Dance

Ballet West’s timeless “Nutcracker” serves up another round of seasonal joy for all ages – Dec 03, 2022

Ballet West’s The Nutcracker runs through December 24. File photo: Beau Pearson

Another December means another round of Ballet West’s beloved Nutcracker.

Now in its 67th season, this venerable Nutcracker builds on the renowned choreography and staging of Willam F. Christensen and provides undoubtedly the biggest show of the year for the company. Year after year, Ballet West sells out a dozen or so performances, proving that Utah audiences have an insatiable hunger for this holiday tradition. 

Friday night’s opening night performance showed … Read More

Ballet West’s program of short works delivers with “Rodeo” and Balanchine/Bach  – Nov 14, 2022

Jenna Rae Herrera and Tyler Gum in Ballet West’s Rodeo. Photo: Beau Pearson

Ballet West’s most recent program forgoes the massive, three-act ballets that crowd the rest of its current season for three shorter pieces from the canon. While many audience members like a big, bold melodrama, mixed lineups such as this offer less grand and more specific explorations. 

At its best, the show, seen at its closing performance Saturday night, presented some of the unique strengths of Ballet West in ways that … Read More

Ballet West brings fresh dramatic life and nuance to Cranko’s timeless “Onegin” – Oct 23, 2022

Katlyn Addison as Tatiana and Adrian Fry in the title role of Onegin at Ballet West. Photo: Beau Pearson

Ballet West opens their 59th season with a lauded classic, John Cranko’s setting of Alexander Pushkin’s 19th century verse novel, Eugene Onegin. 

This well-known tale of love offered, rejected and offered and rejected again—made into a celebrated opera by Tchaikovsky, which here supplies the music (arranged by Kurt-Heinz Stolze)—serves as a fitting base for a dramatic ballet. The tale among the well-heeled Russian nobility features … Read More

Ballet West, Harlem Dance Theater team up for bracing variety in Choreographic Fest V – May 12, 2022

Emily Adams and Hadriel Diniz in “Galantheae” at Ballet West’s Choreographic Fest. Photo: Beau Pearson

Ballet West’s Choreographic Fest returns for its fifth year and first collaborative effort since 2019, when the Covid-19 pandemic halted the festival.

Joined by the Dance Theater of Harlem, Ballet West presented world premieres of Sophie Laplane’s “Galantheae” and Juliano Nunes’ “Orange” alongside Robert Garland’s “Higher Ground” and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s “Balamouk.”  The works differed widely in their narrative scope, approaches to movement and music, and understanding of … Read More

No “I” in company: Ballet West ensemble shines in pairing of Robbins and Fonte  – Apr 03, 2022

Ballet West performed Nicolo Fonte’s Carmina Burana Saturday night at the Capitol Theatre. Photo: Beau Pearson.

Ballet West is celebrating the expressiveness and versatility of its individual dancers this month with two contemporary works: Jerome Robbins’ original choreography for Philip Glass’ Glass Pieces; and Nicolo Fonte’s setting of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, which had its world premiere with this company in 2017.

In Friday night’s opening performance at the Capitol Theatre, both pieces contained worthwhile feature moments, particularly from exiting company stars Beckanne Sisk … Read More

Ballet West’s “Romeo and Juliet” marks a bittersweet farewell for principal artists – Feb 13, 2022

Chase O’Connell and Beckanne Sisk in Ballet West’s Romeo and Juliet. Photo: Luke Isley

Ballet West’s production of Romeo and Juliet threatened to be upstaged by the show’s own backstory.

Just days before the ballet’s opening, the company announced that its popular longtime principal artists Chase O’Connell and Beckanne Sisk would be departing Ballet West at the end of this season to take up positions with the Houston Ballet. After performing with the company for over a decade, the real-life couple was aptly united in … Read More

Superb dancing, eye-catching visuals work their holiday magic in Ballet West’s “Nutcracker” – Dec 05, 2021

Beckane Sisk and Chase O’Connell in Ballet West’s The Nutcracker. Photo: Beau Pearson

Featuring the classic choreography of William F. Christensen, Ballet West’s production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, which opened this weekend, abounds in imaginative extravagance. With big, bold sets, a rainbow of costumes and a flashy approach to dance spectacle, BW’s Nutcracker maximizes the ballet’s potential for magic and holiday cheer. 

John Wayne Cook’s scenic design (with additions by Dick and Belinda Bird) for this Nutcracker immediately flings the audience into wintery … Read More

Ballet West returns to life with a brilliant, haunting “Dracula” – Oct 25, 2021

Chase O’Connell in the title role and Emily Adams as Flora in Ballet West’s Dracula. Photo: Beau Pearson

Ballet West returned to the Capitol Theatre last weekend with a revival of Dracula, an engaging story ballet that premiered in 1997 at Houston Ballet and was last performed by Ballet West in 2011. 

Like Utah Opera, with whom it shares the Capitol Theatre, Ballet West returned to large-scale, full-attendance performances this month after 18 months of scaled-back, Covid-safe events. Unlike Utah Opera, Ballet West … Read More

Ballet West returns live this fall in a season ranging from “Dracula” to Philip Glass – May 21, 2021

Ballet West’s 2021-22 season will open October 22 with Ben Stevenson’s Dracula.

Ballet West will return to live, in-person performances for the 2021-22 season with six full productions.

“While Ballet West replaced much of our past season with virtual and digital presentations, nothing can replace the visceral experience of live performance, which is why I am thrilled to announce our return,” said artistic director Adam Sklute. “We are thrilled to be getting back to the glories of large-scale productions and the joy and energy that comes from a shared theater experience between … Read More

A spectrum of styles takes flight in Ballet West’s Choreographic Festival – May 13, 2021

Allison DeBona and Rex Tilton in “Eden” at Ballet West’s Choreographic Festival. Photo: Beau Pearson

For its fourth annual Choreographic Festival, Ballet West invited current and former dancers to take on roles as creators as well as interpreters. The results, unveiled Wednesday night at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, were stunning. The program illuminated the company’s range and sophistication, with movement vocabularies that were inventive, poetic, and intricate. 

A choreographer’s job requires a mix of artist, teacher, and coach: someone who can amplify … Read More