Hot on the heels of a widely acclaimed premiere with the Royal Ballet, Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite is back in the laudatory limelight, this time with an Olivier Award, won for her 2015 dance theatre work “Betroffenheit,” co-created with Jonathon Young of Electric Company Theatre.
Sturm und Drang—2017 saw the dance world roiling with it, both on and off the stage. Israel’s culture minister hit the headlines for refusing arts funding to performances involving nudity; Palestinian-Syrian refugee Ahmad Joudeh made a prominent debut with the Dutch National Ballet after fleeing death threats from Islamic State; discord boiled over in Moscow as the director of the Bolshoi’s long-awaited “Nureyev” was placed under house arrest on what many suspect are trumped-up charges intended to punish him for celebrating the life of a gay man on stage—a conspicuous challenge to Putin’s ban on so-called ‘homosexual propaganda.’
On the back of a US tour of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s imaginative reworking of “A Streetcar Named Desire” comes another bold showing from Scottish Ballet: a double bill with works from Crystal Pite and Angelin Preljoçaj. It’s an edgy turn for the company, and some slick, focused displays of dance arise from it, particularly in Pite’s “Emergence,” created in 2009 for National Ballet of Canada and acquired by Scottish Ballet last year.