Dance

Dance stars come out for Ballet West’s glimmering night – Feb 23, 2020

Casey and Kayci Treu performed in Ballet West’s “Night of Shining Stars” Saturday night at the Lawson Capitol Theatre.

Dancers from around the world performed Saturday night in a Ballet West program appropriately titled “Night of Shining Stars.” 

This star-studded single-night affair at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre brought together current and former principal dancers from American Ballet Theatre, Ballet West, Cuban National Ballet, New York City Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet. The acclaimed cast of performers also included ballroom champions Casey and Kayci Treu, … Read More

Ballet West’s refreshed “Giselle” creates a moving tale of perseverance – Feb 08, 2020

Beckanne Sisk danced the title role in Ballet West’s Giselle Friday night at the Capitol Theatre. Photo: Beau Pearson

Some people may consider a ballet made 179 years ago inherently passé. But Friday night’s season premiere of Giselle by Ballet West at the Capitol Theatre offered a vibrant and vital performance. Rather than the traditional story focused on the fragility of the title character and her manipulation by a dishonest Duke, the cast turned the tale into a timeless narrative of desire, conviction, and perseverance.

Choreographed in 1841 … Read More

Guangdong Modern Dance shows its range, versatility with “Beyond Calligraphy” – Feb 05, 2020

Guangdong Modern Dance Company performed Tuesday night in the UtahPresents series. Photo: Li Jianyang

Guangdong Modern Dance Company (GMDC) brought its acclaimed performance Beyond Calligraphy, choreographed in 2005 by Liu Qi, to Kingsbury Hall as part of UtahPresents on Tuesday night. Although its name includes the words “modern dance,” GMDC blends a variety of movement techniques, from ballet to martial arts, and its dancers perform with stunning clarity and precision.

Beyond Calligraphy exhibits the troupe’s impressive range of styles. The two-act production suggests a journey from mechanical, assertive, and staccato choreography … Read More

Ballet West’s beloved “Nutcracker” shines like a diamond in 75th anniversary – Dec 08, 2019

Kyra Stafford as Clara (left) joins the battle in Ballet West’s The Nutcracker. Photo: Beau Pearson

It’s not often that a U.S. Congressman introduces a performance of The Nutcracker. But on Saturday night Representative Ben McAdams joined Ballet West artistic director Adam Sklute and executive director Michael Scolamiero on stage to read a proclamation marking the 75th anniversary of Willam Christensen’s staging of  Tchaikovsky’s seasonal favorite.

McAdams ended his statement with a wish for “75 more years of successful productions,” which elicited much applause. It was a lofty … Read More

Dance Theatre of Harlem lively, magisterial in Ogden debut – Nov 10, 2019

The Dance Theatre of Harlem performed Saturday night at the Browning Center for the Performing Arts in Ogden.

The lobby of the Browning Center for the Performing Arts was bustling with activity Saturday night as dance patrons young and old mingled with Weber State University professors and students. The buzz was warranted: it was the first time Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH)— which is celebrating its 50th anniversary—appeared in Ogden.

DTH founders Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook started the company in 1969 following the assassination of Martin Luther … Read More

Ballet West II provides Grimm delights with “Snow White” – Nov 09, 2019

Claire Wilson danced the title role in Ballet West II’s Snow White Friday night at the Capitol Theatre. Photo: Beau Pearson

Like most fairy tales, Snow White features the traditional magical elements––a talking mirror, a poisoned apple.

Yet in the new world premiere production, presented by Ballet West II and Ballet West Academy Friday evening at the Capitol Theatre, there are even more delights—like the Grimm Brothers themselves.

The brothers are featured as characters, Jakob and Wilhelm. Prior to each scene, they acted out the narration (provided by … Read More

Ballet West provides context and spectacle with “Balanchine’s Ballets Russes” – Nov 02, 2019

Apollo is among the works performed by Ballet West in “Balanchine’s Ballets Russes.”

Typically a program note from an artistic director consists of a page or two of information about the performance and its significance. 

For “Balanchine’s Ballets Russes,” the opening show of Ballet West’s 2019-2020 season, the program note by Adam Sklute sprawls to five well-filled and informative pages providing a thoughtful and thought-provoking essay covering the importance of the Ballets Russes, Ballet West’s investment in its productions, and historical connections between George Balanchine and Lew Christensen, … Read More

Ballet West to open season with bounteous Balanchine – Oct 22, 2019

George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky in rehearsal for Agon in 1957. Photo: Martha Swope

In its brief two decades, the Ballets Russes attracted a roster of collaborators that reads like a who’s who of arts history: Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Igor Stravinsky, Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Bronislava Nijinska, and Coco Chanel, to name a few. This multidisciplinary dance company radically changed the performing arts, inspired fashion trends, and even caused a riot. 

In 2009, Ballet West presented “Treasures of Ballets Russes,” and in 2016, the company … Read More

Ballet West closes with compelling visions of the future – May 13, 2019

Beckanne Sisk and Christopher Ruud in Edwaard Liang’s “Constant Light” at Ballet West. Photo: Beau Pearson

Ballet West’s performance Saturday night at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center was not just the final one for the annual Choreographic Festival, but also the closing night for the company’s 2018-19 season. So it made sense that the audience burst into applause after Christopher Ruud performed a duet in the closing ballet, since Ruud is retiring after 21 years of performances with Ballet West.

At … Read More

Poetry on pointe: Ballet West presents a powerful, heart-rending “Onegin” – Apr 09, 2019

Beckanne Sisk and Chase O’Connell in Ballet West’s “Onegin.” Photo: Beau Pears

Classic ballet stories tend to be one-dimensional. There is a prince in search of his true love. He will meet her in the first act and each will be star-struck by the other. Their goal, to be together for eternity, will hit some snags because of a witch or sorcerer. They will overcome this obstacle and be together, even if in death.

Onegin is not that kind of ballet.

Ballet West’s … Read More