Tag Archives: Scottish Ballet

NEWS: Scottish Ballet announce 2018 Season

Scottish Ballet have announced a season of  familiar favourites and new adventures.

Christopher Hampson, CEO/Artistic Director, Scottish Ballet comments: 

“We are thrilled to announce our exciting plans for the 2018 season, which includes taking a full scale production – Matthew Bourne’s  Highland Fling – to the Scottish Islands for the first time, and the company debuting in Macau, performing Hansel and Gretel as part of our Asian tour. In the summer we will work with YDance on a major intergenerational dance event as part of the Euro Champs festival and the Year of Young People, and in winter our classic Cinderella will return due to popular demand.”

Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling Dances its way to the Scottish Islands

Scottish Ballet dancers and touring team will be taking Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling across Shetland, Orkney and Lewis throughout April and May 2018.

This is the first time Scottish Ballet has toured a full-scale production to such remote locations and ensures performances of this production can be enjoyed by local communities across Scotland.

Affectionately known as a romantic wee ballet, Highland Fling was originally produced in 1994 by Olivier Award-winner Matthew Bourne.  Presented exclusively by Scottish Ballet, Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling is a wonderfully imaginative re-working of the classic romantic ballet La Sylphide with a wickedly wry Scots twist and hilarity mixed with classical ballet.  In addition, Scottish Ballet is the only company to be given the rights to recreate any of Matthew Bourne’s ground-breaking and contemporary works.

Scottish Ballet Flying High With Loganair

Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling Tour Dates:

  • Theatre Royal, Glasgow 4-7 April 2018


  • Festival Theatre, Edinburgh 10-14 April 2018


  • Clickimin Main Hall, Lerwick 21-22 April 2018


  • Pickaquoy Centre, Kirkwall 25 – 26 April 2018


  • Atlantis Leisure, Oban 29-30 April 2018


  • Lewis Sports Centre, Stornoway 3-4 May 2018

Running time: The performance lasts approximates 1 hour 35 min, including one 20 minute interval.  Due to scenes of an adult nature, age recommendation: 14yrs+

International Asian Tour – Christopher Hampson’s Hansel & Gretel debuts in Macao

This will be the first time Christopher Hampson’s Hansel & Gretel has been performed by Scottish Ballet outside of the UK and the company is delighted to make its debut in Macau.

Inspired by the Grimm Brother’s famous fairy tale, in a small town, all the children have disappeared. Plucky Hansel and Gretel embark on an exciting adventure, traveling deep into the enchanted forest to find their friends.  A carousel of delicious treats from start to finish, Hansel & Gretel is full to the brim with magic and wit, with toys that come to life and a beautiful, bewitching ballerina who is not at all what she seems.

Scottish Ballet participates in Glasgow 2018 Euro Champs

Scottish Ballet is proud to be part of this intergenerational dance festival that will be delivered with YDance and will involve community dancers aged from 15 years and above.  Both Scottish Ballet’s Youth Exchange and Elders will be involved alongside National Youth Dance Scotland.

Scottish Ballet will also be working closely with community dancers drawn from partnering Local Authority areas and will showcase the best in intergenerational community dance.  It will take place in Glasgow during Championships in this time and will be funded by Glasgow 2018 European Championships Festival Fund 2018

Winter Season 2018/2019

Christopher Hampson’s classic Cinderella returns by popular demand

Christopher Hampson’s Cinderella returns once more as part of our Winter Season 2018/2019.  When Cinderella’s father remarries, bringing a wicked stepmother and two nasty stepsisters, her future seems bleaker than ever. Yet, while the course of true love never did run smooth, romance blossoms when she finally meets her prince.

Originally created for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Christopher Hampson will present this timeless, rags-to-riches romance. Luxurious costumes and extravagant sets create a glittering fantasy world in this ravishing interpretation of Cinderella.  The Scottish Ballet Orchestra accompanies live, performing the world famous Prokofiev score.

