Peter Darrell - Scotland's Dance Pioneer

Peter Darrell was already a successful and ground-breaking choreographer when he became the first artistic director of Scottish Ballet in 1969. The first choreographer to set dance to the music of The Beatles and one of the first to create a ballet specially for British television – Peter Darrell also discovered Michael Clark and inspired Matthew Bourne, who both pay tribute to him in a special ArtWorks  programme to coincide with the 25th anniversary of his death.  

Michael Clark – who became a child dancer in Scottish Ballet’s The Nutcracker, when he was only 11 – says: “I wouldn’t be here today, doing what I do if it wasn’t for him.”

An extract from Darrell’s ballet ‘Cheri’ has been restaged for the programme by Scottish Ballet’s Claire Robertson and Owen Thorne and Christopher Hampson expresses a commitment to look at reviving more of Darrell’s work for a modern audience with the re-introduction of significant Darrell works into the Company’s repertoire.

‘Peter Darrell - Scotland's Dance Pioneer’ airs on Tuesday 4 December on BBC Two Scotland from 10.00-11.00pm.



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