Special Edition/iWitness

Special Edition/iWitness

Dance Base

The name of this double bill is the same as before, and Vincent E Thomas continues to meld spoken provocations about human rights with the soft strength of his dancing in iWitness, but two new choreographers have stepped up to show what potential there is in-house at Scottish Ballet, making this Special Edition a highlight of the Dance Base programme.

Eve Mutso calls her piece elEven, referring to the 11 years she has spent at Scottish Ballet, creating roles in other people's ballets. This is the first choreography she has ever shown in public and it is entirely "her", her sense of where she is now, and maybe where she looks to be in the future. The first part finds her, in pointe-shoes, at the barre. Exquisite, as one long, long leg extends, rising effortlessly - hold on! the soundscore is crackling, rasping, like metal shearing away against metal.

There's a pounding heartbeat thumping as well. We're hearing the hidden cost to Mutso's body of the elegant technique that is her hallmark.

Part Two - she's kicked off her shoes and Daniel Kirspuu (Estonian National Ballet) has powered into view, sweeping her into a bare-foot partnership where classicism gives way to a dynamic contemporary style. Is this freedom from the tyranny of balletic forms? Mutso sidesteps the simplistic, the naive, the obvious and introduces turmoil and tensions into the new direction.

Constant Vigier's Stabat Mater is powerfully ambitious: a long duet - which he dances with Chloe Reveillon (Paris Opera Ballet) - set to Vivaldi's Stabat Mater. He choreographs with a neo-classical accent, putting Reveillon on pointe throughout - a challenge more experienced dance-makers might decline.

But Vigier sustains an eloquent,thoughtfully nuanced response to the shifting emotional states in the music, depicting a life journey where a mother's love is the constant partner in joy or pain.

There is a lovely, unfussy quality to the lines of his dance, a focused economy that allows the sprightly verve of a carefree moment to speak fully of relationship ties without becoming histrionic, while the final images - both dancers extending cruciform arms - acknowledge the lyrics but, like the whole piece, without being limited by them. Impressively danced, too.

Ends August 17