Preview: Scottish Ballet at the International Festival

Diverse double-bill from acclaimed Canadian and French choreographers

Preview: Scottish Ballet at the International Festival

Emergence / credit: Angela Stirling

Although Scottish Ballet's International Festival show will be performed by 36 very real bodies, both works were inspired by something far less human. Crystal Pite's Emergence started life as a fascination with swarms and flocks of animals and insects in the natural world. While French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj's MC 14/22 (Ceci est mon corps) is a response to his curiosity about where we're all headed.

'When I first created the piece in 2001, there were games on the internet, parallel lives, people were getting alternative identities and having other lives in a virtual world,' says Preljocaj. 'And all that brought me to the question: how will the real body resist all this virtuality?'

Danced by twelve male performers, replicating the Last Supper, MC 14/22 captures some of the religious rituals that people endure, and is in stark contrast to Pite's large-scale work.

The Canadian dance maker observed the way groups of insects and birds move as one entity, using their individual presence to create a bigger whole – and saw a parallel in ballet.

'A dancer also contributes to the larger structure of the piece,' says Pite, 'and responds to local stimuli, like aligning their body to other dancers. So there are also these beautiful emergent structures that occur within ballet choreography.'

Scottish Ballet, Festival Theatre, 18–20 Aug, 7.30pm, £12–£32.

Scottish Ballet

  • 4 stars

Sensuality, brutality and spellbinding spectacle come together in a double bill of major contemporary dance works from Scotland’s national ballet company, radically contrasting in their dance styles, but equally powerful in their extreme emotional impact. A 38-strong corps de ballet is transformed into a swarming…


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