Born in the French city of Cherbourg, Sophie trained at the Conservatory National Supérieur of Paris under the tuition of Noëlla Auguste, and performed with the Junior Ballet. She has also worked with leading dancers and choreographers in France.
She joined Scottish Ballet in 2003 and was promoted to Principal in August 2008, and was number 20 in The List magazine’s Hot 100 poll of influential figures in Scottish culture in December 2008. She received the award for Outstanding Female Performance (Classical) at the 2011 Critic’s Circle National Dance Awards.
Why did you become a dancer?
I started ballet with my older sister at the age of 5. I had a lot of energy, so my parents wanted me to have an activity aside from school that would calm me down a little bit! At first, I wasn't so keen on how disciplined you had to be in class but the annual end of the year show kept me going. I had to find a way to perform more often so my ballet teacher offered to prepare me for a competition near my hometown. At that moment I knew ballet would be part of my life.
The Nutcracker (Marie), Ashley Page
Acrid Avid Jam, Ashley Page
Nightswimming into day, Ashley Page
32 Cryptograms, Ashley Page
The Pump Room, Ashley Page
Cinderella (Cinderella), Ashley Page
Fearful Symmetries, Ashley Page
The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora and Cinderella), Ashley Page
Pennies From Heaven, Ashley Page
Cheating, Lying, Stealing, Ashley Page
Alice (Alice, Queen of Hearts), Ashley Page
The Four Temperaments, Balanchine
Rubies (Lead couple), Balanchine
Dangerous Liaisons, Richard Alston (which she also performed as part of the Dance Umbrella Gala)
Carmen (Carmen), Richard Alston
Othello (Desdemona), Peter Darrell
Chasing Ghosts, Loosmore
Two Pieces for Het, van Manen
Artifact Suite (Duet I and II), Forsythe
Façade, Frederick Ashton
Scènes de Ballet, Frederick Ashton
Ride The Beast, Petrionio
In Light and Shadow, Krzysztof Pastor
Romeo and Juliet (Juliet), Krzysztof Pastor
Still Life, Val Caniparoli
Kings 2 Ends, Jorma Elo
A Streetcar Named Desire (Stella), Meckler/Lopez Ochoa
Run For It, Martin Lawrance
Dark Full Ride, Martin Lawrance
Highland Fling, Matthew Bourne
The Room, Helen Pickett
Sea of Troubles, Kenneth MacMillan
Elite Syncopations, Kenneth MacMillan
Jealousy, James Cousins
Hansel & Gretel, Christopher Hampson
Sophie Martin in rehearsals for Romeo & Juliet as part of our rehearsal film series.
Sophie in the Dance Odysseys poster shoot film.
Sophie Martin discusses dancing the role of Alice.
Alice live backstage broadcast featuring Sophie talking about her role as Alice.
Romeo & Juliet 2014
The original Romeo and Juliet, Erik Cavallari and Sophie Martin, have gone from strength to strength in this. Technically they thrill and delight, as always, but there's an added command of characterisation that really does tug at the heart.
The Herald Scotland, 21 April 2014
Hansel & Gretel 2013/14
Constant Vigier as Hansel and Sophie Martin as Gretel are instantly loveable with their petty fights over teddy and game-playing and cunning theatrical tricks are used to ensure we never forget they are children.
– John O’Groat Journal, 23/1/14
Constant Vigier as Hansel and Sophie Martin as Gretel avoided appearing coy and sentimental and instead brought an innocence and vulnerability to the drama that did not threaten the necessary suspension of belief.
– EdinburghGuide.com, January 2014
A Streetcar Named Desire 2012
Eve Mutso, Tama Barry and Sophie Martin rise to the challenge of nuanced complexity with a subtlety, intelligence and gut integrity that is so fierce and fine it hurts…
- The Herald, 12 April 2012
Sophie Martin is earthy and passionate as Stella.
- The Times, 30 April 2012
Sophie Martin makes a terrific contrast with Mutso, showing a mercurial sensuousness under her plain blue dress that evidently keeps Kowalski permanently on the boil.
- TheArtsDesk, 30 April 2012
Scottish Ballet’s principals prove first-rate, with Eve Mutso a mercurial and dangerously sympathetic Blanche, and Tama Barry a believably brutish Stanley, all scowl and pectorals. Sophie Martin’s pregnant Stella is the moral touchstone, sensual and earthed. Her conciliatory duet with Stanley is not only startling gymnastic; it’s almost certainly the most erotic thing on any stage right now.
