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 remembrances. … 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

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 … 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 … 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, … 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 … 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 … Read More