Tag Archives: Scottish Ballet

Scottish Ballet, Swan Lake. Bloggers Event with NARS Make-Up, April 2016

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Picture Credit: Scottish Ballet

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.

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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.

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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
Book online

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
Wed 27 – Sat 30 Apr 2016
Box office: 01224 641122
Book online

Eden Court, Inverness
Wed 4 – Sat 7 May 2016
Box office: 01463 234234
Book online

Theatre Royal, Newcastle
Wed 11 – Sat 14 May 2016
Box office: 08448 11 21 21
Book online

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Wed 25 – Sat 28 May 2016
Box office: 0131 529 6000
Book online

Empire Theatre, Liverpool
Wed 1 – Sat 4 Jun 2016
Box office: 0151 702 7320
Book online

 

 

 

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Filed under Dance, Events, Make-Up, Scotland, Scottish Ballet, Theatre Royal, Tramway Glasgow

Scottish Ballet Winter Season 2015 – Cinderella

Scottish Ballet - Cinderella

During the festive season there’s a few things you can be sure of. John Lewis bringing you a heart-rending advert, parents searching for the latest must-have toys, shops seducing you with sequins making you buy an impractical party dress you’ll only wear once, while all your good taste disappears as soon as you pull on that novelty jumper with the flashing lights. And after a few drinks you’ll be misty-eyed, singing The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York, while hugging your pals. Yes, it’s the season to be silly.

But there is one reassuringly stylish event in the festive calendar, and it’s from Scottish Ballet, who inject some class into Christmas. Every year they pull out the stops to bring a sparkling and magical seasonal ballet to life on stage.

This year it’s the turn of one of our favourite rags-to-riches stories. Where the poor girl really does get it all, and there’s more sparkles than you can shake a fairy godmother wand at.

Cinderella is about to undergo her transformation and find her beau, assisted by a glass slipper and a little fairy magic.

But before the festive fun kicked off, the award winning company warmed up with their autumn season, and at a special bloggers’ preview event, I got behind the scenes at the Ballet’s headquarters located in Glasgow’s Tramway.

The autumn season was a double bill consisting of Elsa Canasta by Javier de Frutos and Motion of Displacement by Bryan Arias. An informal chat to the dancers revealed the challenges of working side by side on two very different ballets, each bringing a choreographer with an individual style and method. A tour of the costume department lead to the most important part of a dancer’s attire – their shoes.

Scottish Ballet

Scottish Ballet

Scottish Ballet

As a joiner needs a screwdriver, a ballet dancer needs their shoes. They are their tools of their trade. A dancer can use up to three pairs of shoes per performance, and Scottish Ballet uses over 2,000 pairs of shows during each winter season. Each pair of shoes costs £40. Therefore the company spends more than £20,000 on shoes each winter. That’s enough to keep Carrie Bradshaw and her Sex & The City girlfriends in Manolo Blahnik’s for a long time.

Scottish Ballet have cleverly launched their own Cinderella Shoe Appeal, and it’s where you can get involved by contributing to the cost of a dancer’s shoes. See more about this on their website and see the film below.

Meanwhile, this production of Cinderella, created by Christopher Hampson for the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2007, comes to Scotland for its European premiere.

The show opened at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on December 5th and remains there until the 31st. Then with a wave of a fairy godmother wand – it will cast its spell over Glasgow’s Theatre Royal in January before visiting Aberdeen and Inverness. For a list of dates and venues, see below and get a glimpse of the magic by having a peek at the official Scottish Ballet trailer.

 

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Sat 5 – Thu 31 Dec 2015
Box Office: 0131 529 6000
Book online
Full venue details

Theatre Royal, Glasgow
Tue 12 – Sat 16 Jan 2016
Box Office: 0844 871 7647
Book online
Full venue details

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
Wed 20 – Sat 23 Jan 2016
Box Office: 01224 641122
Book online
Full venue details

Eden Court, Inverness
Wed 27 – Sat 30 Jan 2016
Box Office: 01463 234 234
Book online
Full venue details

 

 

 

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Filed under Scotland, Scottish Ballet, Theatre reviews, Tramway Glasgow

Scottish Ballet – The Crucible / Ten Poems – 2014

Scottish Ballet - The Crucible /  Ten Poems

Scottish Ballet’s latest production is an interesting mix of two texts brought to life with stunning results.