- Independent on Sunday, 29 April 2012
The premiere cast in all the leadings roles was splendid: Tama Barry as the macho Stanley, Sophie Martin as the much put-upon Stella, Adam Blyde as the innocent Mitch and, above all, Eve Mutso as the self-deluding, conscience-tormented Blanche DuBois.
- Sunday Times, 22 April 2012
The pas de deux between Tama Barry’s cocksure Stanley and Sophie Martin’s superb Stella has an erotic charge that ignites the stage
- Daily Express, 13 April 2012
Danced with real power by Eve Mutso, Tama Barry and Sophie Martin...
- The Daily Telegraph, 13 April 2012
DOUBLE BILL AT SADLER'S WELLS - AUTUMN 2011
MacMillan's Song of the Earth
No praise too great for Sophie Martin as the Woman: such selfless clarity, such artistry, are beautiful. I remember MacMillan's comment when faced with dancers' wilfulness: "Why don't they trust the steps!". Sophie Martin trusts the steps with all her being, and is magnificent.
- Financial Times, 06 November 2011
Sophie Martin, Erik Cavallari and Christopher Harrison [are] captivating in the lead roles.
- Cloud Dance Festival blog, 06 November 2011
Most memorable of all was Sophie Martin as the female lead whose long solo in The Farewell was danced with impassioned, tangible longing.
- Independent Dance Reviews, 10 November 2011
Sophie Martin and Erik Cavallari gave a perfect rendition of roles that remain associated, in the memory of many with some of the greatest artists ever.
- Spectator, 12 November 2011
US TOUR 2011
Elo's Kings 2 Ends
The two notable couples were Sophie Martin paired with Daniel Davidson and Owen Thorne with Eve Mutso (whose quirky opening solo was another high point).
- LA Times, 15 October 2011
MacMillan's Song of the Earth
The exception was, again, Sophie Martin, a mesmerizing presence as a loner adrift in the world. Enter the equally expressive Erik Cavallari; their concluding love duet made the heart tingle.
- LA Times, 15 October 2011
Sophie Martin, Erik Cavallari and Christopher Harrison, who danced the principal roles, were superb.
- Blogdowntown, 18 October 2011
EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 2011
MacMillan’s Song of the Earth
Sophie Martin was outstanding as the leading woman, her performance beautiful, serious and heartfelt in its phrasing and pulse. She began filled with longing and ended in transcendent resignation as death takes her lover. There is every reason for Scottish Ballet to dance Song of the Earth, and Sophie Martin is the strongest reason of all.
- The Times, 27 August 2011
Sophie Martin as the Young Woman is excellent. A dew of expectancy and curiosity overlays the exquisite finish of her dancing, making her dawning awareness of mortality all the more harrowing.
- The Guardian, 27 August 2011
The trio of dancers at the heart of the choreography – Adam Blyde, Erik Cavallari and Sophie Martin – connect us, with exquisitely nuanced detail, to the life cycle expressed in the songs. Blyde, the Messenger of Death, shadows the unfolding actions with a potent subtlety, while Cavallari offers a boundless vitality that Martin answers with a porcelain delicacy.
- The Herald, 27 August 2011
Sophie Martin as the Woman was outstanding, emotionally affecting in focussing the work’s themes.
- Sunday Times, 04 September 2011
Sophie Martin, her features enigmatic, delivers a high, pure line and phrasing of serene assurance. Her arabesque turns in particular are beautifully sustained.”
- Observer, 04 September 2011
Sophie Martin and Erik Cavallari give impassioned and strongly defined interpretations of the Everyman and Everywoman whose tragedy is at the ballet’s heart.
- Mail on Sunday. 04 September 2011
Alice is danced with bright energy by Sophie Martin.
- The Guardian, 14 April 2011
At the heart of the piece is Sophie Martin’s exceptional performance.
News of the World, 17 April 2011
Sophie Martin is an expressive, appealing Alice, spirited and inexhaustible in her dancing.
Sunday Times, 17 April 2011
Alice, played by a flowing and dextrous Sophie Martin…
- Edinburgh Evening News, 21 April 2011
Traditionalists will find themselves most drawn to the pas de deux between Martin and Cavallari: the former’s fluid grace representing the innocence of her character; and Cavallari’s tender strength also captivating to watch.
- Edinburgh Spotlight, 21 April 2011
Sophie Martin deserves particular praise as Alice.
- South Wales Echo, 06 May 2011
Sophie Martin as Alice is on stage for most of the ballet but she looks as delicious and lively in the very last scene as she does when we first meet her. Erik Cavallari is a warm and caring Dodgson. Dancing both together and separately, they move with a remarkable fluidity which is a joy to look at.