NEWS: Scottish Ballet steps out to become dementia friendly

Scottish Ballet has been awarded £150,000 by the Life Changes Trust to enable them to become dementia friendly.  They will use the funding to set up a programme of dementia friendly dance based activities for people living with dementia, their carers and families across Scotland, and raise awareness about the condition.

Central to the programme will be weekly dementia friendly intergenerational dance classes, designed to be fun, accessible and inclusive.  People with dementia and carers who participate in these classes will also be invited to attend performances, visit rehearsals and meet the dancers themselves.

Activities will take place in Glasgow, where Scottish Ballet is based, in dance studio space donated by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  They will also take activities to cities where they tour, such as Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Dance professionals and Scottish Ballet staff will also be given dementia-specific training, so that further activities can be offered to those who are unable to participate fully in the programme, such as those living in care homes.

The project builds on Scottish Ballet’s successful ‘Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland’ project.

The funding is part of a second phase of Dementia Friendly Communities investment from Scottish charity, the Life Changes Trust.  The Trust invested £3 million in 14 dementia friendly communities in 2015, the success of which has led to a further investment of £2 million.

Dementia Friendly Communities are places where people affected by dementia, including carers and family members, are included and supported to do the things that matter to them. They also help empower those whose lives are affected by dementia so that they remain integrated in society, live as independently as possible and participate actively in decisions that affect their lives.

Some dementia friendly communities are geographical communities, relating to a specific location like those already established in West Dunbartonshire or Kirriemuir. Others are communities of interest that bring people together because they are interested in similar activities, for example, sport, art, walking outdoors or dance.

Anna Buchanan, Director of the Life Changes Trust dementia programme said, “By funding a diverse range of dementia friendly communities throughout Scotland, we are developing a deeper understanding of how to meet the needs of people with dementia and their families. A diagnosis of dementia can lead to social exclusion and isolation, but dementia friendly communities can help prevent this by keeping people included and supported. It is wonderful to welcome a new and vibrant initiative through the Scottish Ballet dance community.  This work will make dance more accessible, will raise awareness about dementia, and will explore the ways in which dance can contribute to the well-being of people with dementia and their families. We look forward to learning a lot from this project.”

Catherine Cassidy, Director of Education at Scottish Ballet said: “Scottish Ballet has over 15 years of experience of leading ballet and creative dance sessions for older adults, including two weekly Dance for Parkinson’s Classes. We are absolutely delighted that, through our new partnership with the Life Changes Trust, we will be able to build on our creative health programme by introducing this exciting new dance and ballet project for those living with Dementia and their families.”


Scottish Ballet is pleased to announce a series of dancer promotions and new appointments, made by Scottish Ballet CEO / Artistic Director Christopher Hampson.


Bethany Kingsley-Garner and Constance Devernay have been promoted to Principal dancers. Bethany first joined Scottish Ballet in 2007 and was promoted to Soloist in 2013. Constance has been with Scottish Ballet since autumn 2008 as a guest artist, before joining the Company permanently in June 2009. She was promoted to Soloist in 2014.

Marge Hendrick, Araminta Wraith, Jamiel Laurence and Nicholas Shoesmith have been promoted to Soloists.

Claire Souet, Madeline Squire, Thomas Edwards, Evan Loudon and Rimbaud Patron have been promoted to First Artists.

Scottish Ballet CEO/Artistic Director Christopher Hampson said:“Bethany and Constance have wowed critics and audiences alike with their performances over the past few years and I am thrilled to mark the development of their careers by appointing them Principal dancers with Scottish Ballet. Likewise, I am thrilled with all the promotions given this season. The dancers have earned these promotions through their consistent hard work and dedication.”


Luke Schaufuss will be joining Scottish Ballet as a Soloist. Part of the Schaufuss ballet dynasty, Luke currently dances with Birmingham Royal Ballet and will join Scottish Ballet on 4 July.

Mia Thompson and Roseanna Leney will join Scottish Ballet as Artists after the summer break. Grace Paulley, who joined the Company in February, will remain with Scottish Ballet on a permanent basis.

Photo by Christina Riley.

