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Scottish Ballet Announces Winter Programme, Including World Premiere of First Feature Film

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The company announced the world premiere of the full-length film The Secret Theatre this Christmas, the brand new short film The Swan and more.

Scottish Ballet Announces Winter Programme, Including World Premiere of First Feature Film

Scottish Ballet's mission is to inspire on stage and beyond, and so the company will build on its creative and innovative digital work to keep audiences inspired, fit and connected this winter.

With theatres remaining closed due to COVID-19, Scottish Ballet is committed to connecting with audiences and tour venues throughout the coming months. With the screen as its stage, the company continues to produce artistic work and community programmes, including the world premiere of the company's first full-length, feature film, The Secret Theatre.

Created by CEO/Artistic Director Christopher Hampson and long-term collaborator Lez Brotherston, alongside Co-Screen Directors Jess & Morgs, the film will bring the magic of theatre into people's homes this Christmas, with an online premiere on Monday 21 December at 6pm.

Seen through the eyes of a young boy as he stumbles into an empty theatre, this Christmas special will feature characters, choreography and music from Scottish Ballet's popular festive repertoire, as the worlds of the Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy collide.

Set against a score of Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky, with music recorded live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, this new film will be an unforgettable adventure for all the family. It shares the company's love for our closed theatres, and the commitment that the show must go on. The film will be accompanied by a series of talks and workshops tailored to the communities Scottish Ballet tours to, delivered in partnership with venues.

This will follow the world premiere of short film The Swan, drawing on Scottish Ballet's sleek and stylish stage production of Swan Lake, and captured through the lens of Director and Editor, Eve McConnachie. Featuring David Dawson's visceral choreography from the first six minutes of Act IV, the film centres the strong, graceful Odette in a lake of light, surrounded by the arching backs, spiralling arms and mesmerising formations of the all-female cast. It will premiere online on Thursday 19 November at 7pm and is sponsored by Aberdeen Standard Investments.

Taking inspiration from the artistic programme, creativity weaves through Scottish Ballet's classes, resources, talks and workshops to keep people moving and motivated this winter.

The SB Health team will launch a new 6-week block of online classes of Elevate© and Time to Dance via Zoom from Monday 9 November, for people living with MS and dementia. These are in addition to the popular Dance for Parkinson's Scotland classes, run in partnership with Dance Base. SB Health is sponsored by Baillie Gifford.

Working with the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland, the Health at Hand series of breath and movement resources were produced for NHS staff and keyworkers, to help alleviate some of the physical and mental impacts of working over long periods. These are now available for everyone to benefit from online.

A brand new programme of adult and children's classes will also bring ballet directly into people's homes; allowing participants to practice and perfect their technique via Zoom. With courses ranging from Absolute Beginners to Advanced, classes will go on sale to Scottish Ballet members on Friday 23 October at 10am.

And, from today, anyone can sign up to become a Scottish Ballet member for free through the new membership programme. Audiences and class participants are invited to become part of the SB community, to make the most of all these digital offerings and to stay up to date with Scotland's national dance company.

CEO/Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet, Christopher Hampson, said:
'At Scottish Ballet, dance is our primary connector to each other and our communities, and we are committed to creating and developing work that continues to engage and inspire our audiences.

Whilst theatres remain closed, we have continued to pivot our creative energies towards digital output, allowing us to connect locally and engage globally. Our expertise and innovation within the digital field means we are excited to present new work that pushes the boundaries of production during these challenging times.

Dance is a medium that brings people together and now, more than ever, we need to connect with each other. By bringing new artistic and engagement work into people's homes this winter, we celebrate the benefits and importance of creativity in all its forms.'

Catherine Cassidy, Director of Engagement at Scottish Ballet, said:
'Connecting with communities is at the heart of all that we do, and we are committed to creating programmes that engage with people from all walks of life.

We feel it is vital to help support and improve people's physical and mental wellbeing and so we are delighted to be offering a range of classes, resources, talks and workshops for people to access digitally this winter.'

Bookings and more information can be found at:

Full programme information:

Brand new artistic films

The Secret Theatre: a Christmas special

Creative Team
Executive Producer: Scottish Ballet
Creative Directors: Christopher Hampson and Lez Brotherston
Co-Screen Directors: Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple

Choreographers: Christopher Hampson and Peter Darrell
Music: Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov & Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, recorded live by

the Scottish Ballet Orchestra

Designer: Lez Brotherston

Writer: Sam Brown
Producer: Beth Allan, Forest of Black
Director of Photography: David Liddell
Head of Hair and Makeup: Darren Ware
1st Assistant Director: Dominic Davey
VFX Specialist: Ciaran Lyons
Editor: Arttu Salmi

This Christmas, Scottish Ballet will bring the magic of the theatre right into your home.

a deserted city, a young boy stumbles into a theatre. He wanders through the auditorium, where rows of velvet chairs, draping curtains and chandeliers seem to lie ina??lonelya??wait for audiences to return.a??The theatre may be empty, but the show will go on... Starring characters from their most popular festive ballets, the worlds of the Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy collide when the theatre bursts into life. this spectacular, feature-length film, you'll be treated to an extraordinary show filled with acrobats, snowflakes, clowns, princes and - of course - beautiful ballerinas.

World premiere on Monday 21 December at 6pm, via Scottish Ballet website.

