The Lazarus Trick
Most people shook their heads sorrowfully when Ashley Page was appointed as Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet in 2002. The general opinion was that this once great company had lost its sense of direction after the death of the inspirational director and choreographer Peter Darrell in 1987. The Board had agonised many times about whether the company should remain as a ballet troupe or as a smaller modern dance group.
This sort of situation, familiar to dance-lovers world-wide, usually ends with money deciding all the major issues amid a climate of general artistic hand-wringing. Page was going to drink from a poisoned chalice and regret it forever. Optimists suggested that it would take a decade of hard work to turn around the fortunes of the company. Amazingly, within a year Page seemed to have succeeded in accomplishing the impossible: a motivated, enthusiastic band of dancers with support from the Board and government; and an eclectic, exciting modern repertoire developing the tastes of a new audience. He created his first full length work, “The Nutcracker” in December 2003 to draw a popular audience and is about to reveal his new “Cinderella“ this month. All ...