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Press Release: Scottish Ballet unveils ambitious 2016/17 programme

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Building on a prolific period of creativity, Scottish Ballet sets out an ambitious programme for 2016/17, continuing to innovate and cultivate new dance and delivering cutting edge creative projects



Spring 2016: World premiere of new Swan Lake by David Dawson

Scottish Ballet has a reputation for producing cutting edge interpretations of classic ballets and pushing the boundaries of what ballet is and can be. In Swan Lake, choreographer David Dawson stays true to his visceral and inventive style. He strips away the artifice, focusing on the core themes of ideal love, femininity and betrayal.

“Dawson’s demanding and innovative choreography offers twenty-first century dancers what they need to develop and sustain their technique.”
            Dance Europe

“The choreographer finds his expression in the most beautiful motion, (…) sensuous, elegant, powerful.”

Sächsische Zeitung


Autumn 2016: European premiere of Emergence by Crystal Pite and a World Premiere by Sophie Laplane

A programme bringing together internationally acclaimed choreographer and Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artist, Crystal Pite and Scottish Ballet’s own emerging choreographic talent Sophie Laplane.

Scottish Ballet, the first ballet Company in the UK to present a work from Crystal Pite, will also be the first company in Europe to showcase her daring work Emergence. This will be presented alongside a World Premiere by Laplane, whose critically acclaimed work Maze enthralled audiences as part of Scottish Ballet’s Autumn 2015 Season. 

“Pite is an image-maker of rare distinction.”

The Australian

“…Laplane is clearly a major talent in the making.”

Sunday Herald


Winter 2016/17: Critically acclaimed production of Hansel & Gretelreturns

Christopher Hampson’s festive treat Hansel & Gretel returns for our Winter Season 2016/17. This fantastical fairy tale, which first wowed audiences in 2013, is filled with festive magic, twists and turns and was inspired by the stories and imagination of the people of Scotland.

“Colourful, clever and captivating”

The Sunday Times


CEO/Artistic Director, Christopher Hampson speaking about 2016/17:

At Scottish Ballet we thrive on creativity and our upcoming year is replete with creative voices. David Dawson will push the boundaries of classical ballet in our new production of Swan Lake, providing us with a bold addition to the repertoire. I’m thrilled that Crystal Pite, one of today’s most innovative and exciting choreographers, will be working with us to bring Emergence to our audiences, alongside our own choreographic rising star, Sophie Laplane who is poised to be taking the next step in her very promising career. 

We look to innovate on stage and beyond. We will be delivering extensive education and outreach projects including our collaboration with Dance Base on Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland and continuing The Close, an empowering programme for young people excluded from mainstream education.

These new productions and initiatives support our mission to use creativity and the participation in creative projects to change lives.

            Christopher Hampson, Scottish Ballet CEO / Artistic Director



World premiere of Scottish Ballet’s new Swan Lake by David Dawson

Touring to: Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Liverpool in April, May and June 2016


David Dawson

Swan Lake


Swan Lake credits:

Choreography: David Dawson
Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Set Design: John Otto
Costume Design: Yumiko Takeshima
Lighting Design: Bert Dalhuysen


Swan Lake is generously supported by Production Sponsor Check-It Scaffold Services and Official Make-up Sponsor NARS Cosmetics


Autumn Season 2016 - European premiere of Emergence by Crystal Pite and World premiere of New Work by Sophie Laplane

Touring to: Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness in September and October 2016

Crystal Pite

Pite first created Emergence for the National Ballet of Canada in 2009 and it was also performed by Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2013. It won four Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Choreography, Outstanding Performance and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition by Owen Belton.


Emergence credits:

Music: Owen Belton (2009)
Choreography: Crystal Pite
Staging: Hope Muir
Set Design: Jay Gower Taylor
Costume Design: Linda Chow
Lighting Design: Alan Brodie


Sophie Laplane
New Work

Company dancer Sophie Laplane first joined Scottish Ballet in 2004 and has been developing her choreographic skills since then.

The List included Sophie Laplane on their list of the Top 100 influential people in Scotland in November 2015.


