Art Review: Stravinsky

Scottish Ballet, Chor. Sir Kenneth MacMillan and Christopher Hampson, Theatre Royal, 6th – 7th October 2017

I walked into the beautiful architecture of the Theatre Royal with high expectations. I walked out into the crisp fresh air absolutely stunned. I had expected to see beautiful dancing and gorgeous costumes, only to find that the flawless combination of music, dance, theatre, and scenery touched me more profoundly than I had believed possible. By contrasting the lovely and elaborate ‘The Fairy’s Kiss’ with the dark and powerful ‘The Rite of Spring’, the Scottish Ballet’s ‘Stravinsky’ is a show that grabs your attention from the beginning and takes you on an emotional rollercoaster with a performance that never ceases to surprise.

The performance manages to come together on all levels, which is why I was fully mesmerised for the complete two hours of the show. The costumes reflected the mood of each piece. Whilst the sparklingly white elegance of the fairies contrasted perfectly with the understated pride of the villagers in the Fairy’s Kiss, the bare costumes in The Rite of Spring highlighted the power, exertion and brutality of the brother’s dance. Similarly, the change of scenery within The Fairy’s Kiss demonstrated both the warmth of the village and the cold of the fairy’s lands. Yet especially the modern scenery in The Rite of Spring was impressive: in its simplicity it managed to function both as symbol for a cage and prop for the dancers.

Yet the breathtaking dancing was undoubtedly the core that held it all together. Accompanied by an impressive orchestra, the dancers were able to portray the blight of those struck by chaos and disruption. The sensuality and control over their movements in The Fairy’s Kiss was awe-inspiring. Especially the Fairy, danced by Constance Devernay, was enrapturing.

However, The Rite of Spring stole the show for me. I have never seen physical movement so desperately violent and yet at the same time so incredibly beautiful. The Younger Brother, Constant Vigier, was astonishing and it is worth seeing the show for his performance alone.

[Kirsty Campbell]

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