For years, the ballet world has concerned itself with staying alive; with finding ways to stay relevant for modern audiences. Well, Scottish Ballet has found the elixir of life. Yes, like other large ballet companies, it is proffering the work of up-and-coming choreographers on stage – but if it’s the hard to reach demographics you’re after, in terms of both age and geography, then digital is the answer.
Scottish Ballet: Digital Season *****
Building on the success of its inaugural Digital Season in 2017, Scottish Ballet has upped its game, given a platform to more talent working across different artforms, and added diversity. Released over a period of four weeks, this new season features short films, new choreography and live streaming – all of which you can watch on your smartphone on the way to work, on a laptop over coffee, or via your tablet from your sofa. The Digital Season is the definition of accessible.
But what of the work? It’s glorious, punchy and exciting. Shot in some of Glasgow’s less salubrious locations (under the Kingston Bridge/by the M8), Frontiers finds three male and three female dancers fast-cut as they move, blurring the boundaries of gender and identity. The wonderfully surreal Tremble, set in a vast dining room filled with 26 dancers, is propelled by an infectious energy (and jelly). Meanwhile, the triptych of works by Scottish Ballet’s digital artist in residence, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom gives us not just the gift of technological advancements, but a chance to view these talented dancers and masterful choreography up-close.