Scottish Ballet announces Safe to Be Me™ Festival 2021


Scottish Ballet has announced the Safe to Be Me™ Festival 2021 programme; a digital festival of dance to celebrate diversity, made possible with the support of Aberdeen Standard Investments. Following the success of its schools programme, Safe to Be Me™ moves online, launching as a digital festival for May. Running throughout the month, it will see the company engage with young people to deliver a series of digital dance sessions, inspirational talks and multi-artform workshops that explore identity, acceptance and respect.

Working directly with schools and community groups, the festival will present opportunities for young people to engage with the programme’s focus on ableism, bigotry, family diversity, homophobia, racism, and transphobia. This is in line with key Scottish Government targets to address bullying, discrimination, and prejudice in these areas.

This year’s Safe to Be Me™ Festival has been programmed in consultation with Conyach, Edinburgh International Festival, Intercultural Youth Scotland, LGBT Youth Scotland and Sparkle – The National Transgender Charity. It will see Scottish Ballet use its practice in dance to inspire creative thinking and open up conversation, using movement as a tool to discuss and explore intersectional topic areas, in a programme that includes:

· The world premiere of a new dance film created by Emmy Award-nominated filmmaker Fx Goby, exploring themes of pride and shame through movement and dance.
· A series of inspiration talks from Scottish Ballet dancers and industry role models, discussing creativity, motivation, and overcoming challenges.
· Dance and literary workshops that explore gender identity by inviting participants to express themselves through ‘dance at desk’ sessions, before guiding them in creating poetry in response to work by Rachel Plummer.
Scottish Ballet’s Safe to Be Me™ project launched in 2019 and has since engaged with over 1,000 young people to help empower and support them in feeling safe and confident in who they are. This has been achieved through the delivery of 54 dance workshops, to 37 schools across Scotland.

Image: Andy Ross