Hansel & Gretel by Christopher Hampson

Touring to: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Newcastle in December, January and February 2017


Christopher Hampson

Hansel & Gretel

Christopher Hampson’s delightfully inventive ballet Hansel & Gretel returns in Winter 2016/17. This fun interpretation of the Grimm Brother’s famous fairy tale first thrilled audiences in 2013/14.


 Hansel & Gretel credits:

Choreography: Christopher Hampson
Music: Engelbert Humperdinck
Set & Costume Design: Gary Harris

Lighting Design: George Thomson



Scottish Ballet Creative

Scottish Ballet launched Scottish Ballet Creative earlier in 2015, with an aim to produce interesting projects that blur the lines between the dance, music and art worlds, merging classical and contemporary dance with other creative arts.


The first project, released in July 2015, was a music video for singer/songwriter Kathryn Joseph’s single The Bird, starring Company dancer Sophie Laplane.


Scottish Ballet has been working with visual arts organisation The Common Guild as part of a new project by leading artist and winner of the 2005 Turner Prize, Simon Starling. The project, to be presented by The Common Guild in 2016, will include a new piece of choreography by Javier de Frutos, realised in conjunction with Scottish Ballet and featuring Scottish Ballet dancer Thomas Edwards. Full details will be released later this year.


Scottish Ballet is also collaborating with the Glasgow Short Film Festival and will be presenting a special curated film night and a discussion exploring the relationship between dance and film during the festival in March 2016. Scottish Ballet will premiere a new short dance film as part of this event.


Scottish Ballet Education Work

Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland

In 2016/17, Scottish Ballet will spearhead a ground-breaking 18 month pilot Dance for Parkinson’s programme, delivered in partnership with Dance Base. This initiative is focused on enabling those with Parkinson’s to experience the benefits of dance and creativity, improving balance, spatial awareness, confidence and fluidity in movement.  


Scottish Ballet and Dance Base will be working with the neuroscientist Dr Donald Grosset from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow to carry out research and medical documentation of the project. Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland launches in March 2016.


Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland is supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the R S MacDonald Charitable Trust, the AMW Charitable Trust, the Elizabeth Frankland Moore and Star Foundation and the Nancie Massey Charitable Trust.


The Close

Scottish Ballet is working on a school project for 70 pupils with the Kibble Education and Care Centre in Paisley and Gorgie Mills School in Edinburgh as part of The Close project. The project will focus on Christopher Hampson's Hansel & Gretel and Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling and will offer a gentle introduction to dance focusing on themes from the production to hard-to-reach, vulnerable young people, aged between 11 and 18 years old.


The Close was first launched in 2012, with the aim of empowering participants by welcoming their own creative ideas. The Close is an innovative way of inspiring marginalised and at-risk young people, positively affecting their lives by building confidence and directly contributing to their ability to co-operate with each other through the arts.

The Close is supported by Education Partner Cairn Energy and the Gemmell Bequest Fund. 


The Anserinae Project

This professional choreographic mentorship programme will allow 5 Scottish artists the opportunity to develop their practice with internationally acclaimed artist, choreographer and mentor Kerry Nicholls. Each of the selected artists will present a new work inspired by Scottish Ballet's Swan Lake in Edinburgh in May 2016.


Scottish Ballet Elders’ Company

The Scottish Elders’ Company (SBEC) was founded in 2015 and consists of members from Scottish Ballet’s popular Regenerate programme for the over 50s. Their first performance took place at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year and they progressed to tour Scotland in Autumn 2015 with the Elders dance group Prime from Dance Base.

In 2016, the SBEC will work with choreographer Tommy Small, the first ever Radio 2 Artist in Residence, to create a new dance work which they will perform at the GoDance festival on 1 March.








