“I…just don’t get it.” The protests of the boyfriend as we watched the preview videos for Scottish ballets Autumn season. “I just can’t think of anything more boring that dance set to 1930’s pop songs.” And so by some miracle I coaxed a disgruntled boy to the ballet. And of course he enjoyed it. Of course he did.
The Scottish Ballet‘s Autumn season features a double bill Jorma Elo’s Kings 2 End and the 1930’s inspired Pennies from Heaven. Now I love the ballet but the opener Kings 2 End was not really to my tastes. It was beautiful, stripped back infusion of modern dance and ballet but for me I prefer the whole costume and the narrative and I suppose the spectacle of theatre. Kings 2 End was still incredibly impressive to watch (“Paul he just picked her up with his NECK”) and the boy was delighted to hear music from one of his favourite composers – Steve Reich’s Double Sextet sound tracking Kings 2 End along with some Mozart. While I may not have necessarily chosen this as the piece to introduce the boy to ballet he came out with a completely refreshed perspective. Partially down to Reich, but for the most part – the ability and strength of the dancers. “Like oxen Claire….” he muttered in to his glass of wine engrossed in the programme. “The control….” and other murmurings would escape him during the interval. Pennies from Heaven was definitely more my style. Gorgeous 1930’s costumes and pop songs and strong characters and lots of tiny little love self contained love stories set in a hotel bar. Pennies from Heaven was sensual,playful and bittersweet and lends itself a bit more to my love of costume and drama. The titular piece Pennies from Heaven was gorgeous and the danced between the bell hop and cigarette girl was fun and probably my favourite part of the evening. What I loved was that there was always something going on in the background, it felt very rich. This was the part the boy was dreading and once again he came out pleasantly surprised at how much he enjoyed it, his observations being more “I wish they had played the whole of Minnie the Moocher” and a disgruntled comment about cowboys. “It’s just not a realistic portrayal….”
It was a fantastic night and many thanks to Ann & Heather from Scottish ballet for inviting us. We had a lovely time, and I’d pretty much recommend going to anyone. Tickets are priced from £6-24.50 AND if you are under 26, a student or unwaged you can grab a wee ticket for £10 if you buy tickets from noon on the day. With a Streetcar named Desire and Sleeping Beauty on the horizon it’s never been a better time to get in to ballet.