Artistic Director, Ballet West
The Willam Christensen Artistic Director Chair
Sponsored by Peggy Bergmann
Since 2007, Adam Sklute has expanded Ballet West’s outlook, repertoire, and visibility with exciting company premieres, increased touring, heightened public exposure, and a greater focus on the Ballet West Academy.
Sklute began his training in Oakland, California and was with The Joffrey Ballet for twenty-three years, starting in New York as a dancer where he was one of the last two artists personally chosen by Robert Joffrey for his company. He became Ballet Master in 1995 and was part of the team that moved the company from NY to Chicago. In 2004 he became the Associate Director of the Joffrey Ballet. Sklute has extensive television and film credits and is an Adjunct Professor at The University of Utah as well as a teacher, lecturer, coach, and judge for ballet schools, competitions, and companies worldwide.
Sklute was listed as one of the 25 Movers and Shakers of the Utah Arts Scene in 2007. In 2014, he was named one of Utah’s Enlightened 50, and he received the Utah National Guard’s Bronze Minuteman Award for outstanding service to Utah and the nation. Sklute was awarded the Utah Diversity Connection’s Business Award for “Outstanding Commitment to Diversity Initiatives,” and Westminster College’s MLK Unsung Hero Award for his ongoing work to promote inclusivity and diversity in ballet and in our community. Most recently, Sklute was included in Deseret Magazine’s 25 Changemakers of the West for his efforts to build greater equity and inclusion in classical ballet. In 2016, Sklute took on the dual positions of CEO and Artistic Director of Ballet West for the year.READ MORE
Sklute has introduced BW to new and renowned contemporary choreographers such as Jennifer Archibald, David Bintley, Ulysses Dove, Nicolo Fonte, Jirî Kylián, Jessica Lang, Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp, and Natalie Weir to name a few, while expanding the company’s Balanchine, Robbins, and Cranko repertoire and adding early 20th century and Diaghilev-era masterpieces. In addition, Sklute conceived and produced his own new versions of Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle. He has honored the history of Ballet West with a reconstruction of Willam Christensen’s lost ballet The Firebird, and he conceptualized and oversaw new sets and costumes for Christensen’s historic production of The Nutcracker while working with the Christensen family to modify the “Chinese” variation to create a greater celebration of Asian culture. Sklute developed Ballet West’s wildly successful annual Family Series, its Innovations and Works from Within programs, and in 2017, Ballet West unveiled the new International Choreographic Festival which invites companies to join Ballet West and present new and emerging choreography from around the world together on the same programs.
Under Sklute’s leadership, Ballet West has toured extensively to major venues, including four engagements at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2008, 2012, 2014, 2018); Chicago’s famed Auditorium Theater with two different programs (2013); twice at New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival (2009, 2011); twice to New York’s Joyce Theater (2013, 2017); twice to Victoria, British Columbia (2015, 2018); and many more. Notably, in 2016, Ballet West was invited to Havana, Cuba to take part in the renowned Cuban International Ballet Festival.
In 2009, BW graced the cover of Dance Magazine for the first time in 25 years. This was repeated in 2013, and again with Pointe Magazine in 2019. The company has garnered numerous reviews and articles in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Dance Magazine, Ballet Review, and Pointe Magazine. Ballet West was the subject of the BBC Worldwide Production’s docudrama television series Breaking Pointe that aired on The CW channel for two seasons (2012, 2013), and in 2020, Ballet West was the subject of In the Balance, an online serialized documentary about the company successfully and safely producing live performances during the time of COVID.
In 2015, Ballet West moved into the new Jesse Eccles Quinney Ballet Centre. The result is a building that houses six large studios, administrative offices, a costume shop, dressing rooms, and a physical therapy suite to serve BW, BW II, and the BW Academy, all connected to the company’s home venue – The Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre. Following the success of this project, Sklute oversaw the development and building of three satellite locations for the Ballet West Academy.
The Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy has grown in scope and size since Sklute took the helm. Under Sklute’s guidance, the BWA student enrollment is more than five times what it was prior to 2007, and it has expanded its facilities to four different campuses, bringing students from around the world to study in Utah. Sklute developed BWA’s successful trainee program and expanded BW’s second company, Ballet West II, to a touring ensemble in its own right. Currently, 95% of the main company has come out of BWII with a third of them being graduates of the Academy Trainee Program.
Photo by Beau Pearson.
Principal Rehearsal Director
Jane Victorine Wood
Rehearsal Director and Company Archivist
Director of Ballet West II
Artistic Operations Manager
Principal Academy Accompanist
Company Class Pianist
Michael Andrew Currey
Director of Production
Production Stage Manager
Stage Manager and Production Operations Coordinator
Technical Director and Head Carpenter
James K. Larsen
Jeff F. Herbig
Yancey J. Quick
Members I.A.T.S.E. Local 99
The Run of Show Crew
Ballet West is an American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Company.
Director of Costume Production
Costume Shop Manager
Mary Kay Feicht
Vicki Goslin Raincrow
Director of Costume Production Emeritus