Nutcracker cast get their glitz on
It’s nearly time for curtain-up on Scottish Ballet’s production of that magical festive classic, The Nutcracker. And with the Christmas party season approaching, who better to model the most glamorous evening wear than the show’s principal dancers. As our fashion team perform their own magical transformation on Sophie Martin and Barnaby Rook Bishop, Barry Didcock slips behind the scenes to talk to them about clothes, costumes and curtain-calls
IN a cavernous workshop in the bowels of Scottish Ballet’s Glasgow headquarters, 22-yearold dancer Barnaby Rook Bishop is standing splay-footed before an enormous curtain of baubles in purple, silver and gold. Some are the size of footballs, some the size of the tangerines you might find in the toe of your stocking after Santa has been – an appropriate simile given that this backdrop forms part of the company’s upcoming Christmas show, The Nutcracker, a seasonal favourite and about as festive and kid-friendly as the traditional ballet repertoire gets.
Later, Rook Bishop will be joined on the makeshift stage by his French colleague, principal dancer Sophie Martin, for a Sunday Herald fashion shoot which will see the pair dressed in glamorous evening wear. But right now he’s on his own and in his decidedly undressy rehearsal garb of T-shirt, checked over-shirt and jogging bottoms. Even so, it’s him that catches the eye rather than the glittering backdrop: specifically, the garish, ankle-high slipperboots he’s wearing.
Made from a cushioned material of metallic gold, they’re topped with red and yellow which, he tells me (because I can’t not ask) are some of the colours of the Romanian flag. And no, this isn’t part of his costume: they were a present from Danish choreographer and ballet star Johan Kobborg, former director of the Romanian National Ballet Company in Bucharest, which Rook Bishop joined as an 18-year-old and where he cut his teeth until joining Scottish Ballet in 2016. So does he wear his blingtastic baffies around the house? “No,” he laughs. “I keep these for the studio”.
Studio wear is one thing, but for