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Show me the Way to the Whisky Bar l‘l'i l‘) & Sal Ill Scp, HHSpm. (H) from 552 4207. licrl'x llillmo Ballroom Band prcxcmx .1 Incl} culmrcl moculiw ol' the _\c;u\ hem ccn lhc “urx. incorporulmg \ongx. pour}. rcmll and dccudcncc. I’ul'! H! {In .I’t'l't hurt! (in I't'llll'ul.



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64 THE LIST 15 5-39

Nl ‘.'.' ")Al 1 ' T SCdTTlSH BALLET

Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Thu 25—27 Sep; Tramway, Glasgow, Thu 2—4 Oct

For a while there, we thought we‘d lost them. In September 2001, Scottish Ballet lay flatlining on the operating table, with parliamentary enquiries, petitions and calls for resignations oozing onto the floor. Talk of the company swapping ballet for contemporary sent shockwaves through the dance world, and a death knell rang quietly in the distance. Yet in the face of adversity, chief executive, Chris Barron, held strong. His plans to turn Scottish Ballet into a new Rambert or NOT seemed like an impossible dream back then. But here we are two years later, Scottish Ballet’s life-saving transfusion is almost complete and visiting time is upon us.

Since the curtain fell on The Snowman back in January, the public have seen hide nor hair of our national ballet company. Locked inside the rehearsal room with new artistic director, Ashley Page, Scottish Ballet has undergone a reinvention Madonna would be proud of. A former Royal Ballet boy, Page has sorted out the wheat from the chaff, showing poor performers the door and drafting in hot new talent from around the world. And it‘s not just the dancers who‘ve had a shake-up - the programming has taken a considerable shot in the arm too. A radical re- working of The Nutcracker is scheduled for this Christmas. But first comes Alston, Davies, Page, Petronio, a quadruple bill that announces the company's new direction in no uncertain terms.

Page's grand plan is to have a company with excellent ballet technique, which can embrace the work of contemporary choreographers, and early indications suggest he’s well on the way. Despite the company‘s state of flux, Siobhan Davies, Richard Alston and Stephen Petronio choreographic legends one and all - have agreed to let Scottish Ballet perform their work alongside Page's own visceral piece, Cheating, Lying, Stealing. ‘They could have said no, sort your company out first and then we’ll talk,’ admits Page. ‘But because I‘m trying to do something slightly unusual - to really fuse contemporary work with classical and build a company that can do both of those things, choreographers have let us do their ballets much quicker than I thought.‘ So with the dance professionals on side, all Page has to do now is convince the audience. (Kelly Apter)

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