A busy year awaits with packed Scottish Ballet schedule

After a year and a half of focusing on its already prolific digital and film output, Scottish Ballet returned to stages in autumn 2021 to rapturous audiences and star-studded reviews.

Both dancers and producers demonstrated extreme flexibility with Gene Kelly’s Starstruck, which premiered as both a live tour and a feature-length dance film presented on Marquee TV. The Nutcracker returned to stages in Scotland, but garnered international attention due to subtle updates made to some of the costumes and choreography, addressing racial stereotypes and questioning the gender of ‘hero’ characters.

‘We’re not an A-listed building, ballet must evolve to speak to our times,’ said artistic director and CEO Christopher Hampson.

With one foot rooted in strong, classical technique and the other leaping boldly into the future, Scottish Ballet is looking forward to a year like no other in 2022, with a packed programme of exciting premieres:

The Scandal at Mayerling. 13 April – 28 May, Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen, Edinburgh.

Reimagined and redesigned by Scottish Ballet, this dramatic world premiere will be the first time Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s iconic ballet is produced in the UK outside of London. Set in 1889 in the opulent, royal courts of Vienna, The Scandal at Mayerling tells the true story of the Crown Prince Rudolf, an anti-hero as compelling as Hamlet.

In a series of increasingly intense duets with his mother, his wife, and his teenage mistress, Rudolf descends deeper into his obsession with death, and hurtles towards tragedy. MacMillan’s breathtaking choreography takes us on a physical and emotional rollercoaster, as Scottish Ballet turns the spotlight onto the lethal power dynamics in this gripping story of a royal family’s destructive descent.

The sweeping intensity of the choreography is matched by the sumptuous music of Franz Liszt, performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra. This production comes with a content warning that it includes themes of mental illness, sexual violence, addiction and suicide.

Moving Minds – An Immersive Conference. Mental Health, Wellbeing and Dance, 4-6 May 2022, Glasgow and online.

Scottish Ballet Health presents this first major conference of its kind in Scotland, examining the connections between mental health, wellbeing and dance for young people.

This immersive event will feature panel discussions, performances and workshops for those working with young people in dance, education, health and social care, mental health and policy. Leave your suits at home and join the conversation! Tickets on sale from January.

The Crucible, 14-18 June, Sadler’s Wells, London.

The Crucible bewitched audiences and garnered five-star reviews when it premiered at Edinburgh International Festival in 2019. Helen Pickett’s white-hot choreography unleashes the emotional force of Arthur Miller’s riveting masterpiece, vividly soundtracked by Peter Salem’s haunting score.

This London premiere marks the production’s first performances outside Scotland, with tickets on sale from 31 January.

Coppélia, Edinburgh International Festival, August 2022. Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen, Autumn 2022. Dates TBA.

Scottish Ballet will test the boundaries of dance, theatre and film in this distinctive new adaptation of the classic ballet, blending location and real-time filming with projection and live performance. This innovative, darkly comic world premiere of Coppélia will be choreographed and directed by award-winning dance film makers duo Jess and Morgs.

Building on their previous films for Scottish Ballet (Tremble, The Secret Theatre), Jess & Morgs will explore our relationship with reality and artificial intelligence, through their playful use of the camera, creating a unique experience for a live theatre audience. The original Delibes score will have a new arrangement, performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra. Coppélia has been commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival.

The Snow Queen, from Scottish Ballet

The Snow Queen, 19 Nov 2022 – 28 Jan 2023. Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness.

Following 2019’s premiere and sell-out tour, The Snow Queen makes her spectacular, sparkling return to Scottish stages, arriving in Edinburgh a little earlier than usual. This glittering production, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale (also the basis for Frozen), is choreographed by Scottish Ballet Artistic Director Christopher Hampson, designed by the award-winning Lez Brotherston and set to the music of Rimsky-Korsakov, performed live by the full Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

As part of the company’s commitment to addressing and removing racist stereotypes from ballet, there will be some subtle but important improvements to scenes inspired by the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, ensuring The Snow Queen remains a festive family favourite for years to come.

The world premieres of The Scandal at Mayerling and Coppélia, and the return of The Crucible and The Snow Queen have been supported by patrons of The Five in Five Campaign. The campaign was launched in 2019 to commission and stage five new full-length ballets in five years; a legacy of work to commemorate Scottish Ballet’s 50th anniversary year.

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