19 August 2016

EIF 2016 - Scottish Ballet

Tonight - the Scottish Ballet!

We got a post-show talk with the chief executive/artistic director Christopher Hampson, who sat us all down on the floor backstage and took some questions. Aside from the usual ones about how he selected the double bill, which one is his favorite, etc. etc. we all wanted to know: "how did that ballerina get all the sellotape off?"

A little explanation: there is a bit in the first set, MC-14, where one dancer slowly tapes all another dancer's limbs to each other to stop him from moving. It was striking, powerful, and all that jazz, but we were fascinated by how quickly he removed the massive amount of tape from his bare skin. It was layered on half a mummy thick, by my estimation. And the secret, according to Christoper Hampson, is to use the cheapest brand available, because it's less sticky than the name brands. A bit of fun showbiz trivia for the ballet fans.

And also - today we have a special treat: a special jury-written review for the night's performance. Take it away, Daisy:

Review writer Daisy Lewis
"At this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, Scottish Ballet has presented a sensational performance of two halves. The first is the disturbing yet brilliant, MC 14/22 (ceci est mon corps) and the latter, Emergence - a ballet inspired by swarm intelligence in insects. 

With twelve dancers to represent the apostles, MC 14 is a work dripping with biblical symbolism. The performers are never in between brutish or vulnerable. The effect being a piece of powerful commentary on masculinity. Performed at times with cult-like synchronicity, Angelin Preljoçaj’s choreography is stunning.

A stark set of neon blue lights and cold, surgical tables gives a seedy, basement feel. Lain out like cadavers, six of the men ready for the mortuary are beaten and dominated by the other six, a violent display of human capabilities. In one scene the performers launch themselves into the arms of the others repeatedly, like a beautiful, rotating, suicidal mechanism. The music is alien and pounding or hauntingly not there at all, drawing all attention to the sounds of the body’s movements.

Emergence is a piece of thirty seven performers, often all on stage at once absorbing the audience in the visuals.  Myriad female dancers enter the stage en pointe and their lighting speed creates the illusion of a mass of scuttling critters. Whispered counts rise in volume, emulating the buzzes of flying swarms. They stop being human, convincingly consumed by the hive setting. Choreographed by Crystal Pite, everything about this performance is astonishing and just as impressive as the first one. A complete must-see!" 
- Daisy

To follow our adventures during the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival, check out more at our Instagram @JuryassicPark.