BALLET WEST ANNOUNCES 21/22 SEASON
Salt Lake City, UT— Today, Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute announced the iconic Company would return to all live and in-person programming for the 58th Season and feature six full productions, beginning in October at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre. The 21/22 Season is generously sponsored by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and Salt Lake Zoo, Arts & Parks.
“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 Sklute. “We were very proud, last year, to be one of the only companies to present in-person performances during our 57th Season. Now, 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 audiences and performers.
Ben Stevenson’s family-friendly Dracula (October 22-30) opens the season in extravagant flair, just in time for Halloween. Ballet West last performed this epic ballet nearly 10 years ago to standing ovations for the production’s stunning sets, exploding chandeliers, and sweeping choreography. The Los Angeles Times called this Dracula, “a spectacle of an order ballet audiences seldom see today… exquisitely beautiful and atmospheric.” Stevenson is a master storyteller, and in this production, he turns Bram Stoker’s iconic tale into a sensory thrill ride while maintaining the structure and form of an old-school classical ballet.
The Nutcracker returns December 4-26. More than three quarters of a century after Ballet West’s founder Willam Christensen choreographed it, America’s first Nutcracker looks as fresh and relevant as it did the day it opened. Today, it is as emblematic of the holidays as Christmas trees or menorahs. Artistic Director Adam Sklute has been recognized recently in The New York Times and on NPR for his updates to the Chinese variation, by working with the Christensen family to interpolate Mr. C’s brother Lew’s divertissement and adjusting the make-up to create a greater celebration of Chinese culture.
After a long hiatus, Michael Smuin’s Romeo and Juliet (February 11-19) returns to Ballet West. Smuin was an early student of Willam Christensen and became distinguished in his own right – first as a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and the San Francisco Ballet, later as co-artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet alongside Lew Christensen, and finally as founder of his eponymous ballet company. A choreographer of ballets and Broadway musicals, Smuin’s dynamic Romeo and Juliet is a deeply theatrical and heartfelt version of Shakespeare’s epic and beloved story, filled with exciting dancing for the entire company. Intensely human, the story is conveyed through emotive choreography and Sergei Prokofiev’s dramatic score.
Carmina Burana, a Utah fan favorite appears April 1-9 alongside the Utah premiere of Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces. “The day after Nicolo Fonte’s Carmina Burana closed in 2017, patrons were asking when I would stage it again,” said Sklute. With an immense choir suspended over the stage, the reviews were outstanding, “Beautiful, gripping, and dynamic,” declared The Salt Lake Tribune. The program opens with Glass Pieces, Robbins’ pioneering masterpiece set to music by Philip Glass. The work first debuted in 1983 and was considered an instant classic that captured the pulsating heartbeat of metropolitan life.
In addition to the mainstage season, Ballet West will celebrate 10 years of the Family Classics Series with the staging of The Little Mermaid. This one-hour family-friendly ballet will be performed by Ballet West II and students of the Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy. The Family Classics Series includes guided narration to help viewers follow the action on stage. Conceived by Artistic Director Adam Sklute and choreographed by Principal Rehearsal Director Pamela Robinson Harris and Peggy Dolkas, former Associate Director of Ballet West II, audiences are welcomed into a watery world that follows Hans Christian Andersen’s story of a brave mermaid in search of true love.
Single tickets do not go on sale until September, so patrons are encouraged to subscribe now or renew their season subscriptions early to get best seats available. Four-show packages start at just $97. Contact Ballet West at 801-869-6920 or visit www.balletwest.org.