And all that Jazz

September 29, 2013 — 41 Comments


This evening I received a fabulous surprise, tickets for the Scottish Ballet productions of “The Rite Of Spring” and “Elite Syncopations” which were being performed at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow.  I was so excited, having spent the day getting ready for the first day of college on Monday and rehearsing for my concerts next weekend this was a wonderful way to end the evening.


The choreographer, Hampson, opened the show with a talk to the audience. Telling us how he adjudicated for the ballet competition at RCS (the final is tomorrow), I loved this interaction.

The set had the appearance of a large white skateboard rink with white slopping walls that increased the performance area for the dancers.  This gave the choreographer the ability to interact with the walls as an extension of the floor area, running up and down the walls, sliding, falling, climbing and looking over the top.  One beautiful moment was when Faith slid down the wall assisted by the two male dancers which gave the impression that she was a flying angel.

The props were simply a stool and cup in one section and the dancing so powerful and aggressive that the stool broke, brilliant partner work, very fluid! Dramatic facial expressions, the younger brother held the audience alone as the other cast changed, his breathing strong to show he was afraid. There was magnificent music association – thumping shoulders with drums, brutal attacks matching the climatic crotchets of sound.  Followed by fragmented music, like hearing through a broken mirror, a distorted mixture of beauty and pain.  I could write so much more but it would make an overly long post, I really must learn to express myself more concisely 😉

In the final act where the younger brother was desperate to escape but couldn’t due to the walls that surrounded him, at each attempt to climb the walls he would fail and fall back down to the surface of the stage very dramatic, fabulous movement. The young brother danced himself to death drawing a parallel to the original production where the girl being sacrificed danced till death.

At the end of the performance, as though on a precipice, the female dancer climbs the central wall and then poised and confident she falls backward……a leap of faith…breath-taking!

Here is what the Scottish Ballet said of the dance :

Choreography: Christopher Hampson Music: Igor Stravinksy  “Intense and visceral, Christopher Hampson’s The Rite of Spring, created originally for Atlanta Ballet, is presented 100 years after the original production revolutionised the world of dance and music.  Set to Stravinsky’s exhilarating score, performed live by the full Scottish Ballet Orchestra’ who were marvellous tonight.  ‘Hampson uses three dancers – two men and a woman – to reinvent the now infamous story of remorseless human sacrifice with brutal physicality and primal energy in this challenging work that examines themes of violence, obedience and domination”

Then came the “Elite Syncopations” with its elegance and glamour.  The costumes were a complete contrast to the minimalist approach of the previous piece.  I would just love to get my hands on them 🙂  The performance left me smiling which is always a good sign.

Here is what the Scottish Ballet said of the performance :

Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan Music: Scott Joplin (and other Ragtime) “In stark contrast Kenneth MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations is an irresistible carnival of colourful characters, psychedelic body-skimming costumes and vibrant ragtime music performed live on stage by a 12-piece band. Inspired by the social dances of the 1920s, MacMillan’s dazzling characterisations are both witty and touching as the dancers flirt, dance and vie with each other for the limelight in this uplifting ballet from one of the most innovative choreographers of the 20th century.”

This was the trailer created for the performances

Sadly this was the last night of this production but if it comes to a venue near to you I would recommend it, even if you don’t normally go to the ballet, it would be a good first experience.

One of the things that is really great about studying in Glasgow is the way that all students can purchase tickets for a wide range of live events, such as the Scottish Ballet at low cost.  I made time on Friday to listen to a fabulous lunch time concert given by three time Grammy award winning saxophonist, Tony award nominee the NEA Jazz Master – Branford Marsalis at the RCS as part of their “Fridays at One” concert programme.  This is the 25th anniversary year of these lunch time concerts and it was great way to start them off.  Marsalis created an intensely intimate atmosphere in the concert hall as he played to a full house.  This was a wonderful introduction to Jazz for me and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone that wants to sample this exciting genre of music.


The lighting really set the atmosphere for the concert

One last thing to finish on 🙂  the other treat that Fresher’s week exposes you to are “Shop Lock Ins”  I tried to be good but ended up inside Lipsy and had to buy this red lounge top and bottoms.  But what do you know I entered their competition and actually won a £ 50.00 voucher, so I might go back for the turquoise one.  I wore it to the Jazz concert 😉


Don’t you just LOVE the colour.

