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Staff

  Gillian Barton
 

Gillian Barton - Principal & Artistic Director

A member of the Royal Academy of Dance and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), Gillian has danced with companies in the UK, Europe, the Far East and the USA.

Born in Glasgow, she has spent many years teaching and dancing in the United States and was the director of the Mira Mesa Ballet Company. In 1991, she returned to Scotland and founded the Ballet West School and company. She choreographed the early productions of the company. Gillian also has extensive experience working in film and television, on the Michael Caton-Jones film, "Rob Roy" and on "Mrs Brown" a film starring Dame Judi Dench and Ballet West patron, Billy Connolly.

Gillian is the founder of Ballet West and has steered the company through its development from early beginnings to the present day.

  Daniel F. Job
 

Daniel F. Job - Teacher, Choreographer & Artistic Advisor

Daniel F Job has long been associated with the world’s most prominent ballet companies and some of the greatest names in the dance world of the twentieth century.

Born in Belgium, he was educated in Brussels at the Maurice Bejart’s Ballet of the 20th Century, in Germany at the Koln International Academy and in the United States at the School of American Ballet Theater. He then began his professional career as a dancer at the Geneva Opera. After three years of residence with the Geneva Opera, Sir Kenneth Mc Millan invited him to join the Deutsche Oper Berlin to dance the lead role in his ballet, Cain and Abel. With the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Mr. Job became Principal Dancer performing an array of roles from the classical repertoire and others especially created for him. He worked with such dance luminaries as John Cranko, Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, Marcia Haydee. He was coached by George Balanchine in his own ballets Apollon Musagete, Symphony in C, FourTemperaments.

Following these engagements, Mr. Job pursued his dancing career in Les Ballets de Marseille, Artistic Director Roland Petit, and with The Royal Danish Ballet. In 1998, Mr. Job received a Gold Medal in choreographic group competition in South Korea as well as the composer’s prize at the Maya Plisetskaya Competition in Russia for his choreographic version of Anna Karenina. Mr. Job is presently acting as Artistic Advisor for Ballet West.

  Sara-Maria Barton
 

Sara-Maria Barton - Creative Director & Assistant Artistic Director

Genée International medallist, Sara-Maria Barton, has had contracts with all of the major British ballet companies: The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Scottish Ballet. She is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance (ARAD) and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA). She trained at Ballet West and has danced principal roles in all of the company's ballet productions. She also guests regularly in the UK, Europe and the USA.

Her film credits include "Rob Roy" with Liam Neeson and Jessica Lange, "Mrs Brown" with Billy Connolly and Judi Dench. She has appeared on numerous television programmes and has danced in MTV music videos. She has been featured in various magazines in the UK and USA, including Hello and Vanity Fair.

Sara-Maria was appointed Assistant Artistic Director of the performing company in 2013 and is working towards taking the company to the next level. She continues to teach young dancers and coach them for well known competitions both at Ballet West and in the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.  As the new Edinburgh Associate Course Director, she is thrilled to be working with many talented students and is striving to give them as many opportunities a possible. She also enjoys guest teaching for other schools in the UK and USA which she does regularly.

In 2010 she toured China, performing The Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Nutcracker" and Juliet in "Romeo & Juliet" in 2011, including performances at the Shanghai Grand Theatre and Beijing Poly Theatre. In 2012 she performed Odette/Odile in Ballet West's Swan Lake. She was partnered by Michael Bearden from Ballet West in Utah. Following that, she was invited to partner him in the USA. This was her first time performing in her home country since moving to the UK in 1990. 

Her role as "Creative Director" is one that she is very enthusiastic and passionate about. Sara-Maria has always had an interest in design, and been actively involved in the creation of all Ballet West productions. She is enjoying working regularly with various photographers and film makers on both sides of the camera to create beautiful images and short films with dancers, in some of the most stunning locations around Scotland. 

  Jonathan Barton
 

Jonathan Barton - Vice Principal

Jonathan Barton was trained at Ballet West and went on to work with English National Ballet and as a guest artist for numerous companies at home and abroad. He is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance (ARAD) and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA). During his time as a student at Ballet West he was awarded the Solo Seal of the Royal Academy of Dance and won a medal in the Genée International Ballet Competition. After English National Ballet, he returned to Ballet West as a senior principal dancer and has danced all the major classical male roles with the company including Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet", the Princes in "The Nutcracker" and "Sleeping Beauty", Siegfried in "Swan Lake" and Franz in "Coppélia". He performed the roles of the Prince & Arabian for the Ballet West tour of China.

Jonathan has also had a number of commercial contracts including an Irn Bru commercial, movement model for a video game and the male dancer in a music video for Slam, shown on MTV and at T in the Park. 