Tickets for The Secret Theatre are free and must be booked in advance on Scottish Ballet's website. Audiences are asked to consider making an optional donation to support the making of this film and will also be encouraged to support their local theatre.

There will be an accompanying programme of talks and workshops for all ages inspired by The Secret Theatre, for local communities to engage with, delivered in partnership with venues. When booking tickets, audiences are asked to select their local theatre to ensure they receive this information.


CEO / Artistic Director and Choreographer Christopher Hampson said:
'I am thrilled that we are able to bring a taste of Christmas to our audiences this winter with the world premiere of The Secret Theatre. A new venture for the company, I am excited to have developed on our digital work by creating and presenting Scottish Ballet's first feature-film; combining the colourful characters, costumes, music and sets of our festive favourites, and producing a new story that can be viewed in people's homes.

My hope for A Secret Theatre is to entertain and inspire audiences, both celebrating the magic of theatre and the importance of cultural access to our communities. Having had the opportunity to collaborate with people from across art forms on this film, we shine a light on the creative industries with a message that the show, must go on.'

Co-Creative Director and Designer, Lez Brotherston said:
'Christopher and I have collaborated on creating our own versions of stories for some time now. We've been given this great opportunity to collaborate once more and make a feature film this Christmas; bringing the costumes, sets and props from our recent work on The Snow Queen and The Nutcracker together to create a new story.

For me, The Secret Theatre is a backstage adventure, and a story that shares our wonder and love of making theatre. It's my hope that audiences will enjoy this journey through our imagination this winter.'

Co-Screen Directors Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple (Jess and Morgs) said:
'We are delighted to be working with Scottish Ballet on The Secret Theatre. Having worked with the Company during Tremble in the company's 50th anniversary, we are thrilled to collaborate with them again. Scottish Ballet are leading the way with dance on screen and we are excited to be a part of this fresh and pioneering film.'

The Swan

Creative Team
Choreographer: David Dawson
Director and Editor: Eve McConnachie

Director of Photography: Steve Cardno

Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Producer: Tony Currie

The lake is a pool of light. The strong, graceful Odette captivates us, surrounded by arching backs, spiralling arms and mesmerising formations. David Dawson's daring, visceral choreography from Swan Lake is perfectly paired with the rich, romantic Tchaikovsky score in their latest short film, The Swan. With an all-female cast led by Principal Constance Devernay, The Swan is a powerful showcase of their dancers' strength and connectivity.

World premiere on Thursday 19 November at 7pm, via Scottish Ballet website.

Tickets for The Swan are free and must be booked in advance on Scottish Ballet's website.

This short film will be followed by a video interview with the film's director, Eve McConnachie, in conversation with First Artist Roseanna Leney.


Talking about The Swan, Director and Editor Eve McConnachie said:
'I have always been inspired by the minimalism of Scottish Ballet's Swan Lake. I wanted to capture its atmosphere by focusing on the central Odette, against the movement of the swans, following the lines of their bodies silhouetted in the strip of light. To dance this act takes great athleticism and strength so I hope that, alongside the beauty, it celebrates the power of the female form.'

Talking about Swan Lake, Choreographer David Dawson said:
'I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with everyone at Scottish Ballet, and to begin a new adventure of discovery together with the wonderful artists of this unique and dynamic company - searching for new layers within the character and theatre of this mythical love story, and finding new ways of questioning the heart, mind and body, to reach a deeper understanding of this work.'

Brand new programme of adult and children's ballet classes

Scottish Ballet is launching new online ballet classes to enjoy from your home!

Whether you're brand new to ballet, or keen to practise and perfect your technique, we're here to keep you fit and motivated this winter. These live, interactive classes will take place on Zoom and can be booked as 7-week courses, starting from Monday 2 November.

The courses will be taught by Scottish Ballet dancers and experienced teachers. We expect these classes to be popular, so make sure you're ready to book when they go on sale on Friday 23 October. In order to book, you'll need to join their new free membership programme.

For full details and how to book visit:

Scottish Ballet is also excited to be announcing a new 6-week block of Elevate© and Time to Dance classes on Zoom.

These interactive, live classes are especially designed for people living with MS and dementia and can be enjoyed alone or with a family member, companion or carer. Each session will be delivered by SB Health artists and accompanied by live music, offering you a variety of ways to connect with Scottish Ballet repertoire.

The classes will go on sale on Friday 23 October and launch on Monday 9 November for six weeks.

Their Dance for Parkinson's Scotland classes, run in partnership with Dance Base, will continue to be streamed via their Dance for Parkinson's Facebook page on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday each week.

There are lots of SB Health resources to try at home. You can find their Health at Hand videos on their website and YouTube channel. Initially created for NHS & Social Care staff, these 10-minute movement and breath sessions are designed to support physical and emotional wellbeing, accompanied by specially recorded music.

For full details and how to book visit:

Brand new free membership programme

Join Scottish Ballet's free membership programme and be part of the Scottish Ballet community

Want to peek behind the scenes and take part in exclusive events and classes?
Join the membership programme for free and enjoy:

Exclusive access to their online ballet classes, catering for all abilities and taught by professionals including Scottish Ballet dancers*

Access to exclusive films and online events that bring you closer to the company*

Regular email updates to keep you in the loop with their latest news, films, competitions and special offers

Digital subscription to Backstage, their company magazine full of special features and interviews

Perks from their pals - from local to legendary, we partner with companies that reflect their adventurous spirit. They're generous too, so expect offers just for you.

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