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Last weekend Scottish Ballet transformed the Festival Theatre for the most glamorous night of the year, Scottish Ballet’s 50th anniversary.

Guests took over the theatre’s stage for a unique dining experience with giant gold pipes and twinkling lights hung from the rafters, and bouquets peppered with golden ferns. Even the event finale was dusted with ‘SB50’ confetti falling from the ‘sky’.

Chris Hampson, Shauna McKeon and John Gordon Sinclair

350 guests gathered last Saturday evening 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. 

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

There was 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 and 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 at the theatre. 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 – a fitting tribute to 50 years of being ‘crafted by Scotland’.