Back L-R

Marge Hendrick, Nicholas Shoesmith, Bethany Kingsley-Garner, Constance Devernay, Rimbaud Patron, Evan Loudon, Araminta Wraith

Front L-R
Madeline Squire, Claire Souet

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Behind the Scenes as Scottish Ballet stage Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling

Back in 2013, GTB was invited to breakfast with Scottish Ballet as they went through their morning class before the matinee and evening performances of Matthew Bourne’s innovative take on La Sylphide Highland Fling.

Here, from the archives are some rehearsal videos and behind the scenes shots of this hard-working (6 days a week!) company. Excuse the ropey camera phone video quality. Such a fabulous show – set in Glasgow – it deserves another moment in the spotlight.

Sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll is not the usual tag line for a Scottish Ballet production but Matthew Bourne could never be accused of being your usual choreographer and Scottish Ballet continue to cement their reputation as a company with a clear artistic vision, breaking new ground by introducing  innovative modern works alongside their vast classical repertoire.

This piece marks the first time Matthew Bourne has ever allowed another company to perform one of his works, such is his control over his artistic vision. That said, the two seemed destined to come together, Bourne’s Glasgow-set ballet finally coming home to the city and Scotland’s national ballet company.

Inspired by the classic romantic work La Sylphide, Highland Fling  is an imaginative re-working by Bourne with his usual wry twist and trademark eye for detail.

Highland Fling follows the story of James, a restless young Glaswegian recently married to his devoted girlfriend Effie, but James’ addiction to excess and desire to break free of  the restrictions and expectations  placed on him by his environment finds him in the fateful company of a beguiling gothic fairy.  As his love for the strange and beautiful sylph becomes an obsession, he embarks on a fateful journey that takes him from the mean streets and nightclubs of Glasgow into a magical world beyond reality and reason.

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As our (anti)hero staggers on-set and slumps to the floor against a urinal in the toilet of a Glasgow nightclub we are in no doubt that this isn’t going to be your usual ballet, but what really sets it apart, along with all of Bourne’s work, is the stunning complexity and intricacy of the choreography and the sharpness and accuracy with which it is executed. Owen Thorne’s performance as James is a testament to Bourne’s particular method of working: this is a character with a history, a back-story and Thorne manages to deliver the choreography whilst perfectly conveying the conflicted Glaswegian tough-guy persona underneath. Bethany Kingsley-Garner as the sylph is utterly other-worldly, beautifully conveying this bewitching creature from another realm. Both are ably supported by an ensemble of characters instantly recognisable to any city dweller.

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Lez Brotherston’s set design is a character in itself. It has more tartan than a tin of shortbread, delivering a technicolour assault to the senses, but looking beyond the obvious, witty nods to the best and worst of Caledonia abound. Brotherston also manages to perfectly evoke the eerie world of the sylphs nestled amongst the debris and detritus of a wasteland in the shadow of the Glasgow highrises.

Matthew Bourne's Highland Fling, performed by the Scottish Ballet

Part of the beauty of this cautionary tale is its brevity, at just over 95 minutes it packs a visual and emotional punch that leaves you reeling and begging for more.

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FEATURE: NARS team up with Scottish Ballet for David Dawson’s innovative Swan Lake

In preparation for their innovative production of David Dawson’s Swan Lake, Scottish Ballet in partnership with NARS makeup invited some guests for a behind the scenes glimpse of the creation of the work which receives its world premiere this month.

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Sophie Martin in rehearsal for David Dawson’s Swan Lake Image: Christina Reilly

David Dawson is a choreographer in demand throughout the world, and his work has been described as visceral and daring, always pushing dancers to their limits, challenging and extending the realms of classical technique. In the rehearsal room Dawson’s infinite eye for detail is clearly apparent, striving for perfection, making minute corrections to ensure his creative vision is represented on stage. Expect strength, darkness and precision as well as lyrical beauty when it premieres at the Theatre Royal.


