Michael Robertson 0

Ashley Page to be retained as Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet

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Ashley Page has been internationally recognised for his work transforming Scottish Ballet.

When he joined the company, it was threatened with closure. Today it is unrecognisable, having received numerous prestigious awards, regular 5 star reviews, invitations to perform at the Edinburgh Festival and a resumption of international tours, which promotes our country positively abroad. Ashley Page has been totally dedicated to the Company for the last 8 years, creating new work, building relationships with international choreographers and nurturing dancers. His efforts have been recognised with an OBE.

Now when the Company is so strong, The Scottish Ballet Board has decided to look for a new director, much to the dismay of the international arts world. It is generally viewed as a catastrophic step backward. Internationally recognised choreographers and dancers work at Scottish Ballet because of the reputation of Ashley Page. If he is forced to leave it is highly likely that all this talent will be lost. Ashley Page is a worthy successor to the Company’s inspirational, acclaimed founder Peter Darrell, who incidentally was not coldly dismissed after 10 years!.  Why risk taking the company back to the days when it was faced with extinction! What Director of any merit would work with a board that could treat its current Director so poorly?

Such a move is completely at odds with the aims of Creative Scotland:

• Scotland to continue to be recognised as a centre of excellence for the arts and recognised for the strength and diversity of work.

• To build an international network of partnerships to promote and develop the work of Scottish artists and arts organisations.

• To offer opportunities for Scottish audiences to enjoy the work of international artists.

We the undersigned believe that in making this decision the Scottish Ballet Board is not acting in the interests of the Company. If the Board do not seek to retain Ashley Page, they should be overruled by Creative Scotland or Parliament and Ashley Page be retained to allow him to continue the outstanding transformation that has turned Scottish Ballet into one of the leading lights in performing arts in the U.K.


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