Ballet West’s stupendous Choreographic Festival VI: Asian Voices sets gold standard for artistic innovation

In 2017, when Ballet West launched its choreographic festival, Adam Sklute, artistic director, told Dance Magazine, “We want this festival for choreography to do what the Sundance Film Festival does for film—create a hub for creativity in dance.” Judging by the exceptionally enthusiastic response from the opening night audience, this week’s Choreographic Festival VI: Asian … Read more

Asian Voices front and center in Ballet West’s 6th Choreographic Festival, set for SLC June 5-8, and Kennedy Center, June 18-23

Ballet West’s 60th anniversary season has been simultaneously a celebration of its groundbreaking legacy in American dance and an exploration of fresh artistic possibilities going into the second quarter of the 21st century.  Phil Chan, an internationally known choreographer whose organization Final Bow for Yellowface initially engaged the ballet world’s artistic gatekeepers to resist treating … Read more

Ballet West’s Love and War provided some of season’s most artistically gratifying moments

Ballet West’s mixed repertory production Love and War generated some of the season’s most meaningful, sensitive performances of the company’s 60th anniversary season. The program note by Adam Sklute, the company’s artistic director, summarized it well: “Love & War is designed to reflect our humanity, showing us our individual soulful divinity, our power and defiance, … Read more

Ballet West at its very best: Record-setting Swan Lake run closes with brilliant performances from everyone involved

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Utah Review is grateful to Chris Myers of Argyle Arts for being a guest reviewer. Over the last week, Ballet West continued their 60th anniversary season with a sold-out run of Swan Lake. Perhaps the most iconic non-Nutcracker in the repertoire, Swan Lake is a monumental classic filled with complex imagery and … Read more

The give and take between music and movement: A closer look at these unique challenges in Ballet West’s production of Swan Lake which opens today

It is fitting that Ballet West’s 60th anniversary season would include a production of Swan Lake, which opens today in the Capitol Theatre and will run through Feb. 17. Willam Christensen, Ballet West founder, staged the first American production of this Russian classic in 1940, during his tenure as San Francisco Ballet’s artistic director. At … Read more

Four young newcomers to live ballet performance find their own connections to the timeless magic of Ballet West’s historic production of The Nutcracker

For many in Salt Lake City, one of the greatest sources of pride in the local performing arts scene has been Willam Christensen’s efforts to make the first American version of The Nutcracker. As The Utah Review documented recently in a historical feature, he transported this version from its San Francisco premiere in 1944 to … Read more

Ballet West’s joyful, exquisite and evocative celebration of founder Christensen’s legacy in The Firebird production

By Chris Myers For 60 years, Ballet West has been arguably among the finest jewels in Salt Lake City’s artistic crown. As the recent retrospective in The Utah Review demonstrated, this company has led the way to bring artistic excellence to the Intermountain West. Beginning last Friday (Nov. 3) with the company’s latest production, Ballet … Read more

A 60th anniversary special: Ballet West’s extraordinary history, the legacy of Willam F. Christensen

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ballet West is celebrating its 60th anniversary and the newest production, which opens Nov. 3, is a tribute to Willam F. Christensen, who co-founded the company. Featured are Christensen’s version of The Firebird, the world premiere of Fever Dream by Joshua Whitehead, recently retired and long-term Ballet West artist, and George Balanchine’s Stars … Read more

Halloween season must-see productions: Ballet West’s Dracula, Pioneer Theatre Company’s The Rocky Horror Show

What better way to celebrate the Halloween season than with the first-class productions of Ballet West’s Dracula and Pioneer Theatre Company’s The Rocky Horror Show. BALLET WEST: DRACULA  By Chris Myers  In 1997, choreographer Ben Stevenson chose to celebrate the centennial of Bram Stoker’s Dracula with a ballet adaptation that would not have seemed out … Read more

Short documentary film Not Another Ballet Story shines a beacon on how a classical art form can evolve for new generations of dancers, choreographers, audiences

The trope of the female ballerina has forever been at the core of classical ballet, on and off stage. But, as with the spectrum of all performing arts companies and organizations, the world of classical ballet is slowly coming around to the realities of staying viable in an artistic world that represents new generations of … Read more