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Scottish Ballet Credit Sally Jubb

Scottish Ballet made the third of five wishes come true as part of the company’s 50th anniversary year.

Responding to a nationwide callout, Lesley Cumming, Alzheimer Scotland’s Community Activities Officer for West Dunbartonshire, wished for Scottish Ballet to perform alongside Dumbarton’s Every Voice Choir as part of their summer celebration.

After unveiling that their simple wish of ‘We Sing, You Dance’ would come true, Scottish Ballet Soloist Jamiel Laurence choreographed a beautiful duet between Principal Bethany Kingsley-Garner and Soloist Evan Loudon, that was performed alongside the 50-strong choir to their rendition of Only You by British synth-pop band Yazoo.

The sold-out performance at St Augustine’s Church in Dumbarton saw Scottish Ballet and the Every Voice Choir perform together after the choir came to rehearse at the national dance company’s Glasgow headquarters on Tuesday 28 May. Led by choirmaster Bryan Marshall, the choir were invited to rehearse with the dancers in Scottish Ballet’s biggest studio, before being given a tour of the organisation that took in the studios, technical and wardrobe departments.

Every Voice Choir rehearse on a fortnightly basis, bringing people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia together, in the hope of improving physical, mental and social well-being.
In a continued effort to share their love of dance and music, Scottish Ballet and Every Voice Choir will continue to work together ahead of a special performance that will see the choir join the company on stage during a matinee of Christopher Hampson’s new production of The Snow Queen in Edinburgh, later this year. 

Talking about the third wish, CEO/Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet, Christopher Hampson, said: 

‘Scottish Ballet continues to be inspired by each of our Five Wishes, as we discover the personal stories behind them. For the third wish, Scottish Ballet has worked with 50 singers from Alzheimer Scotland’s Every Voice Choir in Dumbarton to make their wish ‘We Sing, You Dance’ come true. I am looking forward to continuing our work with Every Voice Choir, ahead of their performance with us during The Snow Queen this winter.’

Lesley Cumming, Alzheimer Scotland’s Community Activities Officer for West Dunbartonshire, said:

‘I am over the moon that our community choir has been granted this wonderful wish and been able to perform with Scottish Ballet as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations. Thank you to everyone who has supported us, and all those who voted for the Every Voice Choir; the journey from rehearsals to performance has been magical for all involved. It is part of a once in a lifetime memory.

Even more special is that we were able to take part in the performance during Dementia Awareness Week. Hopefully this will help to raise even more awareness of dementia and the support that is available.’

Susan Calman, champion of the third wish, said: 

‘It is a powerful thing to unite people through such a celebratory performance. I am so pleased that Scottish Ballet have been able to make Every Voice Community Choir’s wish of singing and dancing together come true.’

Over 400 wishes were submitted to Scottish Ballet’s Five Wishes campaign, with over 100,000 votes cast by the general public. The top 50 were presented to an esteemed judging panel which includes Dame Darcey Bussell, Susan Calman, Fred MacAulay, Janice Forsyth, Christopher Hampson and Principal Dancer Christopher Harrison, with full details of the five chosen wishes announced on Thursday 31 January.

The Five Wishes continue to take place in Scotland throughout 2019 as part of Scottish Ballet’s 50th anniversary year, with full details available here:

To find out more about Alzheimer Scotland's activity groups and find support in your area please click here.