Culture - we've always made a song and dance of it

16 Jan 2015
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Scotland is a country renowned for its rich culture and love of the arts. Our culture and heritage are celebrated throughout out cities, towns and villages, from living rooms to concert halls.

Scotland is renowned for its rich culture and love of the arts. Our culture and heritage are celebrated throughout our cities, towns and villages - from living rooms to concert halls.

There is always something to see or do in Scotland. Each year we host over 200 festivals; from Shetland's Viking fire festival 'Up Helly Aa', Aberdeen's new music 'Sound Festival', to the Peebles Art Festival in the Scottish Borders, festivals and events cover the length and breadth of Scotland all year round.

The Scottish Ballet Company

There is no better example of this success than Scottish Ballet, who take star position to welcome arrivals at Glasgow International Airport. As a national touring company, Scottish Ballet are enhancing Scotland's reputation abroad by performing across the globe to audiences as far and wide as the USA and Hong Kong.

Scottish Ballet CEO Dr Cindy Sughrue OBE, is pleased to part of the welcome campaign at Scottish airports,

"Scottish Ballet is delighted to be involved in this Scottish Government marketing campaign which is intended to raise the profile of arts and culture to people visiting Scotland.

"As Scotland's national dance company, we tour nationally and internationally, flying the flag for Scottish arts at home and abroad and ensuring we are known worldwide as a vibrant and creative country."

In the pictures, you will recognise Scottish Ballet principal dancers Sophie Martin and Christopher Harrison. In 2014, they captured the imagination of the world with an inspired display at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to the proclaimers song, '500 miles'.

The Majestic Inveraray Castle

Scotland's famed landscape and historic architecture has inspired artists, songwriters and poets for centuries. Scotland is currently home to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 2,400 castles, presenting a wealth of unique sites that would take a lifetime to explore.

The backdrop to the picture above is provided by the stunning Inveraray Castle in Argyllshire, a location with a grand history any many links to the arts. Inveraray Castle has stood on the shores of Loch Fyne since the 1400s. The castle you can see in the image was originally inspired by a sketch by Vanbrugh, the architect of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard, in the 1700s. The foundation stone was laid in 1746 and what followed was the construction of a modern, baroque, Palladian and Gothic-style castle, architecturally ahead of its time. The castle we know today emerged out of a fire in 1877, which resulted in the addition of the third floor and conical roofs on the corner towers.

Inveraray Castle is one of Scotland's many beautiful buildings that are instantly recognisable to visitors to Scotland. It has provided the backdrop to performances and festivals, including the 2012 Christmas episode of the worldwide TV hit Downton Abbey, which was partly filmed here when the castle doubled as the fictional 'Duneagle Castle'.

Whether it's a Highland estate, or the work of a national performing company, in Scotland inspiration is never far away.

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