Constance Devernay in rehearsal for David Dawson’s Swan Lake. Image: Christina Riley

From the rehearsal room to makeup; the creative artists at NARS have been challenged with creating the dual looks for the infamous black and white swans Odette and Odile. Dawson’s Swan Lake is more naturalistic and the makeup look reflects this, an easily wearable day look for Odette with a nude lip and with the mere change to a strong red lip colour – the dramatic look of Odile. The looks created are also durable and easily recreatable.

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To achieve this stunning change for yourself the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil’s used were: Belle de Jour a flattering universal nude tone and Cruella a vibrant, classic red.

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NARS Belle de Jour

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NARS Cruella

The NARS counter in Frasers Department Store Glasgow offers comprehensive skin care and make up advice. Find out more here.

Scottish Ballet’s Swan Lake is at the Theatre Royal from Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 Apr 2016, for more information, see Scottish Ballet’s own website. To book tickets see the Theatre Royal’s box office on 0844 871 7647.


REVIEW: Cinderella, Scottish Ballet – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Christopher Hampson’s production, originally created for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, finally arrived in Glasgow this month after a European premiere and a festive stint in our capital city. Set to Prokofiev’s 1945 score and on Tracy Grant Lord’s grand set, it faithfully follows Charles Perrault’s much-loved, rags to riches story as we know it.

Whilst there is much to admire here, the complex choreography will delight ballet aficionados and the dancers largely deliver their roles with aplomb, the nearly two and half hour running time and the lack of visual ‘sparkle’ leaves it lacking that certain something that makes for a truly spectacular festive ballet treat, and the tiny audience members (of whom there were many) were wriggling and restless by the end.

Bethany Kingsley-Garner as the titular heroine is a divine dancer, but her fixed expression lacks the range of emotion the character requires. Christopher Harrison, usually a sure-footed and assured performer, suffered from some serious wobbles as the Prince and again the lack of emotion left one feeling cold. Most successful are Eve Mutso and Sophie Martin as the ‘wicked’ step-sisters, the pair are an absolute delight and their acting skills admirable (the company will feel the loss of Mutso greatly as she leaves to pursue a career as a freelance dancer/choreographer after this tour). This is a company with undoubtedly talented dancers, but one can’t help feel that they are lacking somewhat in the acting/emotion department.

Richard Honner and the Scottish Ballet Orchestra are on fine form and the sound throughout is sumptuous. This is a thoroughly entertaining production, with some real highlights but one can’t help feeling it could have been so much more.

Image: Andy Ross/ Scottish Ballet

NEWS: Go behind-the-scenes of Swan Lake with @ScottishBallet on #WorldBalletDay

World Ballet Day Live returns this year on Thursday 1 October with 23 hours of footage from five of the world’s leading ballet companies; The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, and San Francisco Ballet. The Royal Ballet will stream five hours of exclusive backstage footage from 11.00am BST.

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, will lead a panel discussion live from Covent Garden on the future of ballet in the UK at 2pm, and will be joined by Artistic Directors of participating companies including Scottish Ballet’s Chief Executive/Artistic Director Christopher Hampson. 

At 2.55pm Scottish Ballet will be on air showing a unique behind-the-scenes look at David Dawson’s visionary new production of Swan Lake – Scottish Ballet’s first re-imagining of this classic ballet in over 20 years to premiere spring 2016. Taking the format of the successful Uncut series, this is an exclusive peek into the rehearsal studio with David Dawson as he creates his visceral and daring interpretation of this iconic ballet on Scottish Ballet Principal Dancers Sophie Martin and Christopher Harrison.

This year the content for all five international companies will be shown on a newly launched website: www.worldballetday.com, and Scottish Ballet’s Swan Lake segment will be available to watch at scottishballet.co.uk/worldballetday from 4pm on Thu 1 Oct.

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#WorldBalletDay Dance Anywhere

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Share a photograph of yourself dancing outside anywhere in the world and tag it with #WorldBalletDay by Thu 1 Oct for it to be shared during the live segments of World Ballet Day 2015


Follow @scottishballet on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more updates throughout the day and insights from Sophie Martin and Christopher Harrison (above).

REVIEW: Scottish Ballet Autumn Season – Maze, Motion of Displacement and Elsa Canasta – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

As a signal of intent, Scottish Ballet has started their new season with a bang with a world and a UK premier in one evening.

