A prestigious ballet school near Oban is to tour The Nutcracker to seven venues across Scotland, opening in its hometown on Saturday.
For the first time Ballet West, based at Taynuilt, will be visiting the Gardyne Theatre in Dundee. Earlier this year Ballet West launched an Associate Programme in Dundee and 60 of the young dancers will be taking part in the performance at the Gardyne Theatre on February 5.
The production by the company’s choreographer, Daniel F Job, will be led by Ballet West’s award-winning principal dancer Natasha Watson dancing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. She will be joined by distinguished guest artists, including Alex Hallas and Miguel Fernandes.
Natasha, from Falkirk, graduated with a First Class Hons Degree at Ballet West, where she is a lecturer and principal dancer. She is a Genee medalist and was awarded the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance’s Solo Seal.
Alex Hallas trained at Northern Ballet Academy’s Centre for advanced training programme where he danced in their Nutcracker on many occasions, as well as at English National Ballet School. He has danced with English National Ballet on tour and at the London Coliseum. He has been with Ballet Cymru since April 2018.
Miguel trained at Escola de Danka do Conservatorio Nacional, Portugal and at the prestigious Academie Princesse Grace, Monaco and Ballettschule Theater Basel.
Students from Ballet West’s High Performance Lower School in Oban will be making their debuts with the touring company. Luciano Ghidoli will dance the roles of Fritz and The Nutcracker and Michaela Fairon is to dance the role of Clara.
A total of nearly 200 young dancers from Ballet West’s Upper School at Taynuilt, together with guest artists, and students on the associate programmes in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow and will be taking part in the 11 performances.
The tour opens at Corran Halls, Oban on January 26 and moves on to Stirling, Dundee, Livingston, Glasgow and Greenock, finishing in Edinburgh on February 16.
Gillian Barton, Ballet West’s Principal, said: “Ballet West’s Scottish tours provide an essential element in the training of the dance artists of the future. This year we are particularly pleased to be visiting to the Gardyne Theatre, Dundee for the first time.
“Our classical ballet tours provide a wonderful opportunity for students to dance alongside experienced professional dancers. The high artistic standards achieved in our productions never fail to attract appreciative audiences of all ages.”