Scottish Ballet

Scottish Ballet is the national ballet company of Scotland and one of the four leading ballet companies of the United Kingdom, alongside the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet. Founded in 1969,[1] the company is based in Glasgow, the resident ballet company at the Glasgow Theatre Royal and from 2009 in their purpose-built ballet centre in Tramway Arts Centre, Glasgow.[2]

Scottish Ballet
General information
NameScottish Ballet
Previous names
  • Scottish Theatre Ballet
  • Western Theatre Ballet
Year founded1969
Principal venueTramway Arts Centre, Glasgow
Senior staff
DirectorChristopher Hampson


Founded by Peter Darrell and Elizabeth West as the Western Theatre Ballet in Bristol in 1957,[1] the company moved to Glasgow in 1969 and was renamed Scottish Theatre Ballet, changing to Scottish Ballet in 1974. A year later its home theatre became the Theatre Royal, Glasgow when Scottish Opera bought it and transformed it as the first national opera house in Scotland. The Company performs across Scotland, the UK and abroad, with strong classical technique at the root of all of its work. Its broad repertory includes new versions of the classics, seminal pieces from the 20th century modern ballet canon, signature pieces by living choreographers and new commissions. As a national company, Scottish Ballet performs at theatres in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness and in smaller venues throughout Scotland. The company's long history of touring internationally includes visits to China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Portugal, Ireland and the rest of the UK. Scottish Ballet's many recent awards include the 2004 TMA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance in recognition of its modernisation programme and dynamic performances. Scottish Ballet's current artistic director Christopher Hampson joined the company in 2012.

Scottish Ballet is Scotland's national dance company. Its primary aim is to provide programmes of world-class dance performance and educational activity at all scales. Scottish Ballet presents a wide range of dance to audiences across Scotland, the UK and abroad – and employs 36 professional dancers, 41 staff and a part-time freelance orchestra of up to 70 musicians.

The Company provides dance classes and a variety of education initiatives, including work with children and adults of all ages and abilities, and the Associate Programme which encourages aspiring young dancers to train for a career in the industry. Scottish Ballet also has close links with Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, partnering the BA Modern Ballet and M.Mus (Pianist for Dance) degree courses.

Scottish Ballet was the first dance company in Europe to offer live audio description for the visually impaired, and maintains a programme of regular audio described performances throughout Scotland.[3]


Scottish Ballet presents a broad repertoire, ranging from new versions of the classics (The Nutcracker, Cinderella), 20th century modern ballet repertoire (work by George Balanchine, Frederick Ashton), work by living choreographers (William Forsythe, Hans van Manen, Siobhan Davies) and new commissions (David Dawson, Helen Pickett, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa).

Current repertoire:



In June 2009 Scottish Ballet moved to new, purpose-built premises in Glasgow's Southside, next to the Tramway Theatre,[2] which had been designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects.[4]



Principal dancers

  • Sophie Martin
  • Constance Devernay
  • Bethany Kingsley-Garner
  • Christopher Harrison
  • Andrew Peasgood[6]



  • Nicholas Shoesmith
  • Jamiel Laurence
  • Marge Hendrick
  • Luke Schaufuss
  • Araminta Wraith


First Artists

  • Claire Souet
  • Madeline Squire
  • Thomas Edwards
  • Evan Loudon
  • Rimbaud Patron
  • Constant Vigier



  • Aisling Brangan
  • Grace Horler
  • Roseanna Leney
  • Daniela Oddi
  • Melissa Parsons
  • Grace Paulley
  • Kayla-Maree Tarantolo
  • Mia Thompson
  • Javier Andreu
  • Matthew Broadbent
  • Pascal Johnson
  • Jamie Reid
  • Barnaby Rook Bishop
  • Simon Shilgen
  • Eado Turgeman


See also


  1. Scottish Ballet.
  2. "Scottish Ballet shifts base to Tramway hub". Daily Record. 17 July 2009. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014.
  3. "Our Legacy - Scottish Ballet". Scottish Ballet.
  4. Bradbury, Dominic (1 January 2007). "A dance to the music of light". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014.
  5. "Our Building - Scottish Ballet". Scottish Ballet.
  6. "Scottish Ballet on Twitter". Twitter.
  7. "Dancers - Scottish Ballet". Scottish Ballet.


  • Goodwin, Noël (1979). A Ballet for Scotland: the first ten years of the Scottish Ballet. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 0-903937-88-3.
  • Smith, Graeme (2008). The Theatre Royal: Entertaining a Nation. Glasgow: Glasgow Publications. ISBN 978-0-9559420-0-6.
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