With its elegance, wit, and theatricality, this program highlights some of Adam Sklute’s favorite works. Jiří Kylián’s highly athletic and profoundly emotional Return to a Strange Land deals with love and loss, set to the evocative piano music of Leoš Janáček. In 1958, modern dance pioneer Merce Cunningham created his unique Summerspace in collaboration with composer Morton Feldman and artist Robert Rauschenberg. Ballet West becomes one of a very few companies in the world to produce this fascinating exploration into movement, music, and art. The program closes with British choreographer David Bintley’s brilliant The Shakespeare Suite. At times intense, at times hilariously funny, the ballet is a series of pop-culture vignettes of different Shakespeare plays accompanied by the jazz strains of Duke Ellington.
“This Program is really a ‘Director’s Choice.’ The three works I’m presenting are unexpected favorites that are theatrically and artistically brilliant in unique ways. The little gem, Return to a Strange Land was one of my most favorite ballets to dance; Summerspace is a supreme collaboration of art, music, and dance; and The Shakespeare Suite delighted me from the moment I first saw it performed in England.”