Scottish Ballet celebrates 50th anniversary

Scottish Ballet - Spring. Photo by Nicola Selby

Scottish Ballet, founded in 1969, is celebrating their 50th anniversary with an ambitious season with 3 world premieres!

The company will launch their 50th season in the Highlands with a celebratory opening of the double bill Spring!at Inverness’ Eden Court on Thursday 28 March, followed by a party everyone in the audience is invited to!

Dextera is a world premiere of a new work by Scottish Ballet Resident Choreographer Sophie Laplane, with music by Mozart performed by the Scottish Ballet OrchestraSir Kenneth MacMillan’s 35-minute long antidote to blues, Elite Syncopations, forms the second part of the bill with its virtuoso heights of sexy, witty psychedelia and frothy ragtime nonchalance.

MacMillan’s choreography spans the decades, melding 1920s social dances with classical ballet and uses music from ragtime composers, including Scott Joplin, as a perfect accompaniment.

Following three dates in Inverness, Spring! will tour to Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh in April and May 2019.

Scottish Ballet: Elite Syncopations, as part of Spring! Double Bill. Credit Andy Ross
Scottish Ballet: Elite Syncopations, as part of Spring! Double Bill. Credit Andy Ross


After an award-winning inaugural presentation in 2017, the Digital Season returns for a month-long programme of work featuring short films, live streams, virtual reality experiences and digitally driven projects to enhance, alter and inform the way we experience dance.

Existing in a society where the real and unreal are one in the same, and Artificial Intelligence has developed its own human nature, the Digital Season explores our grasp of reality, identity, and transformation.

As the company’s first Digital Artist in Residence, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom will work from within Scottish Ballet to create bespoke artworks for the Digital Season and beyond.

A Glasgow-based sculptor, Zachary uses digital technologies such as 3D scanning, digital 3D modelling and 3D printing to transform traditional sculptural materials such as bronze, marble and ceramic.

Scottish Ballet presents their Digital Season. Credit Nicola Selby
Scottish Ballet presents their Digital Season. Credit Nicola Selby


Arthur Miller’s masterpiece of power and persecution, The Crucible is transformed into a gripping new ballet with choreography by Helen Pickett and a haunting new musical score from Peter Salem, performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

The ballet will receive its world premiere at Edinburgh International Festival, opening the dance programme in 2019The ballet will then tour to Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness in September and October 2019.

Scottish Ballet presents The Crucible. Credit Nicola Selby
Scottish Ballet presents The Crucible. Credit Nicola Selby


Fans of Hans Christian Andersen’s much-loved tale – which also inspired Frozen – will be delighted at the announcement of The Snow Queen Scottish Ballet’s glittering winter show. With a specially adapted score from works by Rimsky Korsakov this spectacular world premiere is an inspiring story of love and friendship, driven by three central female characters.

Choreographed by the company’s CEO/Artistic Director Christopher Hampson and designed by award-winning Lez Brotherston, The Snow Queen will join Scottish Ballet’s highly popular family repertoire and tour to Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Newcastle following an opening at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on Saturday 7 December 2019.

The performances will be accompanied by an extensive community engagement programme in schools and care homes across Scotland.

Scottish Ballet - The Snow Queen. Photo by Nicola Selby
Scottish Ballet – The Snow Queen. Photo by Nicola Selby


For 50 years Scottish Ballet has been crafted by Scotland – by the people, the tradition, the sense of humour, the generosity and the spirit. As a way of saying thank you to the whole country, Scottish Ballet is inviting the people of Scotland to Make a Wish! It can be anything from the dancers performing at a birthday party or on the banks of Loch Ness, or even the chance to get on stage and be part of a Scottish Ballet show.

The public are encouraged to submit their wishes at and, following a public vote and the consideration of the judging panel including Susan Calman, Fred MacAulay, Dame Darcey Bussell, Christopher Hampson, Janice Forsyth and Principal Dancer Christopher Harrison, Scottish Ballet will make five wishes come true throughout 2019.

Scottish Ballet - Bethany Kingsley Garner in Scottish Ballet's Make A Wish campaign advert
Scottish Ballet – Bethany Kingsley Garner in Scottish Ballet’s Make A Wish campaign advert


A dance company lives by its ability to produce adventurous, relevant and entertaining work and Scottish Ballet recognises that investing in new repertoire is crucial in being able to sustain excellence.

In an ambitious new commissioning programme called Five in Five, Scottish Ballet will commission and stage five new full-length ballets over five years; one for every decade of the company’s history. Presenting new work will encourage the Company’s existing audiences to keep returning and new audiences to try something different.

This will also reinforce Scottish Ballet as one of the most daring and pioneering dance companies. The world premieres of The Crucible and The Snow Queen will be the first two of the five new commissions. In total, the company seeks to raise £5 million over five years to deliver these five new productions and associated access and engagement programmes.