SALT LAKE CITY, UT–In 1968, just three days after his high school graduation, the legendary founder of Ballet West, Mr. Willam Christensen offered Bruce Caldwell his first contract. It paid $25 a month. Fifty years later, Bruce is the torchbearer for the legacies and traditions of Ballet West as Ballet Master and Archivist. At the opening of the company’s 55th season, Salt Lake City honors Bruce on his contributions to the arts and a remarkable legacy in this community with Mayor Jackie Biskupski declaring November 3, 2018, “Bruce Caldwell Golden Anniversary Day.”

“Caldwell represented Salt Lake City with pride and confidence, making an impact on many other communities and dance organizations as he toured with the company around the globe several times,” said Mayor Biskupski. “Salt Lake City is extremely proud of this native son for advancing and elevating the arts in Utah.”

At the age of 10, Caldwell started taking ballet classes thinking it would improve his Little League game. His parents had no objections to him taking ballet class, and after a few visits, “my muscles started to get stiff and then sore,” Caldwell said, “I enjoyed the discipline, structure, and music. All the factors came together and it really appealed to me.” Today, Bruce trains the next generation, gently giving advice and mentorship, only a person with his years of experience can bestow.

Artistic Director Adam Sklute said, “When I began at Ballet West, I, of course knew the name Bruce Caldwell. Early on in my tenure as Artistic Director, I called Bruce ‘the institutional knowledge of the company.’ But, after having worked with him over 10 years, now I have come to know and admire him for much, much more. Bruce is a deep artist who brings the sum total of his expansive knowledge and experiences to the Ballet West stage. It is my honor to work with him.”