Experience the thrill of a world premiere

Broaden your perspective on ballet with a program full of cutting-edge choreography and World Premiere performances. Join us in the Jeanné Wagner Theatre for Ballet West’s Innovations 2016 – an annual exploration of the newest works by Ballet West dancers and national and international choreographers. This year includes a new full Company work by internationally-recognized choreographer Jessica Lang, and works by Ballet West Artists Trevor Naumann, Oliver Oguma, Christopher Ruud, and Christopher Sellars.

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JESSICA LANG | Lyric Pieces

The work, originally created for Birmingham Royal Ballet in England in 2012, features large accordion-style set pieces that are moved around the stage to develop new environments for dancers to explore. “Jessica has made quite a name for herself around the world with her beautiful movement quality, deep sense of musicality, and unique vision of ballet and dance,” said Sklute. “I loved Lyric Pieces since the moment I first saw it. It is a whimsical, at times humorous, and ultimately profoundly moving dance poem.”

TREVOR NAUMANN | Homer—A Study in Phenomenological Ontology

The work is accompanied by another newly-commissioned piece of music by Boaz Roberts. Phenomenological ontology was an early 20th century method of analyzing human consciousness that focused on the idea that one’s state of mind is an effect, rather than a determinant of existence. “A heady idea to be sure but, if one considers, it is an idea that lends itself to a myriad of dance possibilities. The work is intense and intriguing,” said Sklute.

OLIVER OGUMA | Fragments of Simplicity

This piece, which won thunderous applause at Beer and Ballet in the fall is a Zen-like exploration of the role of men and women in ballet. It is danced to the music of Jia Peng Fang, a master of the erhu, a Chinese violin. “Oliver creates a delicate world with dancers that reflect the hypnotic strains of the music,” said Sklute, describing the piece.


This is Mr. Ruud’s fourth creation for the Company, it will be accompanied by a newly-commissioned score for piano and string that is conceived, written, and performed live by Ballet West Associate Music Director Jared Oaks alongside a string ensemble. The work is presented in five movements and is about a woman as she looks back on her life. “Each movement is inspired by different major events, positive or negative, that has made up who she is today,” said Artistic Director Adam Sklute. “Jared’s music, melodic and unique, evokes aspects of such great composers as Debussy, Ravel, Britten, and Vaughn Williams. In turn Chris’ choreography showcases his powerful, theatrical, and individual style which is clearly influenced by such genius choreographers as Anthony Tudor and Jiří Kylián.”


The title Barre Spot is word play for both the sacred place a dancer takes during class at the barre, as well as the location one might sit inside a speakeasy bar. Music from Erwin Schulhoff, an early 20th century Czech composer, is the motivator in this ballet to evoke a mood of a jazz-era lounge. His dancers will be accompanied onstage by live music.


In Memoriam

5/20, 5/25, 5/27, 5/28 EVE
Beckanne Sisk
Katherine Lawrence
Arolyn Williams
Allison DeBona
Katlyn Addison
Barbara Barrington Jones
Chase O’Connell Rex Tilton
Hadriel Diniz, Tyler Gum, Lucas Horns, Logan Martin, Oliver Oguma, Beau Pearson, Christopher Sellars, Ronald Tilton, Jordan Veit, Joshua Whitehead

5/21, 5/26, 5/28 MAT
Sayaka Ohtaki
Chelsea Keefer
Katie Critchlow
Jacqueline Straughan
Emily Adams
Barbara Barrington Jones
Trevor Naumann Adrian Fry
Hadriel Diniz, Tyler Gum, Lucas Horns, Alexander MacFarlan, Logan Martin, Oliver Oguma, Beau Pearson, Ronald Tilton, Jordan Veit, Joshua Whitehead

Barre Spot
5/20, 5/25, 5/27, 5/28 EVE
Emily Adams Beau Pearson
Paige Adams, Kimberly Ballard, Lindsay Bond, Hadriel Diniz, Tyler Gum, Jenna Rae Herrera, Lucas Horns, Joshua Whitehead

5/21, 5/26, 5/28 MAT
Anisa Scott Ronald Tilton
Kimberly Ballard, Hadriel Diniz, Tyler Gum, Lucas Horns, Kazlyn Nielsen, Jamie Lynn Schultz, Jordan Veit, Elizabeth Weldon

Fragments of Simplicity
5/20, 5/25, 5/27, 5/28 EVE
Alexander MacFarlan Beckanne Sisk
Jordan Veit Chase O’Connell
Katlyn Addison, Allison DeBona, Chelsea Keefer, Katherine Lawrence, Sayaka Ohtaki, Gabrielle Salvatto, Elizabeth Weldon

5/21, 5/26, 5/28 MAT
Alexander MacFarlan Emily Adams
Joshua Whitehead Adrian Fry
Katlyn Addison, Lindsay Bond, Chelsea Keefer, Katherine Lawrence, Sayaka Ohtaki, Beckanne Sisk, Elizabeth Weldon

Homer: A Study in Phenomenological Ontology
5/20, 5/25, 5/27, 5/28 EVE
Emily Adams, Paige Adams, Lindsay Bond, Tyler Gum, Lucas Horns, Logan Martin, Kazlyn Nielsen, Beau Perason, Anisa Scott, Jacqueline Straughan, Joshua Whitehead, Arolyn Williams

5/21, 5/26, 5/28 MAT
Kimberly Ballard, Laurel Benson, Allison DeBona, Logan Martin, Kazlyn Nielsen, Chase O’Connell, CHristopher Ruud, Jacqueline Straughan, Ronald Tilton, Jordan Veit, Elizabeth Weldon, Arolyn Williams

Lyric Pieces
5/20, 5/25, 5/27, 5/28 EVE
Emily Adams, Allison DeBona (5/20, 5/25), Tyler Gum (5/20, 5/25, 5/28 EVE), Jenna Rae Herrera, Logan Martin (5/27), Chase O’Connell, Oliver Oguma, Beau Pearson, Beckanne Sisk, Jacqueline Straughan (5/27, 5/28 EVE)

5/21, 5/26, 5/28 MAT
Katlyn Addison, Adrian Fry, Katherine Lawrence, Alexander MacFarlan, Sayaka Ohtaki, Rex Tilton, Jordan Veit, Arolyn Williams