During 2010 he worked with Richard Eyre and Viviana Durante in creating a brand new ballet based on the film "Truly, Madly, Deeply". He toured as Ballet Master for Vienna Festival Ballet for their production of Sleeping Beauty and performed the role of Siegfried in an open-air production of Swan Lake in Greece. 

His reputation as a coach of the RAD Syllabi has increased and he regularly coaches dancers for Genée International Ballet Competitions, he has taught for the RAD on their Senior Awards Day and their Boys Only Day, Scotland's largest gathering of male dancers. Jonathan is also the Glasgow Associate Course Director.

In 2010 Jonathan was appointed Vice Principal of the Ballet West school.

  Andrew McNicol
 

Andrew McNicol - Guest Choreographer and Teacher

Biography
Andrew McNicol is a freelance British choreographer noted as “a name to watch” and “talented beyond his years.” His choreographic work began whilst studying at The Royal Ballet School, where he won the Kenneth MacMillan Choreographic.

Andrew has already choreographed in a range of contexts including for The Royal Ballet of Flanders, Northern Ballet, The London Olympics, New English Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet Upper School, Dance East, The National Youth Ballet, Ballet Central, and Juice Opera Trio.

He has worked with Kim Brandstrup through Dancelines, a Royal Opera House choreographic initiative and Jonathan Lunn through DanceEast’s ChoreoLab Project. He also received his Master of the Arts through Ballet Central’s new Professional Choreographic Programme.

In 2014, he was a nominee for the prestigious Rolex Mentor and Protégé Award and in 2015 he was shortlisted for the New Adventures Choreographic Award.

Andrew has collaborated with acclaimed film composer Rachael Portman, Glyndebourne’s young resident composer Luke Styles and Linbury prize winning designer Emma Bailey.

In 2015, he became the first invited choreographer to work with Northern Ballet on their inaugural choreographic project alongside choreographers from The Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet.

Recent projects in 2015 include choreographing for The New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet and returning to choreograph for The Royal Ballet Flanders by kind invitation of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in September.

The Press
“Moving, memorable ballet...unfolds with canny clarity and much passion”
Deborah Weiss, Dance Europe.

“Stand-out piece” - The Stage

‘"Impressive young choreographer, musical and fully engaged - Jann Parry

“Imaginative and effective approach...well crafted” - bachtrack.comA

  Jordi Guitart
 

Jordi Guitart - Head of Jazz

Jordi came to England from Barcelona in 1990 and trained as a dancer at Bodywork and The Urdang Academy. His professional career has taken him all over the world both as a dancer and choreographer. As well as a string of cabaret shows, cruises, fashion and trade shows, pop videos, film and TV, Jordi has also had the privilege of working in the “West End” in hit shows such as, “Saturday Night Fever”(played the part of Jorge and covered Caesar) and “La Cava”(ensemble and first cover Tariq). In 1999 he played to an audience of over 8000 people every night at the Oslo Spektrum in Norway in one of the largest productions of “Fame” ever to hit the stage. He's also toured as Bernardo in " West Side Story" and as Judas in " Jesus Christ Superstar. Jordi’s passion for musical theatre continues as he recently found himself involved in yet another exciting new project, soon to hit the west end, “Hell sing” , where he was assistant choreographer to Mark Battershall and Geoff Coleman(as seen on TV in Pineapple Studios).   A new version with a new choreographer Jason Pennycooke was unveiled at Move It on Saturday 12th of March 2011 and Jordi was again assistant choreographer, and main choreographer on the newest incarnation of the Show for their 12th of May Showcase at the Bloomsbury Theatre. He had also worked on the new series , Louie Spence’s Showbusiness ( being God!!! ).

Currently Jordi is working as a teacher and choreographer for many of the main dance and performing arts colleges in the UK and abroad, including “Ballet West” where he is head of the jazz department and Expressions where he is Head of Dance. He also runs his own, successful, part time dance school, “TGS” with his wife Nicola. Just recently he co-directed and choreographed, “ Stars Falling” at the Key Theatre. Jordi is about to embark in yet another West End musical to be called “ The Golden Voice” with his great friend Nick Fogarty in what has been a labour of love for many years!!!

A couple of summer ago he took his Ballet West Company to perform at the Videopolis stage in Disney Paris. They performed his production of " Star Cross'd Lovers" , a modern re-telling of Romeo and Juliet.

He has just finished working with the Fulbridge Academy on " Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and choreographing a Boxing Charity Gala.

A very busy 2014 with choreography for a couple of appearances at the Royal Albert Hall , and Sadlers Wells beckons apart from choreography for another West End Musical called " Best Of Friends".

