According to Gillian Barton's Facebook page, yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of Ballet West's first public performance. It is not clear from the cast's costumes what they were dancing but I am sure it must have been a very good show. Over those 25 years Ballet West has established itself as a successful vocational school in one of the most beautiful parts of the United Kingdom (see Taynuilt - where better to create ballet? 31 Aug 2013).
Our very first post was a review of Ballet West's performance of The Nutcracker in Pitlochry on 23 Feb 2013 (see Ballet West's "The Nutcracker" 25 Feb 2013) and it attracted a lot of page views. We have seen and reviewed three other shows since then - Swan Lake in 2014, Romeo and Juliet in 2015 and The Nutcracker again earlier this year. In January they will tour Scotland with Swan Lake again (see Ballet West's 2017 Tour 27 Aug 2016). At the end of that last post I wrote:
"If Cinderella's fairy godmother were to appear right now and grant me three balletic wishes, one of them would be for Ballet West to make at least one appearance in the rest of the United Kingdom. I am pretty confident that audiences here would love them. I happen to know from conversations with members of the audience and posts to a ballet fans' forum to which I subscribe that I am by no means the only Sassenach who ventures North at the coldest time of the year to see these fine young artists.Shortly afterwards, Gillian Barton replied on Facebook that the company will indeed dance La Sylphide in 2018 - just for me.
And my second wish? Why it would be to see those same young dancers perform the purest and most beautiful of the Romantic ballets which like them is set in the Highlands. Please, Mr Job, pretty please! Do consider La Sylphide one year. I have seen Danes dance it. Australians. Even an Italian in Trecate earlier this year. Why not Scots?"
Ballet West has turned out some impressive dancers in its time including Natasha Watson who was the only British contestant in Lausanne in 2015 (see Natasha Watson in Lausanne 15 Nov 2015), We jumped for joy (with entrechats, grands jetes and tours en l'air) when she received a medal in the Genée (see Yet More Good News from Ballet West - Natasha Watson's Medal in the Genée 26 Sept 2013). As we said last year, you can't argue with success.
We offer hearty congratulations to Ballet West on its first 25 years and wish it every success in the next.