Ballet West Announces Company Additions, Promotions for 2012-13 Season

SALT LAKE CITY –  For the 2012-2013 season, Ballet West announces exciting developments and additions to the Company’s Artistic Staff, nine dancer promotions, four new additions to Ballet West, and five new Ballet West II members.

The Ballet West Board of Trustees has unanimously renewed the contract of Artistic Director Adam Sklute. The new contract period begins July 1 of 2012 and runs through June 30 of 2017.  

"Adam is a respected leader, a visionary and a gifted artist," said Ballet West Board Chair Shahab Saeed. "We are truly fortunate to have an artistic director of his caliber in our community.  His commitment to excellence is uncompromising and evident in all Ballet West's performances. The board is delighted with the national recognition the company is receiving for its outstanding productions and looks forward to continued success as we embark on our 50th Anniversary in 2013 and the building of our stunning new facility."

Sklute came to Ballet West in March 2007 by way of The Joffrey Ballet, where he was Associate Artistic Director. He began his career as a dancer with The Joffrey in the mid 1980’s.

New Ballet West Artistic Staff Members
Following on the heels of his contract renewal, Sklute has bolstered the Artistic Staff to include three new faces. Beginning in the 2012-2013 season, former Ballet West Principal Artist Jane Wood-Smith joins the Company as Ballet Mistress; leading dancer, Christopher Ruud, while continuing to perform as a Principal Artist, has been appointed Director of Ballet West II; and world-renowned choreographer Nicolo Fonte has been named Resident Choreographer for Ballet West.

 “The timing for these significant additions is critical,” said Sklute. “Ballet West is being recognized as one of America’s top ballet companies. By enhancing my artistic staff with such visionaries as Nicolo, and bringing in Ballet West veterans Jane and Christopher to join Principal Ballet Mistress Pamela Robinson-Harris, Ballet Master Bruce Caldwell, and my Assistant Heather Thackeray, I am creating a team that can build our already great company into one of the world’s leading creative institutions.”

Ballet West Promotions, New Additions
Haley Henderson-Smith, Thomas Mattingly, Elizabeth McGrath, Ronnie Underwood and Arolyn Williams have all been promoted from Soloist to First-Soloist; Adrian Fry has jumped up from Corps-Artist to Soloist; Sayaka Ohtaki moves from Demi-Soloist to Soloist; Katie Critchlow has been promoted from Corps-Artist to Demi-Soloist; and Beckanne Sisk jumps from New Artist to the Demi-Soloist rank.

Moving up from Ballet West II, the Company welcomes Amy Potter as a New Artist and Ronald Tilton and Joshua Whitehead as 1st Year Apprentices.

Sarah Hochman, formerly of Pennsylvania Ballet II, joins Ballet West as a New Artist. 

New Additions to Ballet West II
Joining Ballet West II, Ballet West’s pre-professional company, is Mary Ann Schaefer who graduates from The Ballet West Academy Professional Training Division; Chase O’Connell from The Paris Opera Ballet School; Logan Martin from The Houston Ballet Academy; Jordan Veit from Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet School; and Utah’s own Kazlyn Nielsen from Provo who danced with The Provo Civic Ballet.

Departing Dancers
At the conclusion of its 2011-12 season, Ballet West bids a fond farewell to Artists Aidan DeYoung and Kuei-Hsien Chu; 2nd Year Apprentice Kathryn Meeusen; and Ballet West II members Kathleen Martin and Ryan Sargent.

2012-13 Season Tickets On Sale Now
Ballet West opens its electric 2012-13 season in Fall 2012 with a dramatic world premiere by Val Caniparoli – The Lottery, based on one of the most famous short stories in American literature by Shirley Jackson. Commissioned on and for the Artists of Ballet West, The Lottery is a powerful and compelling new work, set to a commissioned score by Robert Moran. This exciting triple-bill also includes the return of Nicolo Fonte’s audience favorite, Bolero, to music by Maurice Ravel.  Rounding out the program is the revival and reworking of Helen Pickett’s critically acclaimed But Never Doubt I Love, set to music by Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Liszt. 

Season subscriptions are on sale now, with tickets starting at just $48. For more information on becoming a subscriber, call the Ballet West subscription office at (801) 869-6920.