Founded by Peter Darrell and Elizabeth West as the 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. A year later its home theatre became the Theatre Royal, Glasgow when Scottish Opera bought it and transformed it as the first national opera house in Scotland. The Company performs across Scotland, the UK and abroad, with strong classical technique at the root of all of its work. Its broad repertory includes new version of the classics, seminal pieces from the 20th century modern ballet canon, signature pieces by living choreographers and new commissions. As a truly national company, Scottish Ballet performs at theatres in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness and in smaller venues throughout Scotland. The Company's long history of touring internationally includes visits to China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Portugal, Ireland and the rest of the UK. Scottish Ballet's many recent awards include the 2004 TMA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance in recognition of its modernisation programme and dynamic performances. Scottish Ballet's current Artistic Director Christopher Hampson joined the company in 2012.
Its education initiatives and classes include work with people of all ages and abilities and its 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; it maintains a programme of regular audio-described performances today.
The Company has a broad repertoire, encompassing classical ballet, contemporary dance and new versions of classic full-length ballets. From the esteemed work of Kevin Walls to world premières by Stephen Petronio, Scottish Ballet's repertoire covers an impressive range.
Dangerous Liaisons (1985) by Richard Alston
Apollo (1928) by George Balanchine
Episodes (1959) by George Balanchine
The Four Temperaments (1946, revised 1977) by George Balanchine
Rubies (1967) by George Balanchine
Five Rückert Songs (1978) by Peter Darrel
White Man Sleeps (1988) by Siobhan Davies
Suite From Artifact (1984, as Suite from Artifact 2004) by William Forsythe
Twilight (1972) by Hans van Manen
Two Pieces for HET (1997) by Hans van Manen
Acrid Avid Jam (2001) by Ashley Page
Cheating, Lying, Stealing (1998) by Ashley Page
Cinderella (2005) by Ashley Page
Nightswimming into day (2004) by Ashley Page
The Nutcracker (2003) by Ashley Page
The Pump Room (2005) by Ashley Page
Refurbished Behaviour (1985, revised 2005) by Ashley Page
In 2009, Scottish Ballet moved into 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 U.K. Designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects, the building features three full size dance studios, including the Peter Darrell Studio which is the largest dedicated dance rehearsal studio in Europe; a technical workshop; wardrobe facilities including shoe and costume stores, fitting rooms and dyeing rooms; a small practice studio; aa dedicated Education Studio for classes and workshops; a fitness suite with Gyrotonic equipment; office space, and a social space and Green Room.
Scottish Ballet's headquarters was built on a derelict site at Tramway. The gold roof has become a landmark of Glasgow's South Side, and the building has received awards including the Grand Prix and the Public Building awards at the Scottish Design Awards and a Silver Award in the Public Building category at the Roses Design Awards.