UK PREMIERE

Ten Poems (2009)

A chance find by choreographer Christopher Bruce led to this ballet production. He found a CD of Richard Burton reading Dylan Thomas’s Ten Poems in his local music shop. He then created this piece in 2009 for German company Ballet Kiel. It has since been revived for this UK premiere for Scottish Ballet.

There is no music during this production, instead the words become the melody. The Ten Poems of Dylan Thomas have an easy rhythm, enhanced further when read by the distinctive voice of Burton. Thomas’s observations about life include the themes of lost innocence, nostalgia and death. We see teenagers lying back enjoying summer, young lives going to war, a hunchback who forms a relationship with an otherworldly looking woman. The dancers fuse and melt easily into each other. The grief of Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight and the imagery of And Death Shall Have No Dominion is beautifully expressed by the five male dancers who become shadowy silhouettes against a luminous backdrop.

The Crucible

Based on Arthur Miller’s 1953 play,  this chilling tale about the Salem witch trials gets its world premiere. Brooklyn-based choreographer Helen Pickett teases out the themes of suspicion, fear and ignorance. Thankfully witch trials are a thing of the past, but the themes of the play transcend and can be seen operating in other areas of today’s modern world. But for the purpose of this ballet, the themes are based around events surrounding the Salem witch-hunt of 1692, and this is a well known chilling tale of innocent people destroyed by malicious rumours.

The main antagonist of the story is a young girl, Abigail, who has an affair with John Proctor, and his wife, Elizabeth, discovers the affair.

There’s a lot of story to tell in this 40 minute ballet and the opening scene displays a gamut of people. Set in a court room, the dancers before you have to convey who they are, their relationships and how they fit into the story, almost immediately.

This is a brave production with a few surprises. One arresting element is the music. Pickett’s acting background sees her leaning towards the cinematic and the music of Bernard Hermann, which he composed for Psycho and The Devil and Daniel Webster. The score evokes a chilling horror movie. But it’s the inclusion of a dance/techno track by UK producer Jon Hopkins at a pivotal point in the play that catches your breath. It’s the sinister meeting in the woods, where things get out of hand and then accusations of witchcraft abound. The stage morphs into a rave scene, the dancing is wild, demonic, angular and spiky. The dance is disjointed and without any harmony. It’s visually stunning and exhilarating.

And if you don’t know the play, the simple monotonous, continually repeated choreographed hand movements depicting hanging leave you in no doubt of the play’s tragic ending.

Touring:

Eden Court, Inverness, 30 September until 1 October

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, 3 to 4 October

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, 7 to 8 October

 

 

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Scottish Ballet, Hansel & Gretel Bloggers Event – Blythswood Hotel, Glasgow, Dec 2013

Scottish Ballet Hansel & Gretel

Scottish Ballet eat, breathe and sleep whatever production they happen to be working on. And when Hansel & Gretel was finally unwrapped for Christmas 2013, the magical posters, videos and photographs had already been enticing us for months before the big reveal.

So while I was sitting having afternoon tea at Glasgow’s Blythswood Square Hotel at a specially arranged Scottish Ballet bloggers event and having a quick read through their souvenir brochure – it was no surprise to read the words of production designer Gary Harris, who said :

“It’s something I love doing so it’s not like working. It goes right through your life – it’s everything and makes me realise I’m so lucky to do what I do”.

It was also no surprise to find myself sipping a delicious Woodcutter’s Wife Cocktail while munching on gingerbread men and carrot cake with popping candy – all created with Hansel & Gretel in mind.