Currently just finished choreographing Jessica Steele( The Voice) first public appearance and a Variety Show at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane ,London and EPA's appearance at Move It.

Jordi has been teaching at Ballet West for the last 21 years and looks forward to another 21!!!!

  Martin Fenton
 

Martin Fenton - Contemporary, Jazz and Hip Hop Teacher

Martin Fenton trained as an Acrobat, classical dancer and Gymnast, achieving world championship-level in the latter. He was educated at Dancepoint Musical Theatre School, English National Ballet and the Broadway Dance Centre and is a widely experienced commercial dancer. He has appeared in music videos for Robbie Williams and The Wanted, and has worked extensively in television, including the Royal Variety Performance, the Paul O’Grady Show, the National Television Awards and a number of adverts.  Martin also took part in the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, dancing for the Pet Shop Boys, Blur, Jessie J. and One Direction amongst others. He has also danced in London's West End productions of "The Snowman" and "Season's of Love".

Martin teaches Jazz and Contemporary classes for full-time students at Ballet West and Hip Hop Jazz classes as part of our Outreach programme and occasionally performs with Ballet West.

  Michael Barnett
 

Michael Barnett - Musician

Michael Barnett was born in Glasgow and is a double graduate in Music from Glasgow University. Upon graduating he has worked predominantly in the field of Dance, and for more than a decade was based at the Dance School of Scotland, latterly as Musical Associate. As a freelance accompanist he has played for Ballet West since 1993 and regards Taynuilt almost as a second home! Very involved in the dance world he plays regularly for Scottish Ballet and for visiting Companies; in the last year these have included NDT2, Juilliard Dance, the Michael Clarke Company and the Royal Ballet School.

Michael is also a very experienced concert performer and MD, equally at home in the ‘pit’ orchestra as the stage. He is a regular 'Pops' keyboards player with the RSNO and other Scottish orchestras and has played for numerous musicals.

Since their formation in 2003 he has been the MD for Caledon, Scotland's Tenors and has toured the world with them playing all manner of shows: cabaret in Berlin, orchestral 'pops' nights to a Scottish gala in the Sydney Opera House, whisky extravaganzas in the Caribbean to Corporate events for New York bankers! They have released several CDs, DVDs and range of lovely accessories in their own tartan! In that time Michael has worked with extensively as a duo with the tenor Jamie MacDougall. They have toured North America and in 2012 performed a sell-out concert with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. In May 2013 they are off on a National Trust cultural cruise and a new CD is in preparation.

 
 

Olga Voloboueva – Guest Ballet Mistress

Russian-born Olga was trained at the Vaganova Ballet Academy of St. Petersburg and joined the Kirov Ballet where she performed the principal roles of Odette and Odile in Swan lake, Nikiya and Gamzatti in La Bayadere and Giselle among many others.
She has been a guest artist with companies all over the world including Japan and The USA, performing Juliet and Aurora with Colorado Ballet, together with recent work by modern choreographers. She currently lives in Belgium and performs with the Royal Ballet of Flanders. She is a guest teacher, principal and ballet mistress for numerous companies and schools.

 
 

Amanda MacArthur-Sloss - Outreach Teacher

Amanda has been involved with Ballet West since its foundation in 1991. She was one of the first to join the full-time course and during her time at the school gained a wealth of experience as a performer and teacher. She has been teaching the younger Ballet West students at Taynuilt for a number of years and has helped many of them to achieve excellent results in their Royal Academy of Dance exams. She teaches classes around Oban, specializing particularly in working with local nurseries and other pre-school groups. She has contributed enormously to the great success of Ballet West's junior productions of "Hansel and Gretal", "Swan Lake" & "Coppélia" and is keen to involve children from her classes in future productions.

 
 

Vicky Horn - Outreach Teacher

Vicky Horn completed her training at Ballet West Upper School in 2000. She has been awarded the Solo Seal of the Royal Academy of Dance. Vicky reached the finals of the first Molly Lake awards in 1999 and participated in the Adeline Genee awards in 2000. She is from Ballachulish and danced with the company for several years. She performed many roles in the Ballet West's productions, most notably, Odile in "Swan Lake" (1996) and Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet" (1999-2000). In addition to her work with Ballet West, she has danced with her brother David as a guest partnership in various productions. Vicky now teaches for Ballet West's outreach programme in Fort William.


Contact Us

Ballet West
Ichrachan House - Taynuilt - Argyll - PA35 1HP - Scotland - UK
t. 01866 822641 - e. balletwest@btconnect.com
Ballet West is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status
Company Number 175325 - Scottish Charity Number SCO22105

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