Ballet West unfolds a Terpsichorean feast for 2019-2020 season

Wed Feb 27, 2019 at 4:35 pm
By Edward Reichel

Two major anniversaries will highlight Ballet West’s 2019-20 season.

The first commemorates the 110th anniversary of the legendary Ballets Russes and spotlights three works choreographed by Georges Balanchine. Originally a member of Sergei Diaghilev’s troupe, Balanchine emigrated to the United States and founded the New York City Ballet.

The triple bill, “Balanchine’s Ballets Russes,” opens the company’s new season, running from October 25-November 2, and features three early works Balanchine choreographed for the company. The first, Igor Stravinsky’s Le chant du rossignol (The Song of the Nightingale), was a work that Balanchine choreographed when he was only 21 and led to a 46-year friendship and collaboration with the composer. Ballet West’s production recreates the original costumes and sets designed by Henri Matisse, and makes Ballet West only the second company in the world to present this reconstruction.

The two other works on the bill are Apollo, the second in the Balanchine/Stravinsky artistic partnership, and Sergei Prokofiev’s Prodigal Son.

Every December, Ballet West presents Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker in Utah native William Christensen’s original choreography. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Christensen’s staging of the full-length ballet. That was in 1944 when he was the artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet and marked the first time the full length ballet had been performed in the United States. After returning to Utah in 1955 to open the University of Utah’s first accredited ballet school and establishing Ballet West a few years later in 1963, Christensen’s ballet has become a much-anticipated holiday favorite. This year The Nutcracker runs from December 6-24.

From February 7-15, 2020, the company will present Adolphe Adam’s Giselle, in artistic director’s Adam Sklute’s revisioning from 2014.

A double bill featuring music by Mendelssohn and Ravel will round out the season on April 17-25, 2020. The first work, Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Dream, based on William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is choreographed to music by the German composer, while Ballet West resident choreographer Nicolo Fonte’s Bolero is set to Ravel’s ubiquitous piece of the same name.

Ballet West will also play host to the 2020 World Choreographic Festival from May 9-11, 2020, in the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. The festival features the Singapore Dance Theater and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. And Ballet West will premiere two works choreographed by Jennifer Archibald and Matthew Neenan.

In addition to Ballet West’s regular season, Ballet West II will give the world premiere of Snow White, set to the music of Edvard Grieg. Part of the Family Classics Series this production will run November 8-9.

Unless otherwise noted, all performances take place in the Capitol Theatre.

Season tickets are now on sale. Single tickets won’t be available until September. Call Ballet West at 801-869-6920 or go online to to subscribe.

Leave a Comment