Scottish Ballet’s autumn trio of ballets - new, refreshed and old - emphatically establishes that new artistic director Christopher Hampson will be building on from the strengths of his predecessor Ashley Page.
Opening with Run For It, Martin Lawrance’s contribution to this summer’s Cultural Olympiad, the company has the confidence of a winning team. There was bravado in their ownership of this big, physical celebration of athleticism back in June, now there is authority. A few minor wobbles, perhaps, but as it moves from the frenetic opening movement into its calmer episodes, this speaks of skill and reserve - the poise and beauty of the athletics field.
Forsythe’s Workwithinwork, first performed by the company during its 40th anniversary season in 2009, spins together seemingly random fragments and themes, danced to Luciano Berio’s short educational violin duets. Teetering on the edge of comprehension, here are the ghosts of ballets past and yet to come appearing out of a crepuscular lighting scheme. The overall effect is mesmerising and leaves you in awe of the skill of all concerned.
In Hans van Manen’s 5 Tangos the company has found itself a crowd pleaser. The beauty and elegance of the whole is exemplified in two of the tangos. The first a solo from Christopher Harrison, his upper-body all ballroom formality as his lower half cuts the leaps, twists and steps of pure ballet into the mix. Second is the austere melancholy of Claire Robertson’s tango with six male dancers. It is an electric, heart-rending performance which brings pure emotion to the stage and, one suspects, new audiences for the company.