Dance review: The Rite of Spring

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review: The Rite of Spring at Festival Theatre, reviewed by Kelly Apter

All weekend at Scottish Ballet’s Dance Odysseys, we’ve been hearing Christopher Hampson talk ebulliently about the work of other choreographers. But tonight was his chance to shine – and boy did he.
Created in 2011 for Atlanta Ballet, The Rite of Spring uses Stravinsky’s score of the same name to devastating effect. Hampson has re-set the work on his own dancers, with Christopher Harrison, Constant Vigier and Luciana Ravizzi stepping into the roles as if they were born to play them.

The work opens with two brothers exploring their place in each other’s lives and their own beliefs. Into this claustrophobic world a woman arrives – a metaphorical symbol of faith, over which the brothers battle.
After a moment of quiet contemplation from the younger brother, everything changes. Harrison re-emerges no longer as a blood relation, but a soldier in army fatigues, equipped with an interrogation stool, black hood and an aggressive intent made all the more chilling by his clear backing from authority.

All those who saw Hampson’s beautiful Silhouette on Friday night will be wondering how this exciting, dramatic and disturbing work could possibly come from the same mind. But therein lies the mark of a great choreographer and, happily, he’s running our national ballet company.

Originally published in The Scotsman

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