- Theatre in Wales, 05 May 2011
Adam Blyde as the Prince impresses, particularly in those scenes where he and Martin dance together, the fluidity and grace of their movements capturing the fairytale romance of their pairing.
- Edinburgh Spotlight, January 2011
- Informed Edinburgh, January 2011
Sophie Martin as Cinderella brings a certain fragility and sweetness to the role.
In the title role, Sophie Martin excels, moving as if she is a feather blown by a breeze.
- Press and Journal, 20 January 2011
Sophie Martin was perfect in the lead role, with her gamin looks allied to her already well-established talents as a dancer.
- Inverness Courier, 01 February 2011
GEOMETRY AND GRACE 2010
Ashley Page's Fearful Symmetries
The choreography might be Olivier Award-winning, but it makes strong demands on its performers. Demands which, with Eric Cavallari in total control, Sophie Martin, Sato and Eve Mutso sensual and moving as his three loves, and the corps de ballet fully controlled by their preordained destinies, the company rise far above.
- The Stage
ROMEO AND JULIET 2010
The lovers themselves are danced with truly affecting anguish by Erik Cavallari (Romeo) and Sophie Martin (Juliet).
- Sunday Herald, 25 April 2010
Erik Cavallari (Romeo) and Sophie Martin (Juliet) give genuinely beautiful and touching lead to a deservedly revived Scottish Ballet success.
- Daily Telegraph, 23 April 2010
Sophie Martin (Juliet) and Erik Cavallari (Romeo) bring a vivid sincerity to the hapless lovers.
- The Herald, 20 April 2010
Cavallari and Martin stand out, their attraction immediate and complete. Their love duets are pure romance.
- The Stage, 11 May 2010
Erik Cavallari and Sophie Martin are simply delightful together, expressing real feelings of innocent teenage love.
- Edinburgh Guide, 30 April 2010
I believe few couples could betther the performances of Sophie Martin and Adam Blyde in the lead roles. Their partnership is fluid and superbly in sync. The sixth sense they seem to possess became ever more vivid later in the programme. Both have crystal techniques, beautiful lines, jumps, pirouettes and sparkling personality, but the icing on the cake is their instinctive musicality. Each used Stravinsky’s score with such a sense of clarity and innate understanding, it was a joy to watch.”
- Dance Europe, November 2009
Sophie Martin shone.
- Londondance.com, 02 October 2009
That Sophie Martin, Scottish Ballet’s French leading lady, had enough personality to suggest Bette Midler curves despite her refined build, is a measure of what fun she was to watch.
- Theartsdesk.com, 07 October 2009
Sophie Martin and Adam Blyde show romping energy as the leading couple. Martin shimmies exuberantly, undulating her torso with verve.
- The Independent, 06 October 2009
Sophie Martin was a stand-out soloist, her flirtatious show-girl fizz never flagging.
- Independent on Sunday, 04 October 2009
Sophie Martin has exceptional attack.
- Guardian, 05 October 2009
Sophie Martin, with a polished technique, sparkles and is well partenered by Adam Blye.
- The Stage, 02 October 2009
Pastor’s In Light and Shadow
Blyde and Martin [are] sublime in their aria – total bliss.
- Dance Europe, November 2009
Sophie Martin as Carmen had much in common with her fellow countrywoman Sylvie Guillem, demonstrating an enviable precision, strength and musicality. She has a graceful, unhurried perfection of movement which runs all the way to the very tips of her elegant fingers and toes.
- jenniemacfie.wordpress.com, 17th May 2009
Page’s Cheating, Lying, Stealing
One of the best performances the principals of this company have ever given
- Kelly Apter, The Scotsman, 17 April 2009
The individual duets and trios provided many opportunities to admire the dancing skills of the company members, including Martin, now ably partnered by Adam Blyde, Claire Robertson and Erik Cavallari, and the ever-watchable Paul Liburd.
- jenniemacfie.wordpress.com, 17th May 2009
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY 2008-2009
Sophie Martin’s Princess Aurora was the icing on the fantastic cake.
- Press & Journal, 29th January 2009
Sophie Martin’s Aurora receives a rapturous reception in her awakening performance with The Prince (Adam Blyde). It’s a concise and tightly choreographed yet almost impossibly romantic performance that captures the sweeping, epic, soaring heartfelt optimism of the original piece.
- Big Issue, 15 January 2009
Sophie Martin and Adam Blyde made a well matched Aurora and her prince and Sophie’s grace and speed and ease of movement were beautiful.