Afternoon Tea, Blythswood Hotel, Glasgow

It was a lovely way to spend a wet Saturday afternoon in Glasgow just before Christmas. Blythswood Square became the Clubhouse for The Royal Scottish Automobile Club (RSAC) from 1910. Now a hotel and spa, it’s a decadent escape from the busy city centre with its throng of shoppers.

Unlike some afternoon teas, this was a substantial one. There was plenty sandwiches, mini scones, little pink macaroons and lots of sweet treats to accompany your tea or coffee.

Afternoon Tea, Blythswood Square Hotel, Glasgow

And sometimes you just have to have a gin in the afternoon, especially if it’s dressed up as a Woodcutter’s Wife Cocktail. This concoction was made up of Martin Miller’s Gin with Amaro Nonino, fresh lemon juice, lemon curd and ginger syrup, candied peach puree and a splash of egg white. Delicious.

The hotel is also home to a gorgeous spa with a vast array of treatments as well as a thermal experience. Newly introduced to the hotel is a range of products from the Isle of Lewis called Ishga – a name derived from the Gaelic word for water.

Blythswood Square Hotel, Glasgow

Blythswood Square Hotel, Glasgow

To make us feel really pampered some of the therapists were around to give us a hand and arm massage

We also saw some video clips showing little snippets of what it takes to breathe life into a ballet production.

Scottish Ballet Website

Then it was time for a chat with some of the ballet dancers. Christopher Harrison and Constance Devernay joined us, alongside Scottish Ballet’s Marketing & Communications Editor, Christina Riley for a Q&A session. Here Constance talks about how to get into the mindset of playing a child.

With our appetites well and truly whetted, it was time to go down to the imaginary woods, and to Glasgow’s Theatre Royal to see the performance. Christopher Hampson has been Scottish Ballet’s artistic director since 2012 and this is his first full-length production for the company. It lived up to its expectations. We were met with a backdrop to the stage that was reminiscent of the works of Tim Burton.

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This version of the Brothers Grimm’s famous story comes with the characteristic Scottish Ballet twists. While there’s lots of fun and good doses of darkness, there’s no wicked stepmother. Hampson felt that evil stepmothers are not relevant to today’s world. In her place we have a school teacher who becomes a witch and everything is set in a nameless 50s/60s town. The parents are flawed but adorable and the interplay between them is very funny as they carry out rag-taggle scenes of smoking, drinking and lying on the sofa watching telly. It’s all very playful and realistic.

Meanwhile with their parents attentions diverted elsewhere, the kids are getting up to mischief. They jump over the kitchen table and chairs, clamber around and fight over toys. They are utterly convincing as children.

Scottish Ballet, Hansel & Gretel

The witch is a strong female role and after seeing Eve Mutso’s portrayal of Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, Christopher Hampson knew she was perfect. The witch goes through three incarnations, from gawky, nerdy teacher to the beautiful and terrifying enchantress who eventually unravels to become an old knife-wielding hag. The first transformation is magical, making use of a massive flowing cape, which must give the dancers some difficulty trying to avoid any tangling mishaps.

Scottish Ballet, Hansel & Gretel

The Sandman is an intriguing shadowy figure and it would have been good to see a little more of him on stage. The delightful dew drop fairies are as pretty as a fresh flurry of snowflakes floating down from a frosty blue sky.

Scottish Ballet, Hansel & Gretel, Dew Drop Fairy Costume

Scottish Ballet, Hansel & Gretel, Dew Drop Fairy Costume

The costumes are beautifully designed. The parents reappear to the children in a dream while they are lost in the woods. And unlike their usual down-at-heel selves, they have been transformed into movie stars from a golden era. The dress which the mother wears was modelled on a typical Grace Kelly look and was stunning.

Scottish Ballet, Hansel & Gretel

Designer Gary Harris has crafted a truly enchanting and breathtaking set which includes a wonderful opening to Act II complete with glowing coloured lollipops brightening the darkened woods. It’s a feast for the eyes. The spectacular setting combined with the clever lighting gives a 3D effect and you feel as if you could wander onto the stage and disappear.

