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Press Release: Scottish Ballet gears up for the world premiere of David Dawson's Swan Lake this spring

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The countdown is underway to the world premiere of Scottish Ballet’s visionary new version of Swan Lake in April. Award-winning choreographer David Dawson has been working with Scottish Ballet’s dancers at the company’s rehearsal studios at Tramway in Glasgow to create this exciting new work.


Scottish Ballet’s new Swan Lake is an imaginative re-telling of the iconic story and will be performed for audiences in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Liverpool.


This innovative new version of Swan Lake focuses on the human side of the story and the universal themes of love and betrayal. David Dawson has sought to evoke a sense of timelessness through beautifully elegant and simple set and costumes, thus enabling the audience to truly connect to the characters and the emotions of this 21st Century Swan Lake.

Set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, played lived by the Scottish Ballet orchestra, Scottish Ballet’s new Swan Lake will feature costume design by Yumiko Takeshima, set design by John Otto and lighting design by Bert Dalhuysen.


“David Dawson is renowned for his visceral and daring work and for pushing the boundaries of classical ballet. This is our first staging of Swan Lake since 1995 and David’s bold new interpretation ensures that a new generation will be engrossed by the timeless story of Swan Lake, and Scottish Ballet will have a definitive contemporary version to add to our repertoire.”

         Scottish Ballet CEO / Artistic Director Christopher Hampson


“My vision is to create a Swan Lake that can be timeless. I needed to find a way to connect to the story of Swan Lake on a more personal level and try to re-tell it in a way that could resonate with people who live in today’s world. It is set in no-time and every-place, a kind of blank page for the human side of the story to take place. Scottish Ballet is a truly unique and wonderful place to work - a jewel of a company in the dance world. The dancers are extremely talented and willing to trust in my vision - we have been sharing the experience of ‘finding’ this new Swan Lake together and creating something special for Scottish Ballet’s dedicated audience.”

         Choreographer David Dawson


Swan Lake will be performed at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, Eden Court, Inverness, Theatre Royal, Newcastle, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh and Empire Theatre, Liverpool in April, May and June 2016.


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.


Scottish Ballet has launched the Swan Lake Appeal, calling on members of the public to make a donation to help create a new version of this iconic ballet. Check-It Scaffold Services Ltd has teamed up with Scottish Ballet for a pioneering funding partnership, with the company generously matching each and every donation made to the Swan Lake Appeal pound for pound.


To donate to the Swan Lake Appeal, visit: www.scottishballet.co.uk/swan-lake-appeal or call 0141 331 6274




David Dawson biography

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 emotionally atmospheric 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 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. He 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 Chaptersand was nominated for The Golden Swan Award, as Best Choreographer for Overture and 00:00. For Faun(e), created for English National Ballet, 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-length creations of Tristan + Isolde and Giselle, both of which had their world premieres at the Semperoper. Amongst other significant works are Empire Noir, The Human Seasons, A Million Kisses to my Skin, day4, The Third Light, A Sweet Spell of Oblivion, On the Nature of Daylight, and his highly acclaimed timelapse/(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 won the prestigious Prix de Lausanne and the same year he began his professional dance career with the Birmingham Royal Ballet. He joined 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. 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. Since 2015 he holds the position of Associate Artist with the Dutch National Ballet. His creations have been introduced to the repertoires of many ballet companies including Boston Ballet, Ballet National de Marseilles, Dutch Nationale Ballet, Semperoper Ballet, English National Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Hungarian National Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Ballet du Capitole, Vienna State Opera Ballet.





Theatre Royal, Glasgow
Tue 19 – Sat 23 Apr 2016

Evenings 19 - 23 Apr – 7.30pm

Matinee 23 Apr – 2pm

Tickets from £11.00 - £35.00

Box office 0844 412 4300 (bkg fee)

Free pre-show talks at 6.30pm on Thu 21 Apr with Artistic staff and Fri 22 with Music staff. 

Insight: a behind the scenes look at Swan Lake, including watching the dancers take class on stage and a Q&A session with one of the dancers. Sat 23 Apr at 11am. Tickets £5.50 / £3.50 conc


His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
Wed 27 – Sat 30 Apr 2016

Evenings 27 - 30 Apr – 7.30pm

Matinee 30 Apr – 2.30pm

Tickets from £16.50 - £40.50

Box office 0844 412 4300 (bkg fee)

Free pre-show talks at 6.30pm on Thu 28 Apr with Artistic staff and Fri 29 with Music staff. 

Insight: a behind the scenes look at Swan Lake, including watching the dancers take class on stage and a Q&A session with one of the dancers. Sat 30 Apr at 11am. Tickets £5.50 / £3.50 conc


Eden Court, Inverness
Wed 4 - Sat 7 May 2016

Evenings 4 - 7 May – 7.30pm

Matinee 7 May – 2pm

Tickets from £14.00 - £31.00

Box office 01463 234 234 (bkg fee)

Free pre-show talks at 6.30pm on Thu 5 May with Artistic staff and Fri 6 with Music staff. 

Insight: a behind the scenes look at Swan Lake, including watching the dancers take class on stage and a Q&A session with one of the dancers. Sat 7 May at 11am. Tickets £5.50 / £3.50 conc


Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Wed 11 – Sat 14 May 2016

Evenings 11 – 14 May – 7.30pm

Matinees 12 (2pm) & 14 May (2.30pm)

Tickets from £14 - £42.50

Box office 08448 11 21 21 (bkg fee)


Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Wed 25 – Sat 28 May 2016

Evenings 25 - 28 May – 7.30pm
Matinees 26 & 28 May – 2pm

Tickets from £13.50 - £39.50

Box office 0131 529 6000 (bkg fee)

Free pre-show talks at 6.30pm on Thu 26 May with Artistic staff and Fri 27 with Music staff. 

Insight: a behind the scenes look at Swan Lake, including watching the dancers take class on stage and a Q&A session with one of the dancers. Sat 28 May at 11am. Tickets £5.50 / £3.50 conc


Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Wed 1 – Sat 4 June 2016

Evenings 1 – 4 June – 7.30pm

Matinees 2 & 4 June – 2.30pm

Tickets from £13.90 - £42.90

Box office 0844 871 3017 (bkg fee)


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