41 responses to And all that Jazz


    Must have been lovely and a wonderful performance.


    Jazz really features the voice as an instrument


    That was great that you won a £ 50.00 voucher. Cool!


    I just wanted to say, your choice of dresses are always outstanding in your photos and all that jazz….lol.


      Hi Emery, Thank you! I do love picking out nice dresses especially when they are on the sale rail. I was trained by the best as my Mother is a expert bargain shopper, she said that she would have taken back the red lounge suit the next morning to get a refund and then used the voucher to buy it back. But guess who had already worn it LOL 🙂

      Best Wishes,


    Hello Charlotte. Thank you for this beautiful sharing. You make beautiful description of dance and music, you write beautifully and is a pleasure to read.
    You are very stylish, and your beautiful smile, you’re a real ray of sunshine.
    Take good care of yourself.


      Hi Pascal, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed my description of the dance. I love analysing dances from the set design and costume to the actual choreography. I find inspiration in the work of other Artists from a wide variety of disciples such as dance, drama and fine art ( like your work ).

      Best Wishes,


        This is very interesting. In fact your artistic approach in historical research, anlyse other artistic modes, looks on your environments are mixtures and gives the “rainbow” of your voice ….. I have the same path in creating my pictures.

        All th best for you



        Talking of rainbows, I was on the tram a couple of weeks ago with my brother on the way into Manchester. The evening was drawing in and the weather had been grey and overcast all day. Suddenly there was a break in the clouds and the most beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky, it seemed to end at the top of the tallest building in the city. Both my brother and I took pictures of it with our phones, I have sent my picture in to an amateur photography competition so fingers crossed …..


        My dear, One day, it will show me the pictures ….


        A couple of weeks is when we share our first messages?……..:-)


    Wow!!! I’ve always wanted to attend a ballet production of the Rite! And this one sounds particularly interesting too! I love how it’s been 100 years since Stravinsky composed this and it’s still relevant and shocking 🙂


      Hi Billie, It was an incredible interpretation on Hampson’s part. It seemed as fresh and exciting as it was a 100 years ago. To me it wasn’t the typical tribal sacrifice that I have read about, my interpretation of the piece was that it represented the sacrifice of pagan beliefs in a new world of modern religions.

      Best Wishes,


    Thanks for the descriptions of the balets you saw. I am visually impaired, so I can’t see the pictures, but your descriptions painted a picture with words. blessings,


      Hi Ann, I am so pleased that you found my post helpful, I enjoyed the ballet so much that I just wanted to share my experience. I found your recent post about the guide dog and it’s quick reactions very touching.

      Best wishes


    Well what an evening you had. And topped off with Branford Marsalis too. Some recommends: see Michael Powell’s film “The Red Shoes.” It features one of the choreographers of Diaghelev’s Ballet Russes, Leonid Massine. If you get a chance to hear Joshua Bell play the violin, do so. And here’s one of my favorite classical pieces:


      Hi Don, I am always on the look out for artists to listen to or performances to watch so thanks for the recommendations 🙂 The evening was a great experience and I cant wait to go again 🙂 We are very lucky as students here in Glasgow, we have access to a wide range of performance productions in great venues all at discounted prices.

      Best wishes


    It looks wonderful!


    that must have been a wonderful performance, Charlotte. Thank you for sharing.
    groetjes, Francina


      Hi Francina, the whole production was so well put together, the choreography, the staging, the costumes, the dancing and the music. I had a fabulous time and would recommend it to you if you get a chance to see it 🙂

      Best wishes


    I am so envious. Two great ballets in one evening. Have you ever seen The Green Table? You’d really enjoy that.


      Hi Hilary, I have not seen “The green Table” but a quick search on Google has really raised my curiosity about it, the pictures of the dancers look intriguing. Have you seen a production of this ballet ?

      Best wishes


    Very jealous. I’ve never seen Rite danced but the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC this year had and exhibition of costumes and sets and drawings from the Ballet Russes. Really amazing. Thanks for the clips of this. I’m sure it was awesome.


    Congratulations! I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! I so enjoy your openness and your support! Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents with the rest of us! You can check out your nomination here:


    Love love love your dress 🙂

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