Theatre Royal, Glasgow
Tue 12 - Sat 16 Jan 2016


His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

Wed 20 – Sat 23 Jan 2016


Eden Court, Inverness

Wed 27 – Sat 30 Jan 2016





Theatre Royal, Glasgow
Tue 19 - Sat 23 Apr 2016

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

Wed 27 – Sat 30 Apr 2016


Eden Court, Inverness

Wed 4 – Sat 7 May 2016


Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Wed 11 – Sat 14 May 2016


Edinburgh, Festival Theatre

Wed 25 – Sat 28 May 2016


Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Wed 1 – Sat 4 Jun 2016





Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Thu 29 Sep – Sat 1 Oct 2016


Eden Court, Inverness

Fri 7 – Sat 8 Oct 2016


His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

Fri 14 – Sat 15 Oct 2016





Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Sat 10 – Sat 31 Dec 2016


Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Thu 5 – Sat 14 Jan 2017


His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

Wed 18 – Sat 21 Jan 2017


Eden Court, Inverness

Wed 25 – Sat 28 Jan 2017





David Dawson

British choreographer David Dawson is one of the most innovative dance makers working in classical ballet today. His personal choreographic style transforms classical ballet in new ways, and his signature works are atmospheric, emotionally physical, abstract/narrative pieces that have been praised by critics and audiences worldwide. Dawson's works have been performed in more than 25 countries and entered repertoires of many ballet companies.


Dawson was honoured with the Prix Benois de la Danse Award for choreography and nominated for the UK Critics' Circle National Dance Award as Best Classical Choreographer for The Grey Area. The process of choreographing this ballet was vividly illustrated in Tim Couchman's film 'The Grey Area' in Creation. Dawson created Reverence for the Mariinsky Ballet, for which he was awarded Russia's highest theatre prize for visual art, the Golden Mask Award, as Best Choreographer, and became the first British choreographer to create a ballet for this legendary company. He received the Choo San Goh Award for Choreography for The Gentle Chapters and was nominated for The Golden Swan Award, as Best Choreographer for Overture and00:00. For his re-imagining of Faun(e), created for the English National Ballet's Ballets Russes Festival at the Sadler's Wells in London, Dawson has been nominated as Best Classical Choreographer for the UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Award and the Prix Benois de la Danse Choreography Award.


Dawson has created numerous ballets internationally, including his full-lengthGiselle, which had its world premiere at the Semperoper. Amongst other significant works are The Human Seasons,day4The Third LightMorning Ground,Das Verschwundene|The DisappearedA Sweet Spell of OblivionOn the Nature of DaylightThe World According to Us,dancingmadlybackwards5Opus.11 and his highly acclaimedtimelapse/(Mnemosyne)


Born in London, David Dawson began to dance at the age of 7 and received his training at the Rona Hart School of Dance, Arts Educational School and The Royal Ballet School. In 1991 he received the Alicia Markova Award and won the prestigious Prix de Lausanne and the same year he was offered a contract by the Birmingham Royal Ballet. He was nominated as Best Newcomer of the Season by 'Dance & Dancers' magazine in 1992. He joined the English National Ballet in 1994 as a soloist, and a year later moved to Amsterdam to perform with Dutch National Ballet. Dawson choreographed his first ballet in 1997 at the annual choreographic workshop while with the Dutch National Ballet. This experience resulted in Dawson's first major creation for the main company, A Million Kisses to my Skin, in 2000. Subsequently, he joined Ballett Frankfurt, where he worked with William Forsythe and performed for two more years before deciding to devote his time to creating his own new works.


Between 2004 and 2012 David Dawson was Resident Choreographer for the Dutch National Ballet, the Semperoper Ballet and the Royal Ballet of Flanders. His creations have been introduced to the repertoires of many ballet companies including Boston Ballet, Ballet National de Marseilles, Het (Dutch) Nationale Ballet, Semperoper Ballet, English National Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Hungarian National Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, West Australian Ballet, Aalto Ballet Theatre Essen, Slovenian National Ballet, Ballet du Capitole, Vienna State Opera Ballet.

In 2013 Dawson was a Jury member of the Prix Benois de la Danse in Moscow and Dance Open International Ballet Festival in St Petersburg.


Crystal Pite

Canadian choreographer and performer Crystal Pite is a former company member of Ballet British Columbia and William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt. Pite’s professional choreographic debut was in 1990, at Ballet British Columbia. Since then, she has created over 40 works for companies such as Nederlands Dans Theater I, Cullberg Ballet, Ballett Frankfurt, The National Ballet of Canada, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (Resident Choreographer, 2001-2004), Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, and Louise Lecavalier/Fou Glorieux. She has also collaborated with Electric Company Theatre and Robert Lepage. Crystal is Associate Choreographer of Nederlands Dans Theater I and Associate Dance Artist of Canada’s National Arts Centre. In 2013, Crystal was appointed Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells, London.


