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PRESS RELEASE: Report from a golden night for a golden anniversary: Scottish Ballet celebrates 50 years in style

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A golden night for a golden anniversary:
Scottish Ballet celebrates 50 years in style 


This weekend, Scottish Ballet transformed the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh for the most glamorous night of the year, Scottish Ballet’s 50th anniversary. Guests took over the theatre’s stage for a dining experience like no other - giant gold pipes and twinkling lights hung from the rafters, bouquets were peppered with golden ferns, even the event finale was dusted with ‘SB50’ confetti falling from the ‘sky’.


On Saturday 22 June, 350 guests gathered to celebrate Scottish Ballet’s 50 years of inspiring audiences, on stage and beyond. The event looked to the future, raising funds for the company’s ambitious ‘Five in Five’ campaign; a commitment to produce five new full-length ballets, over the next five years. 

Compere and comedian, Fred MacAulay welcomed guests to the reception of champagne from wine merchants, Corney & Barrow and canapes from Contini’s in Edinburgh, before leading them to the stage for a three-course meal served by Heritage Portfolio. The milestone event was introduced by Chair of the Board Norman Murray.

Alongside a silent and live auction including top prizes such as, afternoon tea with Dame Darcey Bussell and a once in a lifetime trip to join Scottish Ballet in New York, guests were treated on the night to three world premiere performances from the company.

Principals Andrew Peasgood and Bethany Kingsley-Garner danced a Pas-de-Deux  from Christopher Hampson’s new work The Snow Queen, set to music by Rimsky-Korsakov, which will premiere this December in the same venue. The Snow Queen is the second of the five new ballets commissioned under the Five in Five campaign and will tour Scotland and to Newcastle this winter.


The brazenly named duet, TBA, also choreographed by Christopher Hampson was set to music by Estilo Para Bailar from the album Grandes Exitos de Tango. The dance was made for and performed by Principal dancers, Christopher Harrison and Constance Devernay.


The full Scottish Ballet company performed a Charleston  created by Strictly choreographer, Hannah Flynn, set to the music Shake That Thing by Charlie ‘Papa’ Jackson, which led into a night of everyone dancing to music from That Swing Sensation.


Acclaimed ballet creator Gary Harris, who collaborated with Scottish Ballet on Hampson’s production of Hansel & Gretel, designed the stunning decor for the Gala. Scottish Ballet’s Technical and wardrobe departments delivered the staging and costumes.


Guests included Scottish Ballet CEO and Artistic Director Christopher Hampson and Executive Director Steven Roth; members of the Board of Scottish Ballet including Catherine Muirden and Kirsty Wark; leading figures from the worlds of business and finance including Sir Sandy and Lady Margaret Crombie, Elizabeth and Alistair Salvesen, Geoff and Mary Ball and Sir Bill and Lady Gammell; and Scottish film favourite, John Gordon Sinclair.


Tickets to the event, a raffle and an auction generously supported by businesses from across Scotland and the UK raised £160,000 in support of Scottish Ballet’s groundbreaking stage and outreach work.. The night was a significant achievement and fitting tribute to 50 years of being ‘crafted by Scotland’.




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About Scottish Ballet

  • Scottish Ballet, founded in 1969, is Scotland’s national dance company. Based in Glasgow, the company performs regularly across Scotland, and increasingly throughout the UK and internationally – promoting Scotland’s pioneering spirit far and wide. 
  • Under CEO/Artistic Director Christopher Hampson, Scottish Ballet presents bold, adventurous performances rooted in strong classical technique, accompanied by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra. The company’s broad repertoire includes new versions of the classics and ground-breaking commissions, as well as an innovative digital season every two years.
  • Scottish Ballet runs an extensive engagement programme tailored to the needs of diverse communities, promoting confidence, fostering wellbeing and encouraging creativity through dance.
  • Scottish Ballet’s Dance Health programme is for people living with neurological conditions Parkinson’s, dementia, and Multiple Sclerosis and is supported by Baillie Gifford. Dance for Parkinson’s is delivered in partnership with Dance Base, Edinburgh, and generously funded by The Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Scottish Ballet’s ‘Time to Dance’ programme for people living with dementia and their carers is supported by the Life Changes Trust. Scottish Ballet’s latest initiative for MS, ‘Elevate’ is supported by The RS MacDonald Charitable Trust.
  • In 2019, Scottish Ballet celebrates 50 years of inspiring audiences on stage and beyond, with a creative vision crafted by Scotland. For more information about the Digital Season, The Crucible and the full anniversary season, visit: www.scottishballet.co.uk/50
  • Scottish Ballet is funded by the Scottish Government.
  • Scottish Ballet thanks all suppliers and contributors who supported the event – Aesop, Contini, Co-op, Corney & Barrow, Festival Theatre Edinburgh, Hannah Flynn and Michael Jagger, Freed of London, Givergy, Gary Harris, Highland Park and Edrington, Heritage Portfolio, J Thomson Colour Printers, Kiki McDonough, Narcissus Flowers, PURE Spa, Strathmore, Colin Wolstencroft.


  • Thank you to Gala Committee members  - Susan Anderson, Marie Bartlett, Julian Bell, Eleanor Bentley, Susan Christie, Jacquelynn Craw, Carol Graham, Rhona Grieve, Morag Leopoldt, Alix Meekison, Pam Murray, Sam Pattman.


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