious. And while you’re here – also check out Mhor Bread – a bakery/coffee shop, full of cakes, shortbread, varieties of bread and award-winning pies.
It’s also worth hanging around Mhor 84 on a Thursday night for “Thank Folk It’s Thursday”. The hotel becomes host to an array of musicians who pile through the doors with an assemble of instruments. Watching this scene unfold is like being part of a Marx Brothers movie. It becomes a jamming session for folk musicians – and extremely talented ones at that, featuring Ewan MacPherson of Shooglenifty. What adds to the charm is that there appears to be no set list/script or order. It’s wonderfully organic, free flowing, in the moment, and harmonious. And just when you think things can’t get any more surreal – in walks an elderly gentleman with a fascinatingly wizened face, dressed head to toe in swathes of plaid, drums on his back – and looking like he’s wandered off the set of Braveheart. When he’s not joining in on the music, he’s reciting old poetry and verse, retelling magical tales of Scottish folklore to an captivated audience. While all this is taking place, a lady sleeps in a chair, but still taps her feet to the music. A shaggy sheepdog settles for a snooze beside her, it’s not her dog, but he sees a good spot. Meanwhile all the staff, who incidentally are all charming and very friendly, never bat an eyelid. I don’t know if every Thursday night is like this, but the whole Mhor 84 package is bewitching. I can’t wait to go back.
For more information see Mhor 84 Motel Website
For more information on the surrounding area see Rob Roy Country Website
Balquhidder located Perthshire/Stirlinghire, Scotland is deep in the heart of Rob Roy country. He was a local outlaw, who was often called the Scottish Robin Hood. Baptised on 7th March 1671, he died in his house at Inverlochlarig Beg, Balquhidder on 28th December 1734. You can see his grave beside the ruins of Balquhidder Church.
It’s also said that St Angus visited Balquhidder Glen in the 8th or 9th century and identified it as a “thin place” where the boundary between Earth and Heaven was close.
Around this area you’ll find lots of walks and options to suit the adventurous to the easy ramblers but whatever path you take, you’ll feast your eyes on stunning scenery, lush green glades, towering trees, magical waterfalls and often snow topped mountains. Breathe in the fresh air, relax the mind in the quiet solitude and you can often experience all seasons in one day, as the sunshine gives way to showers and snow.
While you’re here you can also visit and stay at the excellent Mhor 84 Motel – and see my other blog post. Review of Mhor 84 Motel It’s a Scottish gem with a cool laid back vibe and a perfect pit stop.
For more information see Rob Roy Country Website