Birds of a feather
Good and evil collide as Amber Scott dances the dual lead roles in Swan Lake
traditions of Tchaikovsky’s legendary 19th-century ballet.
For the Baynes version, Scott has chosen a different scent — one that is calculated to help her immerse herself in the demanding dual role of Odette/Odile.
That scent is Au Lac, which translates from the French as “at the lake”.
Au Lac, an eau de toilette spray, is “a delicate floral inspired by the love affair between Italian Princess Vittoria Colonna and Futurist artist Umberto Boccioni”, says its maker’s website.
It then describes the scent’s notes of waterlily, bitter orange, fig leaves, Italic rose, jasmine, osmanthus, papyrus and cedar wood.
This is the perfume that will accompany Scott as she dances with the handsome young Prince Siegfried, as portrayed by Scott’s Australian Ballet colleague Adam Bull. Amber Scott as Odette, in Stephen Bayne’s Swan Lake; and on stage as the blackhearted Odile, with Adam Bull as Prince Siegfried. Pictures: Nicole Cleary and Jeff Busby
Scott bought a bottle of Au Lac when she first danced Odette/Odile in Baynes’ Swan Lake in 2012.
“I bought it because of its name, but I did love the smell,” Scott says. “I’ll probably have to go and buy a bottle. I think I ran out.”
In Swan Lake, it is usual for the one principal to dance the polar opposite roles of Odette and Odile. Odette is the essence of purity, a youthful princess who has been turned into a white swan by the evil sorcerer von
Their name said it all. They really were The Band: five amazing musicians who came together initially as a back-up outfit for rockabilly star Ronnie Hawkins. Then they were hand-picked by Bob Dylan for massive US and world tours as he was exploding into superstardom.
But it was only when the extraordinary talents of Rick Brian Nankervis, the host of The Last Waltz Revisited concert at the Opera House, with Olympia, who is appearing in the show.
Rothbart. Odile is von Rothbart’s black-clad and black-hearted daughter, who tricks Siegfried into pledging his love to her and not to Odette. His pledge dooms Odette to remain a swan forever. Realising his error, Siegfried drowns himself in the lake of tears.
While Scott will apply Au Lac for her first scene as Odette, Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson were allowed to shine away from the established acts they’d been backing that they really came into their own. In the late 1960s, the quintet began releasing their own records, adopted that wonderfully literal and yet selfdeprecating name and became legends. And then it was over.
Fastforward to 2012 and the long-running SBS music quiz show, RocKwiz.
Says the show’s co-host and writer, Brian Nankervis: “The RocKwiz team are united by a she doesn’t plan to reapply it during her transformation into Odile. Nor does she have a separate scent for Odile.
“I didn’t actually do that with this ballet because I don’t have time for a shower (in between scenes),” Scott says.
“I end up just having the one that I associate with Odette. For Odile, I thought it would be part of her spell that she would re-create Odette’s fragrance, to be part of the spell she casts over the prince.”
If the perfume has lost its potency by the time of Odile’s number of things — good rock’n’roll, our love of fine food and travel, and we all love The Band.
“This was really brought home when Levon Helm passed away (of throat cancer in 2012), and we were all very downhearted, but it ended up being about the same time as we were recording new episodes and so we got the band and Vika and Linda Bull to do a version of The Weight, The Band’s signature song, and we put it on at the end of a normal episode as our tribute to Levon Helm.”
Audience feedback was quick in coming, and hugely positive. And a small seed of an idea took root in Nankervis’s mind. stage entrance, so much the better, Scott says. It will still be enough to help convince the Prince he is really with Odette.
“It’s just a bit of a lingering reminder,” she says.
Scott finds that perfumes help her to mentally and emotionally differentiate between different versions of Swan Lake.
Dancing the double role of Odette and the seductive and cunning Odile is a challenge, but Scott has identified moments in the ballet that allow her some quiet time to
You see, The Band hadn’t gone quietly. When they broke up in 1976, they held a farewell show in a San Francisco ballroom, with a few of their friends to join them. Among them were Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton and Neil Diamond, as well as many others. The show was shot by filmmaker Martin Scorsese and released as the concert documentary The Last Waltz, now a classic of the rock movie canon.
Says Nankervis: “We’re always looking for new things to do, and when we’re on tour we invariably end up in someone’s hotel room and after we’ve analysed the show we’ve just
THE LAST WALTZ