September 20, 2008

Going Ga-Ga for Radiohead


IT'S difficult to fathom how the timeless grace of Marlene Dietrich dovetails with the angular rock of Radiohead, but somehow Scottish Ballet's latest Autumn Season provided the seamless bridge between the contemporary and classic.

All eyes were on the world premiere of artistic director Ashley Page's latest ensemble piece, Pennies From Heaven, a pleasing snapshot of 1930s society set to a crackling soundtrack of recorded music.

Filmic stories unfolded against the backdrop of a hotel lobby, each coupling of dancers gliding through brief encounters of courtship, seduction and even a lovers' tiff.

The bubbling vintage fizz was in stark contrast to the opening piece set to Radiohead's music - Ride the Beast is the Edinburgh International Festival sensation, staged for the fi rst time in Glasgow.

The intensity and spikiness of Stephen Petronio's choreography showed off the dancers' full flight range to great effect.

If Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke ever imagined his band's teen angst anthem Creep would become a balletic accompaniment, he couldn't be more pleased with the emotion and vigour poured into it by the Glasgow-based company.

The two pieces sandwiched a more abstract, experimental piece in the shape of Trisha Brown's contemporary choreography in For MG: The Movie, with dancers in androgenous nude bodysuits playing out a barefoot locomotion.

Runs until tomorrow, Theatre Royal. Visitors can tour the Scottish Ballet studios as part of Doors Open Day tomorrow.

Originally published by Newsquest Media Group.

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