Scottish Ballet, Hansel & Gretel  (Picture Credit: Andy Ross)

Scottish Ballet, Hansel & Gretel
(Picture Credit: Andy Ross)

The instrumental score comes from Engelbert Humperdinck’s 1893 opera. Using this original score some music was created specially for this production by principal conductor Richard Honner and digital audio editor Brian Prentice. Listen to an excerpt on the Scottish Ballet Website

As well as the darkness, there’s a lot of humour. Constance Devernay mentioned a food fight and it all gets messy towards the end in a macabre room filled with mayhem.

Visually stunning, beautifully and lovingly crafted – it’s easy to see how Scottish Ballet can get totally wrapped up in their work.

There’s still time to see it. It’s touring and has just started a four day stop-over in Edinburgh. For details see below or Scottish Ballet Website

EDINBURGH
8 – 11 January 2014
Festival Theatre
Box Office 0131 529 6000
BOOK ONLINE

ABERDEEN
15 – 18 January 2014
His Majesty’s Theatre
Box Office 01224 641122
BOOK ONLINE

INVERNESS
22 – 25 January 2014
Eden Court
Box Office 01463 234 234
BOOK ONLINE

NEWCASTLE
29 January – 1 February 2014
Theatre Royal
Box Office 08448 11 21 21
BOOK ONLINE

BELFAST
5 – 8 February 2014
Grand Opera House
Box Office 028 9024 1919
BOOK ONLINE

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Scottish Ballet: Highland Fling

Scottish Ballet Highland Fling Poster

Scottish Ballet Highland Fling Poster

Scottish Ballet’s Insight events offer the public the chance to learn more about the company. This event, geared around “romantic wee ballet” Highland Fling, was a chance to see costumes, chat to dancers and watch them warming up before a Saturday matinee.

Scottish Ballet Highland Fling

Scottish Ballet Highland Fling

It’s exhausting just watching the warm-up but the dancers look relaxed and happy on stage. They were just about to finish a successful debut and run at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal, before the whole show went on tour to Inverness, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

At an informal get together in the theatre, Emma Jane McHendry, one of Scottish Ballet’s education officers, ran through a synopsis of Highland Fling and the conception of the Matthew Bourne production, originally produced in 1994.

Highland Fling rehearsal

Highland Fling rehearsal

Award-winning choreographer Bourne does not give his work away lightly, although he has contributed sections to various sources in the past, this is the first time he has delivered a whole production. It’s a coup for Scottish Ballet and understandably, they are delighted.

Bourne is known for slightly off-the-wall and edgy ballets. Based on La Sylphide by Herman Severin Lovenskjold, Highland Fling was conceived after Bourne visited Scotland and became captivated by the scenery, mystery and folklore. He saw a perfect world for recreating mythical sylph and fairylike creatures. So you might think he would set it among the heather, hills and forests of the north. But no, Bourne chose a gritty and perhaps more realistic setting. This production has more in common with Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting than the magic of Brig-a-Doon.

Set in 1980s Glasgow, enter the world of night clubs, hedonistic drinking and hazy drug-fuelled evenings, and the eve of Effie and James wedding.

James collapses in a toilet in a drug/drink induced haze on his stag night and it’s his first introduction to the strange seductive sylph like creature who will overtake his life.

Scottish Ballet Highland Fling

At the talk Emma runs through the characters. They are an eclectic bunch, and easily identifiable. Emma claimed most of these characters could easily be found around the streets of Glasgow on a Saturday night.

We are shown a selection of costumes designed by Lez Brotherston. There’s lots of tartan, but contemporary and edgy, not twee. The sylph costumes in particular have a designer look to them. Pale grey graffiti style kilts and sheath dresses with raggedly ripped edging.

