Behind the Scenes at The Australian Ballet with Amber Scott
The life of a principal ballerina appears to be a glamorous mixture of curtain calls, gorgeous bunches of roses and autographs at stage door. While that it is certainly an enjoyable aspect of her life, Australian Ballet principal artist Amber Scott reveals to The Carousel that the day-to-day reality is a little more pedestrian.
Amber has been performing with The Australian Ballet since 2001 but her life as a dancer began when she was just four years old. Her dedicated family moved with her from Brisbane to Melbourne when she was accepted into The Australian Ballet School at 11 years of age.
Since joining the main company in 2001, Amber’s career has taken her all over the world, from New York to Paris, London and Tokyo. Popular with audiences and critics alike, she is renowned for her artistry and known for her love of story ballets including Swan Lake, Onegin and Manon, although she is equally watchable in contemporary ballets such as Wayne McGregor’s Chroma (currently on stage in Melbourne) and Stephen Page’sRites, a co-production with Bangarra Dance Theatre.
In our interview series, Jane Albert goes behind the scenes with Amber to explore a day in the life of a professional ballerina. From her meals to daily class, rehearsals and pre-show preparation, there is little down time. The hard work, aching muscles and constant rehabilitation have one unexpected upside however: a sleep in!
Amber also takes us into the mysterious world of the ballerina’s most important tool: the pointe shoe. Despite each pair being custom-made to suit a ballerina’s particular needs and specifications, Amber still spends around 45 minutes a day preparing her pointe shoes for the evening’s performance. You may be surprised to hear just how long a pair of pointe shoes lasts.
It’s ballet, but not as you know it. The Australian Ballet’s 2014 production features a dazzling new contemporary dance work that marries one of the hottest stars of the international choreographic scene with one of the go-to names of rock. Royal Ballet resident choreographer Wayne McGregor has choreographed Chroma to the music of The White Stripes’ Jack White III in a composition by Joby Talbot. Even the set oozes sophistication: a sleek minimalist white box designed by architect John Pawson. This lightning quick, sexy, exhilarating and demanding new ballet seems to use every muscle of the dancers’ bodies, and is thrilling to watch. Little wonder this multi-award winning British choreographer and director works across dance, theatre, film, the visual arts, music, science and technology. This is one production you won’t want to miss.
All performance vision and photographs courtesy of The Australian Ballet.
Swan Lake – Stephen Baynes
Suite en Blanc – Serge Lifar
After the Rain – Christopher Wheeldon
Molto Vivace – Stephen Baynes
Choreography: Wayne McGregor
Restager: Antoine Vereeken
Music: Joby Talbot and Jack White III
Costume design: Moritz Junge
Set design: John Pawson
Lighting design: Lucy Carter
Reproduced for The Australian Ballet by Simon Bennison