Scottish Ballet/ Bonachela Dance Company, Sadler's Wells/ Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

3.00

Rubies aren't the only gems

Forty years makes a ruby anniversary. That explains the presence of Balanchine's Rubies in this programme marking 40 years of Scottish Ballet. It's a birthday show, but very much a celebration of the company as directed by Ashley Page. It focuses on the works and choreographers that Page has added to the repertory, without reference to the company's history. The heart of the evening is William Forsythe's Workwithinwork, which draws a lucid performance from these dancers.

In Rubies, Balanchine gets jazzy with his Stravinsky score. Dancers dip into chorus-girl poses, jog and prance. Sophie Martin and Adam Blyde show romping energy as the leading couple. Martin shimmies exuberantly, undulating her torso with verve. The rest of the company are too uptight, with prim dancing from the corps. Vassilissa Levtonova, in the other soloist role, looks foursquare and respectable in Balanchine's showgirl attitudes.

The whole company is very much better in Forsythe's Workwithinwork. This work for 16 dancers has an improvisatory quality, spinning lines of movement to match the winding phrases of Berio's violin duet. A dancer steps forward from a group, taking a tentative position. Then he swoops into the dance, arching his back and moving at full stretch. Forsythe, and these dancers, follow movement, finding out where it leads them.

The delicacy of this work is unusual for Forsythe. In ballet terms, he's still best known for the slamming extremes of in the middle, somewhat elevated. Workwithinwork doesn't have that catwalk sullenness. It's fluid, inventive and clear. Scottish Ballet's dancers look absorbed in this movement, feeling every stretch and angle.

They're energetic enough in In Light and Shadow, though Krzysztof Pastor's work gives them so much less to do. It's set to bits of Bach, from the Goldberg Variations to a bouncy orchestral suite. The title comes from the contrast, with some numbers in shadow, others in full spotlight. One sequence lights the dancers from the knees down, showing off some fidgety footwork.

Pastor's choreography is full of conventional skips and jumps, making little of this music. Richard Honner conducts a lively performance from Scottish Ballet's own orchestra.

With The Land of Yes and the Land of No, his latest work for his own company, Rafael Bonachela looks at signs, starting with the idea of everyday symbols. He doesn't make them easy to read. His dancers move with taut precision, shaping sculptural phrases, but Bonachela's choreography stays somewhere between abstract and dramatic. Some minutes in, lights on the scaffolding set made the number 10 – and I wondered if they'd spelled out other messages, without my noticing.

Touring to 31 October ( www.scottish ballet.co.uk); touring to March 2010 ( www.bonacheladancecompany.com)

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Hopkins in Westworld

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rock and role: Jamie Bell's character Benjamin Grimm is transformed into 'Thing' in the film adaptation of Marvel Comics' 'Fantastic Four'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Katie Hopkins veered between sycophancy and insult in her new chat show
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
In his role as Hamlet, Benedict Cumberbatch will have to learn, and repeat night after night, around 1,480 lines

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Belgian sexologist Goedele Liekens with pupils at Hollins Technology College in Accrington
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The rapper Drake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The gaffer: Prince Philip and the future Queen in 1947
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Style icons: The Beatles on set in Austria
film
Arts and Entertainment
By Seuss! ‘What Pet Shall I Get?’ hits the bookshops this week
Books
Arts and Entertainment
The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after Enola Gray and her crew dropped the bomb
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Elliott outside his stationery store that houses a Post Office
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Film review Tom Cruise, 50, is still like a puppy in this relentless action soap opera

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Off the wall: the cast of ‘Life in Squares’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Books And it is whizzpopping!

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future