Scottish Ballet Highland Fling

Respect also goes to dancers Owen Thorne and Christopher Harrison, who alternate to play the part of James. They have to dance while wearing a heavy kilt and full Highland dress. Owen admitted dancing in full Highland dress is a very sweaty affair, and tricky, with most problems stemming from a bouncing sporran. Also very cute are the white sylph wings, made of foam.

As the dancers rehearse in their stripped down training gear you get the chance to appreciate their litheness, agility and strength.

Ballet seems to be moving with the times and modernizing. Something Owen admits has to be done. Like Scottish Ballet’s production A Streetcar Named Desire, Highland Fling involves a lot of acting. It’s a skill dancers are getting used to. There will always be a place for traditional ballets like Swan Lake, but nowadays dancers have more skills to draw on. It’s about being more relevant says Owen. And there are many aspects of Highland Fling, both in situations and characters that the audience will recognize and relate to.

Scottish Ballet Highland Fling

Sometimes despite the best efforts to display the nuances of a character, unexpected things get in the way, like make-up. Bethany spent ages working on her facial expressions to play the sylph by flashing lots of dramatic eyes, only to realise that no-one could see her efforts. The sylphs wear heavy make-up and their eyes are blackened.

The dancers had to really get into their roles by coming up with a whole back story of their character, right down to their likes and dislikes. As the roles are shared, with the dancers interchanging, they worked with their “other half” on character development.

Scottish Ballet Highland Fling

Owen worked with Christopher Harrison to bring James to life, who was seen as slightly different from the rest of the cast. He’s the only one without make-up. It’s as if his soul is bare and exposed under the spotlights.

James is a very human character, and therefore flawed. He may take drugs, drink, mistreat his fiancé, and succumb to temptation, but the audience still has to like him. The dancers have the job of making him likeable, despite his failings.

Like Don Draper (Jon Hamm) in Mad Men or Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) in House of Cards – characters you probably shouldn’t like, but you do.

Scottish Ballet Highland Fling

It’s a ballet that ramps up the Scottishness and the first half in particular is good fun. There’s a house adorned with tartan wallpaper, which has photos of Sean Connery, The Krankies and Annie Lennox hanging on the walls. The characters drink from cans of Irn Bru and James reads the Daily Record newspaper.

Wedding preparations are underway amid a few love complications. James’s tarot-card-reading ex Madge is also his drug dealer, Gurn is a born again Christian who wears a t-shirt saying Jesus Loves Me, but he only has eyes for Effie. Meanwhile James is obsessed with the mysterious sylph who keeps haunting him.

Scottish Ballet Highland Fling

After the merriment of the first act, the second half takes on a much darker hue. We move into seductive Sylph land, a remote wasteland with the familiar features of Glasgow’s Clydeside just visible in the distance.

Here we see the sylphs at play, they are catlike and full of impish playful movements. Like James, we are drawn into their world. But once he gets what he wants, it’s not enough and he wants more.

Don’t expect a swirling Scottish shin-dig finale because tragedy ensues leading to a dramatic and tearful conclusion.

Highland Fling is touring:

16-18 May 2013 His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

22-25 May 2013 Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

For more information see: Scottish Ballet website

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Scottish Ballet Rehearsals for The Nutcracker – January 2013

Scottish Ballet The Nutcracker

Scottish Ballet
The Nutcracker

Scottish Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker has just finished its run in Glasgow and is going on tour.

Touring for Scottish Ballet is big business. It’s a massive task transporting a whole show around the country, because everything goes – lock, stock and barrel. From the lights, costumes, stage sets, props, right down to ballet shoes, pairs of tights and spare thread for any emergency repairs.

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Rose Flower Costume

Oh, and dancers too, but they’ve got preparation to do. Every stage is a different size and shape. It’s important when you are dancer to know your space. Get it wrong and the results can be catastrophic. On stage, it all looks seamless, effortless, but there’s been hours upon hours of preparation and training. Everything has to be precise, measured and calculated but it also has to look natural and flowing.

Ballet Dancers

Ballet Dancers

Scottish Ballet’s Nutcracker is showing at Edinburgh from January 8 – 12th, thereafter moving on to Aberdeen, Inverness, Belfast and Newcastle.

