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Scottish Ballet’s story goes back to 1969. But the history of our company goes back even further.

Our founder, Peter Darrell, first set up his ballet company in Bristol in 1957 with Elizabeth West. In 1969, he accepted an invitation to relocate the company to Glasgow, and give Scotland its own resident, classical ballet company. From the start, Scottish Ballet (first known as Scottish Theatre Ballet) was known for staging exciting new works in our nations’s cities, as well as touring small-scale pieces to more rural areas.

Our founder: Peter Darrell

Peter was a choreographer and gifted storyteller who captured the imagination of his audiences.

[Darrell] was alive to new trends in fashion and popular music … The resulting ballets were as up-to-the-minute as any other art form or entertainment. If the 60s were swingin’ – ballet would swing, too.

Mary Brennan

Peter Darrell crosses his arms under his chin as he looks to the distance

For more information about Peter Darrell, Choreographer and Founder of Scottish Ballet, visit the Peter Darrell Trust website.


Exceptional from the start

Creativity. Ambition. A passion for performance. These traits have driven our every move since the start. They’ve pushed us to lead the way, and shaped our repertoire – covering everything from the classical to the fiercely contemporary.

I have danced many times with Scottish Ballet and have always admired the dedication and enthusiasm of its dancers and management.

Margot Fonteyn

Our pioneering spirit is also alive off-stage. Scottish Ballet’s history is full of firsts: setting the standard in dance audio-description for the visually impaired, actively supporting the careers of female choreographers, creating the first ‘Piano for Dance’ course and producing our ground-breaking Digital Season.