Scottish Ballet appoint Christopher Hampson as new Artistic Director

November 1, 2011

Press Releases

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PRESS INFORMATION

From Scottish Ballet       strictly embargoed 10.30am 1 November 2011

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CHRISTOPHER HAMPSON APPOINTED

NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF SCOTTISH BALLET

ballet dancer

Christopher Hampson

Zoe van Zwanenberg, Chair of the Board of Directors of Scottish Ballet, announced today the appointment of Christopher Hampson as Artistic Director designate.

Ms van Zwanenberg said: “I’m delighted that Christopher will be joining us. He has demonstrated enormous energy and vision, as well as a clear understanding about what it means to lead a national company. He has extensive knowledge of ballet repertoire and has wide-ranging contacts within the UK and internationally.”

Christopher Hampson is a ballet director and choreographer, and a former professional ballet dancer. A graduate of the Royal Ballet School, Christopher danced professionally with English National Ballet before retiring to pursue a career as a choreographer and director. He has worked with many companies all over the world and his impressive career to date has seen him win accolades including the Barclays Theatre Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance and his choreographic work has also been nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award.

Christopher Hampson said: “It is an honour to accept the position of Artistic Director at Scottish Ballet. This is a company that has garnered much critical acclaim for its award-winning repertoire, and I am looking forward to working with the excellent team at Scottish Ballet to realise an even wider commissioning vision and breadth of distinctive programming. At its outstanding headquarters at the Tramway international arts centre in Glasgow, Scottish Ballet lives and breathes the air of a fascinating creative environment. I will be seeking to engage even further with local and international artists to develop new partnerships and approaches so that Scottish Ballet continues to enrich, enthuse and inspire audiences throughout Scotland and sustain a dynamic presence on the international stage. I look forward to delivering my aims and ambitions in more detail after I take up the position in August 2012.”

Cindy Sughrue, Chief Executive of Scottish Ballet added, “We are thrilled to welcome Christopher to the Company. Christopher’s commitment to the artform echoes the Company’s focus on excellence and diversity, and we are very excited to be working with him to continue to develop Scottish Ballet’s unique breadth of repertoire and programmes, seeking new audiences and continuing to enthrall our fantastic and loyal fans. “When Scottish Ballet’s founding director Peter Darrell established the Company in Scotland in 1969, it was to be a Company with an exciting vision of strong classical technique with a contemporary attitude.  With Ashley Page’s tenure, this vision has become enriched and he will leave an incredible legacy on which we will continue to build.  We thank Ashley for his work over the past 9 years and look forward to continuing to present his choreography as part of our rich and varied repertoire.”

Christopher Hampsonwas born in Manchester and trained at the Royal

Ballet School. His choreographic work began at the Royal Ballet School and continued at English National Ballet where he danced until 1999.

Christopher has created numerous works for English National Ballet including Nutcracker and Double Concerto, which won the Barclays Theatre Award and the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Classical Choreography.

Since then his works have been performed by many ballet companies internationally.

Christopher’s Romeo and Juliet, created for Royal New Zealand Ballet, was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award (Best New Production 2005) and his production of Giselle for the National Theatre in Prague has been performed every year since its premiere in 2004.

Christopher created Sinfonietta Giocosa, for the Atlanta Ballet in the U.S.A. and, after a New York tour it received its UK premiere with English National Ballet in 2007. He created a new Cinderella for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, which was acclaimed Best New Production by the New Zealand Herald and televised in 2009.

His work has toured Australia, China, U.S.A. and Europe. His most recent commissions are: Dear Norman (Royal Ballet, 2009), Sextet (Ballet Black/ROH, 2010), Silhouette (Royal New Zealand Ballet, 2010) and Rite of Spring (Atlanta Ballet, 2011).

Christopher is a co-founder of the International Ballet Masterclasses in Prague and has been a guest teacher for English National Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Bonachela Dance Company, Mathew Bourne’s New Adventures and the Genée International Ballet Competition.

Christopher’s work now forms part of the Solo Seal Award for the Royal Academy of Dance and he has also been a mentor for young choreographers at the Royal Ballet as part of their First Drafts programme.  Christopher was also on the judging panel for Matthew Bourne’s inaugural New Adventures Choreography Award.

Scottish Ballet is Scotland’s National Dance Company. The Company employs 36 professional dancers, 41 staff and a part-time freelance orchestra of up to 70 musicians. Scottish Ballet’s primary aim is to provide programmes of world-class dance performance and educational activity at all scales.

Scottish Ballet presents a wide range of high-quality dance to audiences across Scotland, the UK and abroad, with strong classical technique at the root of all of its work. The Company presents a broad repertoire, ranging from new versions of the classics through to seminal pieces from 20th century modern ballet repertoire and extending into signature pieces by living choreographers and new commissions.

Scottish Ballet provides a huge variety of education initiatives and dance classes including: work with children and adults of all ages and abilities; and the Associate Programme, which encourages aspiring young dancers to train for a career in the industry. The Company is also closely linked with Royal Conservatoire Scotland, partnering the BA Modern Ballet and M.Mus (Pianist for Dance) degree courses.

The recruitment panel comprised: Zoe van Zwanenberg (Chair of the Board of Directors), Cindy Sughrue (Chief Executive/Executive Producer), Professor Steven Spier (Board member), Caroline Roxburgh (Board member) and Paul Tyers (Deputy Artistic Director).

Ashley Page will leave Scottish Ballet in August 2012.

Scottish Ballet is currently touring a Double Bill featuring pieces by Jorma Elo and Kenneth MacMillan.  The Double Bill will be performed at Sadler’s Wells on 3 and 4 November.

The Company will then tour Ashley Page’s The Sleeping Beauty throughout Scotland and to Newcastle from 17 December, before premiering a brand new production of A Streetcar Named Desire directed by Nancy Meckler and choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa in spring 2012.

In summer 2012 Scottish Ballet will be performing as part of Dance GB: a special programme featuring the three national dance companies of the UK – Scottish Ballet, English National Ballet and National Dance Company Wales – celebrating the Olympics in a unique creative collaboration.

Full tour details can be found on Scottish Ballet’s website.

Watch Christopher Hampson’s Romeo & Juliet

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