David Heuvel, Ballet West Director of Costume Production has announced his plans to retire after five decades working in the arts. His final project will be refurbishing and redesigning costumes for Michael Smuin’s Romeo and Juliet, which Ballet West will revive in February 2021.

“David has made a lasting artistic contribution to Ballet West and to the entire dance world,” said Artistic Director Adam Sklute. “With his vast talent and experience, David has designed and produced an astonishing and diverse array of costumes for the Ballet West stage and around the globe.  His work ranges from the historically accurate, to sleek abstract creations, to charming and elaborate flights of fancy. David’s vision is so broad that it is hard to believe he is only one person.” Sklute adds, “For years, David has expertly run the Ballet West shop, one of the most productive ballet costume shops in country. While we are lucky he will continue to create costumes on a project by project basis, I will miss him as a day-to-day collaborator and friend.”

David’s illustrious career in costume design has taken him around the globe, but began in his native South Africa, at the PACT, (Performing Arts Council Transvaal) in Pretoria. He quickly moved up the ranks in the state-run arts organization to become the director of the costume shop for PACT Ballet.

In 1979, then-artistic director of Ballet West, Bruce Marks invited David to lead the fledgling company’s costume shop. Under Marks, David helped build the reputation of Ballet West from a regional ballet company, to one with international stature.

Three years ago, David completed his third redesign of the lavish 180 costumes featured in The Nutcracker. The first two redesigns were accomplished under the supervision of Ballet West founder and Nutcracker choreographer, Willam Christensen. “I thought a lot about Mr. C this time around. I tried to stay true to his vision while enhancing them with a lofty amount of fairy-tale details.” For his herculean efforts, Governor Gary Herbert bestowed David with the prestigious Governor’s Artist Award.

Apart from David’s work with Ballet West, he has designed and built costumes for ballet companies both nationally and international, including Ballet Du Nord (France), Alberta Ballet, Ballet Met, Singapore Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Carolina Ballet, Ballet Hawaii, Nashville Ballet, and Ballet Memphis. His dazzling work has appeared in television, movies, and recently, in the Taylor Swift hit music video, Shake It Off.

In 2017, David became a United States citizen. “Before, Utah was my ‘adopted home.’ Now, I just call it home. This state has embraced me, and I have been blessed to live in a place that truly values its arts—and artists.”

“The Ballet West costume shop, under David’s direction, is unparalleled,” said Ballet West Executive Director, Michael Scolamiero. “He is a treasure not just to ballet, but recognized around the world for his beautiful designs and craftsmanship. I want to publicly thank David for his service and dedication to our industry and for elevating the artistry on the Ballet West stage, he will be missed immensely.”

Ballet West Costume Shop is generously underwritten by the Lawrence T. and Janet T. Dee Foundation.