Ballet West and Four Renowned Dance Companies to Unveil Groundbreaking Works at Eccles Theater

Ballet West will host four of America’s most esteemed ballet companies in Salt Lake City as part of its inaugural National Choreographic Festival, May 19—27, 2017. Over two weekends, and with two completely different programs, the event will celebrate new works that will challenge and advance the art form.

Along with the renowned guest companies, Ballet West will present its own World Premieres by dynamic Resident Choreographer Nicolo Fonte and the distinguished former Resident Choreographer, Val Caniparoli. Further adding to the anticipation of this unprecedented event, the Festival will be the first dance programming ever mounted in the new George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater.

CEO and Artistic Director Adam Sklute has split the four companies and the Caniparoli and Fonte premieres over two weekends. The first weekend (May 19-20) will feature:

  • Sarasota Ballet – Presenting gifted choreographer Richardo Graziano’s ethereal and haunting In a State of Weightlessness, which premiered at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in August 2015.
  • Pennsylvania Ballet – Bringing THE ACCIDENTAL, a contemporary ballet choreographed by Trey McIntyre in 2014 that allows the dancers to play off each other, using the weight of their partners as obstacles to overcome with grace.
  • Ballet West – Premiering Resident Choreographer Nicolo Fonte’s fourth World Premiere for Ballet West. The seventh of his works the Company has mounted since 2012, it will showcase Fonte’s unique brand of musicality, physicality, and fascination that Ballet West audiences have come to adore through pieces such as Bolero, Almost Tango, and The Rite of Spring.

The second weekend (May 26-27) will feature:

  • Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet – Staging the exciting, internationally-recognized choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Before After, a pas de deux created in 2002 for the Dutch National Ballet about a relationship that is coming to an end.
  • Oregon Ballet Theatre – Presenting Terra, a new creation from esteemed choreographer Helen Pickett, set to an original score by American composer Jeff Beal of House of Cards Pickett has a flair for drama, and this latest production takes inspiration from indigenous dances of the world, contemporary ballet, and Joseph Campbell’s work on myth and metaphor.
  • Ballet West – Presenting a World Premiere by world renowned choreographer, Val Caniparoli, whose untitled new work (currently in creation) will be powerful, athletic, and hypnotic, inspired by Lou Harrison’s “Concerto For Pipa and String Orchestra.”

During the Festival, Ballet West will also present one of the new works by Ballet West Artists that is set to premiere in March 2017 as part of the Park City series, “Works from Within,” where four Ballet West Artists will premiere new creations.

“The Ballet West National Choreographic Festival is a new initiative born out of our Innovations series,” says Sklute.  “It is designed to give our Utah audiences the broadest scope of fresh new choreography that is out in the world today. I am excited and honored that our friends from around the country will be joining us to showcase their wonderful companies and choreography and excited that our company dancers will be exposed to such innovative work and still get a chance to create. It’s also a thrill honor for Ballet West to bring the first dance series to the new Eccles Theater.”

Tickets for the National Choreographic Festival go on sale Tuesday, September 6, along with all single tickets for Ballet West’s upcoming 2016-17’s season, which includes:

  • Ballet West II in Performance, October 14-15
  • Madame Butterfly, November 4-13
  • The Nutcracker, December 2-26
  • The Sleeping Beauty, February 10-26
  • Night of Shining Stars 2017, a YAGP Gala, February 25
  • Works from Within, Park City, UT, March 9-11
  • The Little Mermaid, March 30-April 2
  • Journeys and Reflections, April 7-15

(Featuring Balanchine’s Chaconne, Garrett Smith’s Facades, and Kurt Jooss’ The Green Table)

  • National Choreographic Festival, May 19-27

Tickets to Ballet West’s 53rd Season start at just $20, and are available by calling (801) 869-6920, or online at


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