Sunday, 18 February 2018

At Last - Sylphs in Gurn and Effie Land: Scottish Ballet's Tour of the Highlands and Islands

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As regular readers know, I love La Sylphide.  I have been hinting like mad to Gillian Barton and Daniel Job to stage that ballet for their students since 2013 for they are located in the Highlands where the ballet is set (see Taynuilt - where better to create ballet  31 Aug 2013).  They considered it but for one reason or another decided against it. Instead, they staged that other great romantic ballet, Giselle, which has proved to be a howling success (see A Very Special Giselle 4 Feb 2018 and Ballet West Amplified 11 Feb 2018). 

Last year Central School of Ballet, which, like Ballet West, tours the country to give its students stage experience, performed a large part of Sir Matthew Bourne's "romantic wee ballet", Highland Fling, as part of its show.  I caught it at Leeds and blogged about it in Triumphant on 1 May 2017. Highland Fling is by no means the same as La Sylphide but it does keep Løvenskiold's music which to my mind is the best bit of the ballet.

This Spring Scottish Ballet are taking Highland Fling on tour to the Highlands and islands and one of their stops will be Atlantis Leisure in Oban which is the nearest town of any size to Taynuilt.  The show takes place on 29 and 30 April and as there is a ballet school just down the road there is likely to be a run on the tickets. Needless to say, I bagged mine early.

While I am in Scotland I shall attend the 50th Anniversary Show of the St Andrews Dance Society which I helped to found (see Ballet at University 27 Feb 2017).  That will take place at the Byre in St Andrews on the 30 April and 1 May 2018. The Dance Soc used to have a link with Scottish Ballet through Professor Steer and to a much lesser extent yours truly.  It was I who helped to bring Scottish Theatre Ballet to the Buchanan on 15 Feb 1970 as I was on the steering committee of the first St Andrews Arts Festival. I will try to find out whether there is still a link between Dance Soc and Scottish Ballet and if it is broken do what I can to restore it.  It would also be good to link Scotland's oldest degree awarding institution with Ballet West which is one of the newest.

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