Ballet West announces 2016-17 Season

Ballet West’s 2016-17 SeasonBallet West’s 2016-17 Season will highlight the scope of the company’s versatility with works of contemporary storytelling, supreme classical purity, thought-provoking masterpieces, as well as cutting-edge creations.


The season will begin with the long-awaited return of Madame Butterfly, running November 4-13. A timeless and tragic love story, the searing drama of this opulent ballet comes to life through the dynamic physicality of Ballet West dancers. In this version, Australian choreographer Stanton Welch weaves a haunting account of betrayal, danced to Giacomo Puccini’s immortal score as arranged without vocals by legendary English composer and musicologist John Lanchbery.


In December, the retirement of the current physical production of The Nutcracker will be a nostalgic celebration. Audiences will have a final opportunity to see one of the finest Nutcracker productions in the United States, while getting a first glimpse of sketches of the upcoming production in the lobby. While most of the timeless choreography of Willam Christensen will return in 2017, it will be largely reimagined.


Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Artistic Director Adam Sklute’s production of The Sleeping Beauty will return February 10-26. Set to Tchaikovsky’s famous score, this ballet is loved by Utah audiences as well as critics, who hailed it as “bold” and “theatrical.” With additional choreography and staging by Ballet West Principal Ballet Mistress Pamela Robinson-Harris and late Ballet Master Mark Goldweber, along with the glorious and whimsical sets and costumes of Peter Cazalet, Sklute’s Sleeping Beauty will highlight the romance and magic of the popular fairytale, and will delight children and parents alike.


Three diverse works will transport audiences in April with “Journeys and Reflections” – a triple bill that will move through a sweeping range of human experiences. George Balanchine’s Chaconne will take audiences from heaven to earth with Christoph Willibald Gluck’s incidental music from Orfeo ed Euridice. The 2015 “Innovations” smash hit, Facades, by rising star and Utah native Garrett Smith, will return in an expanded and often amusing exploration of self-awareness though a Baroque-filtered lens. Finally, the evening will conclude with the Ballet West premiere of Kurt Jooss’ 20th century masterwork The Green Table. Considered worldwide as one of the greatest ballets of all time, The Green Table is a powerful and timely study of the tragedy and futility of war. 


Rounding out the season will be an exciting and ambitious new program, the Ballet West National Choreographic Festival. For the 10th Annual “Innovations” Series, Ballet West will collaborate with four renowned national guest companies to present audiences with new 21st century works from around the world. Over two weekends, and with two completely different programs, this event will celebrate new creations while challenging and advancing the art form. Ballet West will present world premieres by Nicolo Fonte and Val Caniparoli and guest companies to be announced soon.


In addition to the regular season, Ballet West’s popular Family Series will return with The Little Mermaid, the beloved fairytale that inaugurated the Family Series in 2011. This delightful one-hour ballet is perfect for families and aficionados alike, and will be performed by Ballet West II and members of the Ballet West Academy. It features Hans Christian Andersen’s watery world, complete with a brave mermaid, a prince in search of true love, and a devious sea witch. It will also include narration to help children fully understand the action.


“Our 2016-17 season shows off the breadth and scope of our repertoire, and the astonishing versatility of our dancers,” said Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute. “In my opinion, ballet is the most fulfilling art form in the world. No other art form is as diverse and can cross boundaries and entertain at so many different levels. With this season, I have endeavored to take audiences on a journey through every aspect of what ballet can be. Our dancers are great athletes, and story-tellers, they are supreme artists who are being recognized around the world. Few companies can master a repertoire that is so rich and varied. I’m very proud of this groundbreaking season, which has something for everyone.”


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Photo courtesy of Ballet West.