On Saturday night, my friend Sarah and I were invited to the opening night of Scottish Ballet's 'Highland Fling'... 'a Romantic Wee Ballet'. I wasn't too sure what to expect, other than what I had watched of the promotional video featured below and the promise from Ann that the performance would be 'wicked in more ways than one'...safe to say I was intrigued!
'Highland Fling' is Matthew Bourne's modern reworking of the classic, romantic ballet 'La Sylphide', and of all the Scottish Ballet productions I have seen pushed my expectations further than I ever thought. I was caught slightly unaware when I realised that the opening set of 'Highland Fling' was a dingy Glaswegian club toilet, setting the scene for the first act.
Packed full of Scottish references (tartan wallpaper, Sean Connery portraits, cans of McEwan's Export to name a few) the first half of 'Highland Fling' has just the right amount of cheekiness, comedy and drama (Forget love triangles, 'Highland Fling' has a love square!). While the first is predominantly character driven, helped along with the use of recognisable cultural references, the second act moves into a beautiful but haunting piece of choreography, danced to a backdrop of an abandoned car and the distant Finnieston Crane.
Wonderfully danced and beautifully told, 'Highland Fling' presents a ballet that is extremely accessible to a modern audience. While retaining all of the mysterious, mystical elements of 'La Sylphide', 'Highland Fling' pushes forward a ballet that presents extremely modern themes and should not be missed. You can still catch 'Highland Fling' in Glasgow until the 4th of May before the production goes on tour to Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness. You can find all of the relevant information here.