Oct 23

World Ballet Day (2019)

Scottish Ballet
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La Sylphide
New York City Ballet (2015)
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"See the music, hear the dance." ~ George Balanchine (1904-1983)

The five basic foot positions of ballet (of which Scottish dance incorporates several) were devised in the 18th century by Pierre Beauchamps, ballet master to King Louis XIV of France. He created the positions so that a dancer's weight would be evenly distributed over the feet for any position of the body. One of the earliest surviving ballets, La Sylphide, dating from 1832-1836, is set in Scotland! The story begins on the morning of the wedding day of James, a Scottish farmer, who falls in love with a vision of a magical sylph, or spirit. An old witch appears before him, predicting that he will betray his fiancée. The inevitable ensues. This popular romantic ballet is a standard in the repertoire of most ballet companies.

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A celebration of dance, World Ballet Day is an opportunity for audiences to see what it takes to be one of the world’s top companies, providing viewers around the world an inside look at the athleticism and dedication required for a life in ballet via an all day live-streaming event.  Coverage will switch between this year's featured ballet companies to introduce viewers to a variety of experiences from technique classes and rehearsals to backstage preparations.



The Scottish Ballet, unsurprisingly, has its own special tartan.  The colour palette features the Scottish Ballet purple, complemented with a dark grey and incorporating a gold highlight to represent the gold roof of Scottish Ballet’s Tramway headquarters.

Founded by Peter Darrell and Elizabeth as Western Theatre Ballet in Bristol in 1957, the company moved to Glasgow in 1969 and was renamed the Scottish Theatre Ballet, changing to Scottish Ballet in 1974.

For more details on today's World Ballet Day Live Stream, click the picture from New York City Ballet's 2015 La Sylphide, originally choreographed by August Bournonville in 1836.  


Set in Scotland, it is one of the world's oldest surviving ballets.

Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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