Birds of a feather

Good and evil col­lide as Am­ber Scott dances the dual lead roles in Swan Lake

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

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

con­cert

THE LAST WALTZ

RE­VIS­ITED

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