Those seeking tutus and pointe shoes may be disappointed, but this thoroughly modern trio of works is a refreshing move towards the future.

Opening with the unbilled Maze by company member Sophie Laplane, the innovative, original and hypnotic work is an intriguing exploration of the forms a body in motion can take. The male duos bristle with jagged, spiky, angular jabs, the female duos popping, fizzing and crackling with electricity. This arresting and visually compelling work looks set to assure Laplane’s career long after she’s hung up her pointe shoes.

New York choreographer Bryan Arias’ Motion of Displacement is an emotional response to the choreographer’s mother’s experience of leaving her homeland in pursuit of a better life. It is more free-form poem than linear narrative and hints at both the strength and heartbreak experienced on Senora Arias’ journey. At times, it is stunningly beautiful – the chain of dancers at the start and end delicately intertwined is stunning, but for all the glorious individual sequences there is a lack of drive and emotionally it feels very similar throughout.

As the old adage says: “save the best for last”, multi-talented (Turner Prize nominated, West End Musical choreographing, Olivier and Critics Circle Award-winning, music videos and ballet creating with the Pet Shop Boys) Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta is a witty and wonderful winner.

Combining the music of the legendary Cole Porter with de Frutos’ entertaining and inventive choreography, and fairy-dusted with the glorious singing of Nick Holder, this is a crowd-pleaser from start to end. As the vocalist reminisces on the heady days of the 20s and 30s, he reflects on the experiences he has lived through, the choices made and roads not travelled. Re-worked from his original piece for Rambert, the characters have been expanded by de Frutos and the balance of genders redefined.

There is so much to see here, glorious little sequences spring up all around the stage, it is sexy, sassy and a joy to watch. Particularly effective are the poignant and powerful male-male duet between Victor Zarallo and Thomas Edwards and the all-too-familiar boyfriend/girlfriend scuffle between the always entertaining Erik Cavallari and Sophie Martin.

As an opening to the new season – a crowd-pleasing triumph that leaves you wanting more.

Image credit: Andy Ross

Nick Holder and the dancers of Scottish Ballet in Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta

FEATURE: Scottish Ballet… in rehearsal

Scottish Ballet present their Autumn season this week, featuring work by two of the world’s most highly regarded and original choreographers.

scottish ballet in rehearsal elsa canasta

Javier de Frutos with Company dancers in rehearsals for Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley

Elsa Canasta is a dark, funny and sexy evocation of the music of Cole Porter. With a touch of music hall magic, a singer who will share the stage and breathtaking partnering, the Scottish Ballet dancers will be having a ball. Choreographed by Javier de Frutos, a unique figure in the world of dance with a résumé that includes West End musicals, a Turner Prize nomination, Olivier and Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards, music videos and a full-length ballet in collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys.

Also on the bill will be Motion of Displacement by Bryan Arias, winner of the 6th Copenhagen International Choreography Competition in 2013. Arias is a young American choreographer at the start of an exciting career that is sure to propel him to the heights of his profession, Scottish Ballet is the first company to bring his unique blend of dance styles to the UK.

An exclusive commission from Scottish Ballet, Motion of Displacement will explore the causes and effects of storytelling, inspired by his own childhood memories of his mother’s journey from her native land in pursuit of love.

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Scottish Ballet dancers in rehearsals for Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley.

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Constant Vigier in rehearsals for Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley.

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Eve Mutso in rehearsals for Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley.

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Andrew Peasgood and Constant Vigier with Rehearsal Director Hope Muir in rehearsals for Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley.

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Victor Zarallo and Thomas Edwards in rehearsals for Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley.

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Javier de Frutos in rehearsals for Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley.

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Constance Devernay with Rimbaud Patron in rehearsals for Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta. Photo by Christina Riley.


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Shoes in the Peter Darrell Studio. Photo by Christina Riley.

For ticket information visit: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/elsa-canasta-and-new-work/theatre-royal-glasgow/

Pictures © Scottish Ballet 0141 333 1092

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