Collaborative, with a combination of multi-media platforms the Scottish Ballet took us on a physical journey tonight, concluding a month-long online programme by the Scottish Ballet, highlighting the use and ways in which we exploit online platforms. Beginning with a screening of the trilogy of films that outline the contemporary aspects of the Scottish Ballet, and then moving more back into traditional formats, all within the space of Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery, it was a relief to be in the company of dancers and musicians, those of which brought those films to life.
The films begin with the impressive Tremble, which includes music by SAY award winner, Anna Meredith, her Nautilus offering the pulsating and rhythmic palette of sound for dancers to serve wobbling jelly to. Frontiers was next, choreographed by San Francisco Ballet dancer Myles Thatcher and directed by Scottish Ballet’s inhouse filmmaker Eve McConnachie, and this offers an exploration of outdated gender norms inherent in the classical ballet industry, incorporating a street and hip-hop approach to the dance form. This was all to the music of Lost Map Records’ Callum Easter, who recently released Here or Nowhere, the track Make A Move underscoring McConnachie’s work. Last but by no means least was The Fates, which was perhaps more predictable in setting and style, set in a studio, ballet dancers creating interesting contours guided by bending geometric lines. A short film with choreography by Nicholas Shoesmith and a string score by composer Ben Chatwin, it showcased the work that the Scottish Ballet’s first digital resident, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom has been mapping.
Curtailing the evening of an entirely digital showcase, we were led upstairs to a intermittent and jerky flow of entertainment both in the shape of dance from the Scottish Ballet and also poetry from Glasgow-based Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award winner, Rhona Warwick Paterson. After witnessing rehearsals, the poet gave responses to their shapes and endurance, which was the very flavour of that performed to us this evening.
Dancers Roseanna Leney, Amy McEntee and Rishan Benjamin showcase the professionalism of their work, and the innovative and collaborative approaches to dance against a backdrop of white and yellow roses. The performances are short, but stunning and outline the contemporary approaches taken with Scottish Ballet.
Concluding the evening with a short performance of Callum Easter’s music, that belting vocal and menacing accordion, it really hit home the collaborative and multi-media format of Scottish Ballet’s output over this last month or so. And all within the confines of the Fruitmarket Gallery, the word partnership has many warming capabilities.