Ballet West 54th Season Includes World Premieres and Classic Favorites
Over the next two seasons, CEO and Artistic Director Adam Sklute celebrates his ten years at Ballet West with exciting revivals and world premieres; dramatic classics and contemporary works; and the much-anticipated unveiling of new sets and costumes for Willam Christensen’s beloved Nutcracker. Ballet West’s 54th Season will provide audiences with an unparalleled variety of works that highlight the Company’s astonishing versatility.
“Over my 10 years with Ballet West, my goal has been to build a Company that was adept at all styles of ballet and dance,” said Sklute. “I wanted to create the most versatile ballet Company in the world. During these next two years I am excited to present programming that highlights our dancers’ strength, technical purity, glamor, and their amazing range and dramatic abilities.”
The 2017/18 Season opens with a World Premiere production of Carmina Burana, by Resident Choreographer Nicolo Fonte. With powerful new choreography, sets, and costumes, this audience favorite will include a colossal chorus on and above stage singing Carl Orff’s monumental score. The program will open with George Balanchine’s ethereal masterpiece Serenade, set to Tchaikovsky’s lush and moving Serenade for Strings.
In December, The Nutcracker returns in vibrant fashion with the unveiling of new sets, costumes, and special effects, more than two years in the making. The production will retain Willam Christensen’s timeless choreography and Tchaikovsky’s famous score, continuing its reign as the longest-running Nutcracker in the United States.
One of the world’s greatest fairy-tales, Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella, returns in February.
Considered the most preeminent ballet version of this beloved story, the grand scale production originally created in London in 1948, abounds with elegance, magic, raucous humor, and a cast of more than 50 dancers, all set to Sergei Prokofiev’s mysterious and moving score. It is a spellbinding experience for children and adults alike.
In April, Ballet West premieres three of Adam Sklute’s most admired works. The program opens with Return to a Strange Land set to a haunting piano score by Leoš Janáček. Audiences will see why this highly athletic and profoundly moving work, created by Jiří Kylián, the choreographer that created Petite Mort, was one of Sklute’s favorite works to dance during his performing career. Summerspace follows, created by modern dance pioneer, Merce Cunningham in 1958, with sets and costumes by the 20th Century avant guard artist, Robert Rauschenberg. Ballet West is one of just a few companies in the world approved to produce this exploration into movement, music, and art. The program closes with British choreographer David Bintley’s The Shakespeare Suite. Intense, hip, romantic, funny, and thought-provoking, this ballet is a series of pop-culture vignettes of different Shakespeare plays set to the vibrant music of Duke Ellington.
The 2018 Ballet West National Choreographic Festival closes the season in May, with two unique programs at the new Eccles Theater, bringing together four of America’s most esteemed Ballet companies which will share the stage with Ballet West in celebration of the works of female choreographers and Artistic Directors. For this festival, Sklute has commissioned World Premieres by two women whose work is rarely seen in the United States, Spanish choreographer Africa Guzman, and Australian choreographer Natalie Weir.
In addition to the regular season, Ballet West II dancers and students from the Ballet West Academy will present the revival of Aladdin, filled with comedy, romance, and adventure. This production is part of the Ballet West Family Series, which has guided narration and a truncated presentation, perfect for the youngest balletomanes.
“In my opinion, ballet is the most complete art form, combining music, movement, art, and theater in an incomparable way,” said Sklute. “Over this season and the next, I hope to give our audiences–those well-versed and novice alike–experiences that will entertain and transport. Ballet West is at the top of its game, and we should be very proud to have this world-class Company of artists in Salt Lake. This is the company Willam Christensen built, and I am proud to bring it forward into the 21st Century by making Utah a leader in the dance world.”