SALT LAKE CITY — Ballet West kicks off its 2012-13 performance year with the company's annual gala on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 6 p.m.

The hour-long performance highlights every aspect of Ballet West, from its Academy to the youthful up-and-comers of Ballet West II, as well as Ballet West's artists. The program will be followed by dinner and dancing at The Grand America Hotel, 555 S. Main St. in downtown Salt Lake City.

According to a news release, the gala will open with a Defile performance by The Ballet West Academy, celebrating all levels of the official ballet school. The line-up also features a new work for Ballet West II — "Without Fall," choreographed by principal artist and Ballet West II director Christopher Ruud. The evening will continue with the Second Movement of Jiri Kylian's "Petite Mort," a work that made its Utah debut on Ballet West's 2012 spring program, followed by a Pas de Deux from Marius Petipa's "La Esmerelda," set to music by Cesare Pugni. A Pas de Deux from George Balanchine's "Diamonds" will follow, complete with the music of Tchaikovsky. Ballet West will close the show with Nicolo Fonte's "Bolero," set to the music of Maurice Ravel.

This year's gala will also include members of the Ballet West board dancing in the first ever "Dancing For Our Stars" competition. Five men and five women from Ballet West's Board of Trustees and Premiere Donor Club have been paired with professionals to compete in one of four dances — fox trot, tango, swing and cha-cha. The contestants will compete for votes from the audience and rankings from the judges. Votes can also be placed prior to the contest by visiting www.balletwest.orgNewsAndEvents/SpecialEvents/DancingforOurStars.

For ticket information, visit or call 801-869-6900.