Founded by Peter Darrell and Elizabeth West as Western Theatre Ballet in Bristol in 1957, the Company moved to Glasgow in 1969 and was renamed Scottish Theatre Ballet, changing to Scottish Ballet in 1974.
"[Darrell] was alive to new trends in fashion and popular music ... The resulting ballets were as up-to-the-minute as any other art form or entertainment. If the 60s were swingin' – ballet would swing, too."Mary Brennan
The Company performs across Scotland, the UK and abroad, with strong classical technique at the root of all of its work. Its broad repertoire includes both classical and fiercely contemporary works, including seminal pieces from the 20th century modern ballet canon, signature pieces by living choreographers, new commissions for revered contemporary choreographers, and full-length story ballets re-imagined with fresh relevance for a contemporary audience, creating a unique artistic identity.
Scottish Ballet’s many recent awards include the 2008 Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Repertoire (Classical), as well as being nominated for Outstanding Company at the Critics’ Circle Awards in 2009 and 2010.
Scottish Ballet provides a comprehensive education and outreach programme to complement its production and touring activity. Education initiatives and classes include work with people of all ages and abilities, and Scottish Ballet’s Associate Programme encourages young dancers to train for a career in the industry. As part of this commitment to broadening audiences, Scottish Ballet was the first dance company in the UK to offer live audio-description for the visually impaired, and maintains a programme of regular audio-described performances today.
In 2009, Scottish Ballet launched Scotland’s first ever conservatoire-based degree in Modern Ballet in partnership with the Royal Conservatoire Scotland, a three year full-time vocational degree which bridges what was previously a critical gap in dance training in Scotland, allowing young dancers to complete their professional training in Scotland for the first time.
Also in 2009, Scottish Ballet celebrated its 40th anniversary, and moved to its purpose-built home at the Tramway complex in Glasgow, creating a production and presentation facility of a scale and artistic mix unrivalled in the UK.
For more information about Peter Darrell, Choreographer and Founder of Scottish Ballet, visit the Peter Darrell Trust website.
"I have danced many times with Scottish Ballet and have always admired the dedication and enthusiasm of its dancers and management."Margot Fonteyn