Dance

Ballet West sparkles in “Precious Gems” – Apr 10, 2021

Ballet West corps artist Lillian Casscells as Sapphire in “Precious Jewels Variations,” from 
Aladdin. Photo: Beau Pearson

Five months have passed since Ballet West danced for a live audience at the Capitol Theatre. “Precious Gems,” the title of the company’s spring program, captures both the rarity of live performances such as these in pandemic times and the dazzling work on display in Ballet West’s return to the stage.

The theater auditorium is at 20 percent capacity for the two weekends … Read More

Ballet West program forges human connections during a time of distance – Nov 07, 2020

Victoria Vassos and Hadriel Diniz in Ballet West’s world premiere of Nicolo Fonte’s Faraway Close. Photo: Luke Isley

Watching Ballet West’s opening program of their fall season Friday night at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre was both eerie and invigorating. Social distancing restrictions meant that only 20% of the seats could be sold. dancers wore masks throughout the performance, and only cohabitating couples danced together. 

Two of the three pieces on the program were world premieres, and both ballets eloquently reflected the isolation and … Read More

Streaming links to get your arts fix during the COVID-19 quarantine – Mar 18, 2020

When their Metropolitan Opera production of Werther was cancelled, Joyce DiDonato and Piotr Beczala livestreamed excerpts of Massenet’s opera from DiDonato’s apartment. Photo: (Jorge Parodi via AP)

In order to serve Utah Arts Review readers during the current extended quarantine period due to COVID-19, we are providing a list of streaming classical events, mostly free, that are available online. We realize the situation is dynamic and changing daily, so readers should feel free to suggest any additional favorite streaming sites in the Comments box. Also any local presenters, organizations and musicians offering streaming classical performances, please send … Read More

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 … 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.

… 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, … 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 … 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 … 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 … 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 … Read More