The Rose Theatre is situated in what was, until recently, the Charlotte Chapel, on Rose Street in the centre of Edinburgh. In December 2016, Peter Schaufuss, one of the leading dancers of his generation, completed his purchase of the building, determined to transform it into a, or to use his own word, the place to go for suitably sized, cutting-edge theatre and dance in Edinburgh.
Sensitive refurbishment in keeping with the city’s and the building’s architectural heritage is now underway and the Rose Theatre is on course to open its doors to the public in August 2017, to coincide with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, transforming what was once a dancer’s vision into a theatrical reality.
Peter Schaufuss’s family connections to Edinburgh stretch back over 60 years to when his parents, both principal dancers with the Royal Danish Ballet, starred in its production of Sir Frederick Ashton’s Romeo and Juliet at the Kings Theatre in the 1955 Edinburgh Festival.
With ballet in his blood, it's no surprise that when he was just seven Schaufuss enrolled with the company’s world-renowned, Royal Danish Ballet school, where it quickly became apparent that he had a very special talent, Before he was 20 he was carving a reputation on the international ballet stage and soon became one of its most famous dancers, hailed by critics and audiences alike for his powerful technique and dramatic stage presence.
He starred in the BBC tv series ‘Dancer’ and in 2015 featured as one of 'Darcey Bussell’s Ballet Heroes', in which he appeared with his son, Luke, now a soloist with Scottish Ballet.
Since he stopped dancing, Schaufuss, has been artistic director of English National Ballet (for whom he founded the company’s ballet school), Deutsche Oper Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet, and has founded his own company, originally based in Denmark.
As a choreographer he has created over 30 ballets, several of them controversial, many of then dividing the critics but none of them failing to gain five stars from the audiences. His productions of Bournonville’s La Sylphide and Ashton’s Romeo and Juliet have been danced all over the world from the east coast of Australia to the west coast of the United States.
Knighted in his native Denmark, Peter Schaufuss has won several awards, including the Olivier Award and, appropriately, the Edinburgh Festival Critics Prize.
The building in Rose Street has long been important to Edinburgh’s churchgoers: Peter Schaufuss is determined that it will become equally important not just to its theatre and cultural lovers, but to the city’s community at large.