Scottish Ballet’s three autumn shows tell us that Christopher Hampson, the new artistic director, looks set to carry on the good work of his predecessor. The season opens with Martin Lawrance’s ‘Run For It’, which was his contribution to the London 2012 Olympics.
It is a grand carnival of strength and athleticism, but carries greater authority and steadfastness than it did in the summer. It is a complex piece, moving to calmer scenes following a frenetic opening, and despite a few minor issues, replicates the strength and grace of the athletics arena well.
The second show is a refreshed performance of a ballet from 2009, Forsyth’s Workwithinwork; back then, the piece was part of the Scottish Ballet’s 40th Anniversary celebrations. It is danced to the short, exciting guitar duals of Luciano Berio, and the piece seems to combine seemingly random themes and ideas. Figures of ballet through time appear right throughout the piece, ghosting into view through dusty, atmospheric lighting. The show is undoubtedly an awesome display of stagecraft and technical know-how, given the combination of dance and effects.
The final piece of the autumn season is ‘5 Tangos’, which is proving to be a true crowd-pleaser. Hans van Manen’s beautiful and elegant piece is at its finest during two dances in particular. Christopher Harrison’s solo performance is wonderfully elaborate and a wonderful display of poise. The second main highlight is a performance of Claire Robertson’s tango, and is a highly charged and emotional performance from six excellent male dancers.