New things to try in 2012: See a Ballet

12 January 2012

So, last night I attended my very first ballet, hosted by the Scottish Ballet theatre dance company, at the Festival Theatre.
I was desperate to see their production of Alice last year but forgot all about it, only managing to watch the live stream of the dancers' warm-up and backstage videos in April. Alice is literally my favourite story in the world (as you can kinda tell by the quote I've had for a few years at the top right-hand side of this blog..) but hey-ho!

But this time I had time to go before I got swept away in Uni work, and won tickets to the Opening Night in Edinburgh through EIF's Twitter competition so I wasn't gonna pass it up! Turned out we had seats in the dress circle, which gave us a really good view of everything. Brilliant.

I'm sure the majority of you know the story of Sleeping Beauty well, but I'll give a quick run-down of the way in which the story was told through the ballet.

The ballet began in 1830 with the birth & Christening of Princess Aurora.
Carabosse, the wicked fairy (and twin sister of the good Lilac Fairy) was incensed by her lack of invitation and lifelong anger at being placed second to her sister. She cast a spell which would see Aurora, on her sixteenth birthday, prick her finger and die.
Her sister, the Lilac Fairy, manages to soften the spell, meaning that Aurora will simply fall into a 100 year slumber.
After this indeed happens, the scene is cut to 1946, where Aurora's parents - the King and Queen - are adjusting to life in a very different world, after also falling into hibernation during their daughter's slumber.
A Prince discovers Aurora, falls in love with her and gives her the kiss which breathes life into her once more.
Carabosse is forgiven, after the King & Queen find comfort in their daughter's happiness.

...and they all live happily ever after! The End. (Ahem..)

It was fantastically portrayed through dance, and it amazed me the way in which dancers can bring character to individual roles. I'm no dance expert AT ALL (flat-footed with no co-ordination whatsoever), but I could definitely see the differences. There was a clear contrast in style between the evil and the good.
Scottish Ballet are reknowned for being what choreographer Ashley Page describes as "a vibrant and adventurous classically-based company which approaches things from a different angle, inviting audiences to look afresh at these fairytales". This is what drew me in!
The costumes were beautiful and so intricate & sparkly. According to my programme, they were designed by Antony McDonald & Michelle May. Props to those guys! And also to Ashley Page. I can't believe someone could create something so magical!

If you didn't manage to catch the ballet in Glasgow, the tour finishes its run in Edinburgh on Saturday 14th January, continuing on to Aberdeen, Inverness and finally Newcastle in early February. Don't miss it!
Students & U26's can receive £10 tickets on the day in Edinburgh & Aberdeen - so an extra bonus!
I'm definitely gonna hit up A Streetcar Named Desire in April. Loved studying that story at school.

Full info available at Scottish Ballet.

Ps - if all else fails, the male dancers are surprisingly hot!


1 comment:

  1. Wow this looks amazing. I've never been to a ballet - I've seen modern dance productions, and even swan lake on ice, but never a real ballet. Looks like you picked a good one! x


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