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Christopher Hampson to direct Scottish Ballet

Posted on November 1, 2011

hampson biog pic 2011

hampson-biog-pic-2011The choreographer Christopher Hampson has been appointed artistic director of Scottish Ballet, taking over from Ashley Page. He will take up the position in August 2012.


Hampson (pictured) 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.”


A graduate of The Royal Ballet School, Hampson danced with English National Ballet before retiring to pursue a career as a choreographer and director, working with companies around the world. His choreography has won the Critics’ Circle Award for best choreography and the Barclays Theatre Award for dance. He replaces Ashley Page, who has revitalised the company; the announcement of Page’s departure was received with some shock in the dance world.


Zoe van Zwanenberg, chair of the company’s board of directors, 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.”


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 enthral 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 nine years and look forward to continuing to present his choreography as part of our rich and varied repertoire.”


Picture: Christopher Hampson. Photograph courtesy of Scottish Ballet

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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