Today, we’re excited to announce six new dance films created as part of a mini-series titled The Shimmering Extraordinary, created by Emmy Award-nominated director Fx Goby, that will be available on Nowness from today.

Commissioned as part of our Safe to Be Me™ Festival 2021, a digital festival of dance that celebrates diversity, the films are inspired by the programme’s themes of acceptance, identity, and respect.

Bringing together artists from various backgrounds, the six short films focus on the stories of six individual dancers; Annie Edwards, Hayaat zahra shah, Madeline Squire, Mukeni Nel, Nikita Gold and Saul Nash.

They put the lens on each person’s journey and practice, giving voice to their story, and how dance and movement has become their way of expressing and communicating themselves.

Each shines a light on the strength and resilience of overcoming obstacles, to feel proud and empowered in who we are.

The mini-series brings the online festival to a celebratory close, after three weeks in which we worked with over 2,000 young people aged between 10 and 23, through over 50 digital dance and film sessions, and inspirational talks from dance industry artists and leaders.

Safe to Be Me™ is a project that has been running in schools since 2019. Our Engagement team use their practice in dance and movement to inspire creative thinking and open up conversation, across areas such as ableism, bigotry, family diversity, homophobia, racism, and transphobia, in line with key Scottish Government targets.

Using movement as a tool to discuss and explore intersectionality, the films and the festival celebrate dance as a universal language; a way in which to celebrate and communicate oneself.

‘Art and dance are a universal language that transcend cultures and words. A powerful tool to raise awareness about important topics that can have a profound effect on people. This series of films focuses on a diverse group of people who all used dance to overcome hurdles in their lives and wanted to share their stories to inspire others to leave a lasting impact.’

Fx Goby, Director of The Shimmering Extraordinary

‘Scottish Ballet is committed to bringing dance to everyone, and so we are proud to have engaged with more young people than ever before as we moved this year’s Safe to Be Me™ Festival online. We are humbled that the programme's values of acceptance, identity and respect have been further platformed in the inspiring films directed by Fx Goby, and the connection that each dance artist has in using movement to express themselves.’

Christopher Hampson, CEO/Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet

The three films titled Hayaat Zahra, Nikita Gold and Saul will be released exclusively on Nowness from Wednesday 26 May until Friday 4 June. The three films titled Annie, Maddy and Mukeni will be shared on Nowness on Friday 28 May.

The full mini-series of six films titled The Shimmering Extraordinary will be made available via Scottish Ballet from Friday 4 June.

Safe to Be Me™ is sponsored by Aberdeen Standard Investments, and Scottish Ballet First Artist Madeline Squire is sponsored by Baillie Gifford.