Berwick brings in best of ballet

Scottish Ballet
Scottish Ballet

Scottish Ballet will jetés over the border into Berwick during their October tour, to perform at The Maltings theatre on Tuesday, October 21 and Wednesday, October 22.

Their ‘Up Close’ tour gives audiences across Scotland the chance to see the dancers perform their range of six short pieces in smaller, intimate, accessible venues.

The performance spans the full spectrum of ballet from classical pointe work to contemporary dance - and features work created at the heart of Scottish Ballet exclusively by and for the company, as well as original pieces by British choreographers James Cousins and Martin Lawrance, and the richly lyrical choreography of California’s Helen Pickett. It is completed in spectacular style with a witty romp from Scotland’s most famous father-of-dance Kenneth MacMillan – one of the most influential choreographers of his generation.

“With Up Close, we present a collage of vibrant works beginning with six short, contrasting dances from today’s hottest names in choreography,” explains Scottish Ballet artistic director, Christopher Hampson.

“The second half of the programme is Kenneth MacMillan’s raucous Elite Syncopations – a fun, witty piece inspired by the social dances of the 1920s including the Charleston and Cakewalk, and with stylistic influences including the silent movie routines of Chaplin and Harold Lloyd – it’s a real carnival of colour.”

A recent graduate of London Contemporary Dance School, James Cousins’ choreographic style is quiet, contemplative and gripping. ‘Up Close’ features two of his works, Jealousy – a sexy, atmospheric and voyeuristic duet set to a haunting melody, and Still It Remains a compelling portrait of empowerment and beauty.

California’s Helen Pickett, a former dancer and now resident choreographer at Atlanta Ballet, is renowned for her energetic, poetic creations. Pickett’s Trace is inspired by a composite of Tennessee Williams’ lovers.

Tennessee Williams was also the inspiration for choreographer and Scottish Ballet’s rehearsal director Hope Muir’s’ Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen in Broken Ice – a sensual duet that fluctuates between passion and torment.

Sharp in movement, choreographer Martin Lawrance – a founding dancer of the Richard Alston Dance Company – takes the audience on a journey set to the pulsating rhythm of a heavy percussion score in Dark Full Ride. Oxymore, and Scottish Ballet dancer Sophie Laplane’s first work for her fellow dancers, forms a unique ‘duet’ of two hypnotic, club-inspired solos.

While they are in Berwick the Scottish Ballet dancers will also be holding a special workshop for The Jane Keenan School of Dance pupils on the Wednesday.

A free half-hour pre-show talk takes place at 6.30pm on Wednesday, October 22, discussing the choreography, design and music of each piece. Tickets are free, but must be reserved at the same time as booking tickets for the performance. There is also a free post-show discussion following Tuesday’s performance; no booking is necessary.