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Argyll dance school goes on tour

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A prestigious Highland dance school is to tour a new production of The Nutcracker in the New Year.

Ballet West, based at Taynuilt, near Oban in Argyll, accepts pupils from all over Britain to its HND professional dance and degree programme.

The tour begins at the Corran Halls in Oban on January 22, visiting nine venues across Scotland and finishing at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on February 20.

The Nutcracker is a largely new production by Ballet West’s choreographer and artistic adviser, Daniel F Job, with new costumes and sets. The company will number up to 100 in the larger venues, with Ballet West’s associates in Edinburgh and Glasgow taking part.

The star roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince will be danced by guest principals, Sara-Maria Barton and Andreas Battaggia.

Sara-Maria is also Ballet West’s creative director and assistant director of the performing company.

Italian-born dancer, Andreas Battaggia, danced the role of Paris opposite Sara-Maria in Ballet West’s Romeo and Juliet in 2015. He trained at La Scala in Milan and currently dances with Ballet Cymru.

The Snow King and Queen will be danced by Ballet West senior principal dancer and vice principal, Jonathan Barton and Ballet West graduate Natasha Watson, an award winning dancer and actress, now a performer with the company and lecturer-teacher on the HND courses.

Uyu Hiromoto, a Japanese 2015 Genée finalist, will be joining the school in January and is to dance the role of Dew Drop Fairy.

Clara and the Nutcracker will be danced by second year students, Emily Corbitt and Oscar Ward. Third year student, Owen Morris takes the role of the Rat King, with Joey Wright as Drosselmeyer, Clara’s eccentric uncle.

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