In 2002, she formed Kidd Pivot in Vancouver. Integrating movement, original music, text, and rich visual design, Kidd Pivot’s performance work is assembled with recklessness and rigour, balancing sharp exactitude with irreverence and risk. The company’s distinct choreographic language – a breadth of movement fusing classical elements and the complexity and freedom of structured improvisation – is marked by a strong theatrical sensibility and a keen sense of wit and invention.

Kidd Pivot tours nationally and internationally, performing such highly-demanded and critically acclaimed works as Dark Matters and Lost Action. Kidd Pivot’s residency at the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt (2010-2012) provided Pite the opportunity to create and tour The You Show and The Tempest Replica. Most recently, the company has premiered Betroffenheit, a co-creation with playwright and actor Jonathon Young of Electric Company Theatre.


Pite is the recipient of the Banff Centre’s Clifford E. Lee Award (1995), the Bonnie Bird North American Choreography Award (2004), and the Isadora Award (2005). Her work has received several Dora Mavor Moore Awards (2009, 2012), and a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award (2006). She is the recipient of the 2008 Governor General of Canada’s Performing Arts Award, Mentorship Program, the 2011 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, the inaugural Lola Award in 2012, and the Canada Council’s 2012 Jacqueline Lemieux Prize. Most recently, she received a Laurence Olivier Award (2015) for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.


Sophie Laplane

Sophie Laplane trained at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, winning the Prize of the CNSMDP Mention Bien. Prior to this, she trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School. She danced with Le Ballet de Lorraine from 2003 to 2004 and was a member of The Junior Ballet Classique du Conservatoire de Paris between 2002 and 2003. She joined Scottish Ballet in winter 2004, and was promoted to Coryphée in July 2011. Significant roles have included playing Stella in Lopez’s Ochoa A Streetcar Named Desire and Juliet’s friend in Pastor’s Romeo and Juliet as well as performing in Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling.


Sophie Laplane’s Oxymore was showcased at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2013 as part of Scottish Ballet’s Dance Odysseys, was included in Scottish Ballet’s Up Close tour in 2014 and most recently was performed at the TEDx Glasgow event. Laplane created Sink In for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 and will debut a new work on Friday at the Independent:BALLET event as part of the Cottier Dance Project. 


Maze has developed from being part of the Royal Ballet’s Draft Works programme for emerging choreographers and was Laplane’s first work to be performed in a large scale theatre.


Christopher Hampson

Christopher Hampson joined Scottish Ballet as Artistic Director in August 2012.


Christopher trained at the Royal Ballet Schools. His choreographic work began there and continued at English National Ballet, where he danced until 1999 and for whom he subsequently created numerous award-winning works, including Double Concerto, Perpetuum Mobile, Country Garden, Concerto Grosso and The Nutcracker. Christopher’s Romeo and Juliet, created for the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB), was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award (Best New Production 2005) and his production of Giselle for the National Theatre in Prague has been performed every year since its premiere in 2004. Christopher created Sinfonietta Giocosa for the Atlanta Ballet (USA) in 2006 and after a New York tour it received its UK premiere with ENB in 2007. He created Cinderella for RNZB in 2007, which was subsequently hailed as Best New Production by the New Zealand Herald and televised by TVNZ in 2009. His work has toured Australia, China, the USA and throughout Europe. His most recent commissions are Dear Norman (Royal Ballet, 2009); Sextet (Ballet Black/ROH2, 2010); Silhouette (RNZB, 2010), Rite of Spring (Atlanta Ballet, 2011), Storyville (Ballet Black/ROH2, 2012) nominated for a National Dance Award 2012, and Hansel & Gretel (Scottish Ballet 2013).


Christopher is a co-founder of the International Ballet Masterclasses in Prague and has been a guest teacher for English National Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Bonachela Dance Company, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and the Genée International Ballet Competition. Christopher’s work now forms part of the Solo Seal Award for the Royal Academy of Dance.


In June 2015, Christopher was announced as the CEO / Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet.


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