Scottish Ballet

Theatre Royal

You could say that the two works in this double bill are like polar opposites.

Stravinsky's Rite of Spring churns with a dark, intense drama that's made even more visceral and unrelenting in Christopher Hampson's choreography for only three dancers, while Kenneth MacMillan's Elite Syncopations fizzes over with a wit that goes merrily arm-in-arm with its ragtime score.

On-stage, however, what melds them into a bold and brilliant double-bill is the unstinting commitment from dancers who don't stop at mastering tough choreographies, they push to bring the steps alive with thought-through interpretations.

In Hampson's Rite, the relationship between two brothers - Christopher Harrison, the assertive older sibling to Constant Vigier's gentle lad - fractures into conflict when Faith (Luciana Ravizzi) comes between them.

Hers is an emblematic presence, a kind of siren-idealogy, that sees the subsequent brutality meted out by Harrison - with victimised Vigier physically bounced off the smooth white walls of the curving enclosure - resonate with disquieting political overtones. There's a real edge to the performances and it's matched by the orchestra's vivid playing of the Stravinsky.

And then, interval over, everyone - including the live band on-stage - switches into rag-time for the company's premiere of Elite Syncopations.

It's sassy, it's slick and it shimmies with delicious mischief. Painted lycra costumes are a clingingly naughty hoot, the characters who flirt and show-off are every bit as colourful, the mood is hot-to-trot and boy! how the dancers rise to the occasion.

Jamiel Laurence, clasped to Eve Mutso's bosom in the clever and hilarious 'short'n'tall' duet, is a geeky treat. Sophie Martin and Erik Cavallari are swooningly swish in Bethena (Concert Waltz), and Bethany Kingsley-Garner is hip-wigglingly cheeky in Calliope Rag.