This article is from 2006.
Having finally returned to the Edinburgh International Festival in 2005, after a 20-year hiatus, Scottish Ballet made such a good impression they’ve been asked back. Last time they danced an entire programme by George Balanchine - the man no dancer can fake. If you can’t cut it, it shows. This year, the company has added a few more flavours to the menu.
The programme features four works which fall squarely into two camps - New York and Amsterdam. Balanchine’s back, this time with Greek ballet Agon, along with fellow New York City Ballet choreographer, Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun. While the European influence comes from Hans van Manen and Krzysztof Pastor, both of whom spent many years at Dutch National Ballet.
Van Manen’s Two Pieces For Het and Pastor’s In Light and Shadow were created specifically for the DNB dancers, but Pastor has been busy in Glasgow moulding his large-scale work to fit the entire Scottish Ballet company. Joining them at the Playhouse will be the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, delivering a programme of sumptuous music by Stravinsky, Debussy, Arvo Part and J. S. Bach.
Scottish Ballet’s artistic director, Ashley Page has a policy of bringing in strong guest teachers to work with the company, something which has paid dividends in recent years. The dancers’ impressive technique seems to grow by the day, and if their Spring Tour was anything to go by, this year’s Festival show may well top their much feted 2005 return. (Kelly Apter)
Edinburgh Playhouse, 473 2000, Fri 18 & Sat 19 Aug, 7.30pm; Sun 20 Aug, 4pm, £7.50-£40.