Sunday, 29 May 2016

Dawson's Swan Lake comes to Liverpool

A typically generous tweet from one of my favourite dancers whose company has also been busy with its performances of 1984 at Sadler's Wells and Jane Eyre at Richmond.   The "fabulous ballet tradition" to which Hannah Bateman refers is probably the one referred to by Graham Watts:
I am personally delighted by both promotions because Bethany Kingsley-Garner delighted me with her performance as Cinderella last December (see Scottish Ballet's Cinderella 20 Dec 2015) and Constance Devernay with hers in Hansel and Gretel.  I might add in passing that I hope Hampson's renewal of the tradition spreads to other companies because I can think of at least one female leading soloist whose elevation to "premier" (or principal) dancer I should like to see very much indeed.

Yesterday I tipped Scottish Ballet's Swan Lake in What's On Tonight 28 May 2016 even though I have not yet seen it. I felt safe in doing so for two reasons.  The first is that I have seen David Dawson's work before and trust him to do a good job (see my reviews of Empire Noire and 5 in Going Dutch 29 June 2015 and Ballet Bubbles 16 Feb 2016). The second is that I know and trust the company having followed them ever since they were in Bristol. I love them dearly and they have never disappointed me.  I can't say that of many other companies. Not even the Royal Ballet.

Dawson was commissioned to create a new Swan Lake and the synopsis suggests that is exactly what he has done. It is possible to be innovative without being gimicky and his story seems to be one that is believable and within human experience yet faithful to the classical tale.  However, it is not just Petipa that inspired Dawson. According to Scottish Ballet's website he also drew inspiration from Zbigniew Herbert's poem Study of the Object.

Does it work?  I shall find out on Friday when I see the ballet for myself at the Liverpool Empire. However, one Northern Irish ballet goer seems to think so:
And the conclusion was:

I have never met Friends Ballet NI and do not even know the author's gender but I know from his or her tweets that he or she is very knowledgeable and perceptive about ballet.  I remember tweeting to Friends Ballet NI from Leeds station last March about another company's Swan Lake which I did not like nearly as much as he or she seems to like Scottish Ballet's. If Friends Ballet NI who has had to take a flight or cross the sea to see it enjoyed last night's show, I don't think anybody who took my tip yesterday will be sharpening a claymore out for my blood for wasting his or her evening.

Changing the subject radically I do hope to see Matthew Broadbent on Friday. He used to be with Northern Ballet and he is greatly missed.  Not only is he a fine dancer as you will see from my review of Cinderella he is also something of a novelist. Check out The Boy from Colombo and The Girl from Bletchley Park (Dr Shaw Murder Mystery).

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