Meanwhile the dancers are getting the feel for the dimensions of the Capital city’s Festival Theatre where the stage is large. The floor in Scottish Ballet’s studio at the Tramway in Glasgow has been marked out to reflect its size and some of us bloggers and social media people are lucky to have been invited by the company to watch a sequence.   It’s a Saturday morning, the studio is busy. Lots of dancers line the perimeter of the studio, which is always warm to ensure the dancers’ muscles don’t get cold. Dancers are sitting, lying down, waiting, chatting, some of them are limbering up and stretching, while some just simply move and swirl around the room.

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Scottish Ballet Dancers

Scottish Ballet Dancers at Rehearsals

We see rehearsals for the waltz of the flowers. It’s continual repetition with some pointers and tweaks from the instructor. Seeing the dancers in this setting gives you a different perspective. They are stripped back, wearing simple training gear, there’s no props, no make-up, nothing fancy, no carefully placed lighting to accentuate a foot or an ankle but somehow the effect is even more effective. And when you see the dancers this close you really appreciate how hard they work and train. Every muscle is honed and stretched. It’s a synthesis of grace, beauty, lightness, strength, determination and focus.

The Nutcracker Rehearsals

The Nutcracker Rehearsals

Scottish Ballet The Nutcracker

Scottish Ballet
The Nutcracker

Brenda Lee Grech

During a discussion we hear about the difference costumes, props tutus and even toes being en pointe can make to the dimensions of a dancer, and something a dance partner has to take into consideration during lifts.

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We also talk afterwards with principal dancers Sophie Martin and Tama Barry. We hear about their life as a dancer and it’s an interesting insight.

Sophie Martin – Scottish Ballet

Tama Barry Scottish Ballet

Tama Barry
Scottish Ballet

They both insist they are just “normal” people who meet friends and go for pizza but also remind us that they have been training for this all their lives. A ballet dancer has probably been dancing since they were around five years old and often most come to professional dancing through ballet school, leaving home from around age 13 to study full time. So partying is off limits when a production is on. Once that show finishes however, the story may be different.

They also discuss the perils of props. Tama tells that at one point he almost got stuck inside his jacket during a Nutcracker scene where it was supposed to come off quickly and it didn’t. Sometimes props fall, something is lying on stage and the dancers can’t see it because the floor is covered in smoke.

And at all times, no matter what happens, they keep the show going in a slick professional manner. Thankfully any mishaps are few and far between and dealt with so professionally that the audience are oblivious.

But sometimes the audience themselves can be a distraction. It can be difficult to see much from the stage but Tama told us about an instance when someone near the front of a crowd was wearing a visibility jacket, which they could see shining. It was making them wonder if anything had happened in the audience.

We learned about the training the dancers do and sometimes the more unusual methods of learning new skills. For instance for one show, some of the girls got some pole-dancing lessons.

In the Scottish Ballet’s production of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, which premiered last year, the dancers had extra acting training.

Tama spoke about the darkness of the characters he sometimes plays and claimed they are more fun. They are often easier because they are far removed from his own character and there’s lots of scope to really expand into the role.

Sometimes dancers have to get in character as children and Sophie discussed the difficulties of trying to reflect this through dance and expressions. Some of the more obvious emotions like happiness or anger are easy to portray but the more subtle emotions and characteristics of a child – like innocence and naivety are more of a challenge.

There’s aways a magical air around Scottish Ballet and there’s plenty magic in The Nutcracker. It’s all there, from an enchanted dolls’ house, a handsome prince, dancing flowers, snowflakes, an evil governness and plenty other scary characters too.

Dates 2013:

Jan 8 – 12, Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Jan 16 – 19, His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

Jan 23 – 26, Eden Court, Inverness

Jan 30 – Feb 2, Grand Opera House, Belfast

Feb 6 – 9, Theatre Royal, Newcastle

See: Scottish Ballet Website

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