- Turriff Advertiser Series, 06 Feb 2009
ROMEO AND JULIET 2008
Sophie Martin portrays that combination of sweet innocence and petulant adolescent determination that makes for a believable Juliet.
- The Guardian, 17th May 2008
Sophie Martin, as Juliet, who exquisitely portrays the ardour and innocence of youth caught up in unexpected turbulent love.
- Edinburgh Guide.com, 14th May 2008
Sophie Martin, a French artiste with a stage presence quite beyond her teenage appearance and peasblossom delicacy.
- Moray Firth Radio, 31st May 2008
Sophie Martin is a stand out.
- The Skinny, June 2008
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY 2007-2008
Some of the duets in the wedding scene, particularly the stylish, spiky pas de deux between Sophie Martin and her Prince and the pure romance of the ballet danced by principals Claire Robertson and Erik Cavallari as Princess Aurora and the Prince, showcase Scottish Ballet’s talent at its best.
- Scotland on Sunday, 16 December 2007
Page’s Fearful Symmetries
Erik Cavallari is the wonderfully self-possessed Alpha Male, with three stunning ballerinas – Eve Mutso, Claire Robertson and Sophie Martin – servicing the different facets of his technique.
- The Herald, 21 August 2007
Petronio’s Ride The Beast
…an awkward male crumbling in the face of perfection (aka Eve Mutso and Sophie Martin)
- The Scotsman, 20 August 2007
It was Sophie Martin and Ruth Vaquerizo Garcia who stole the show, however. Their duet was so perfectly symmetrical that it looks as if there was only one ballerina onstage, dancing in a mirror.
- Edinburgh Evening News, 19 April 2007
Sophie Martin [as Desdemona] is fast becoming a compelling force to be reckoned with.
- The Scotsman, 16 April 2007
Pastor’s In Light And Shadow
A stunning opening duet by the breathtaking Sophie Martin partnered by Blyde
- Sunday Express, 15 April 2007
Of the seasons, Sophie Martin (Summer) and Ruth Vaquerizo Garcia (Winter) were the standouts.
- Criticaldance.net, 10 Dec 2006
The women, especially Eve Mutso, Sophie Martin and Claire Robertson, are ravishing.
- Sunday Herald, 03 Sept 2006
… a meditative piece that boasted some strong individual performances (Eve Mutso, Sophie Martin, Paul Liburd)…
- The Daily Telegraph, 20 March 2006
When Ashley Page arrived at Scottish Ballet, one of his aims was to create “star” performers, much like Royal Ballet. In Patricia Hines, Claire Robertson, Paul Liburd and Sophie Martin, he’s got them.
- The Scotsman, 1 April 2006
In Episodes, we are dazzled by Sophie Martin (with Adam Blyde) in the opening sequence, as she makes vivaciously slinky work of Mr B’s sharp-edged choreography.
- Sunday Herald, 9 April 2006
Page’s The Pump Room
Pump Room – danced by its original quartet of Diana Loosmore, Jarkko Lehmus, Sophie Martin< and Paul Liburd – now feels like a thrumming pressure cooker where each heat exchange bodies threatens to blow the roof off. Utterly brilliant…
- The Herald, 12 September 2005
Patricia Hines and Erik Cavallari (in jazz shoes), and Sophie Martin (on pointe) and Paul Liburd all gave an excellent showing of smooth virtuostic contemporary dance.
- Ballet-Dance Magazine, October 2005
The lead couple, Sophie Martin and Adam Blyde, capture the mood perfectly in their swift, neat, measured but lyrical movements.
- The Independent, 1 September 2005
Sophie Martin illuminates the opening Symphony.
- Dance Scene International, October 2005
Page’s The Pump Room
His new piece, The Pump Room – to pistoning rhythms by Aphex Twin – celebrates the physicality and technical prowess of four dancers: Diana Loosmore (off pointe), with Jarkko Lehmus and Sophie Martin (on pointe) with Paul Liburd.
- The Herald, 14 April 2005
The Pump Room is for two powerful men – Jarkko Lehmus and Paul Liburd (both with contemporary dance background) – interacting with rogue particle women, Diana Loosmore and Sophie Martin.
- The Observer, 1 May 2005
Sophie Martin gives the first theme a grand, flowing shape.
- The Independent, 19 April 2005
Van Manen’s Two Pieces for HET
Sophie Martin and Cristo Vivancos dance a beautifully different pas de deux.
- The Stage, 23 September 2004
Sophie Martin and Cristo Vivancos were equally convincing in the sexual display and sparring of the later work…
- Nairnshire Telegraph, 5 October 2004