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Luke Isley
Christiana Bennett in George Balanchine’s “Emeralds,” choreography by George Balanchine, © The George Balanchine Trust.

SALT LAKE CITY — This year commemorates the golden anniversary for Ballet West. The 2013-14 season, announced recently, includes six world premieres, a Utah premiere and a major revival.

“The whole season I designed to really highlight the past, the present and the future of Ballet West,” said Adam Sklute, Ballet West’s artistic director. “I chose ballets that celebrate our history and the legacy of Willam Christensen’s vision.”

Ballet West’s season opens with Willam Christensen’s “The Firebird,” a show that hasn’t been seen since 1980. “The Firebird” features dancers moving to Igor Stravinsky’s legendary score. This program also includes George Balanchine’s “Who Cares?” a mix of Gershwin tunes and classical ballet; and Jiri Kylian’s “Petite Mort," recently featured on television’s “Breaking Pointe.”

During the holiday season, Ballet West will perform its classic revival of “The Nutcracker” with certain historical modifications.

Continuing in a holiday spirit, Sklutes production of “The Sleeping Beauty” will be performed around Valentine’s Day and danced to the original score by Tchaikovsky.

Ballet West’s spring schedule brings a world premiere by resident choreographer Nicole Fonte, “The Rite of Spring.” Set to Igor Stravinsky’s creation, the production is designed to commemorate the anniversary of this score while addressing current global issues. The spring program also will include the Ballet West premiere of Jiri Kylian’s “Forgotten Land,” set to Benjamin Britten’s “Sinfonia da Requiem” and George Balanchine’s “Divertimento No. 15,” which exemplifies the elegance of Mozart’s music.

Ballet West’s special season will conclude with "Innovations 2014," featuring new creations by Ballet West artists, and world premieres by Philadelphia-based choreographer Matthew Neenan and Ballet West principal artist Christopher Ruud.

“We are cultural ambassadors to the people of Utah, the people of America and the people of the world,” Sklute said.

To become a season subscriber, contact Ballet West’s subscriber services department at 801-869-6900 or visit www.balletwest.org.

PROGRAM 1 — Nov. 8, 9 and 13-16, 2013, at Kingsbury Hall

"The Firebird" (major revival) music: Igor Stravinsky; choreography (1967): Willam Christensen

"Petite Mort" music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; choreography (1991): Jiri Kylian, Ballet West premiere: 2012

"Who Cares?" (revival) music: George Gershwin; choreography (1970): George Balanchine, Ballet West premiere: 2001


"The Nutcracker" — Nov. 29 to Dec. 28, 2013

"The Nutty Nutcracker"Dec. 30, music: P.I. Tchaikovsky; choreography (1955): Willam Christensen

PROGRAM 3 — Feb. 7, 8 and 12-15, 2014

"The Sleeping Beauty" music: P.I. Tchaikovsky; choreography (2011): conceived and produced after Marius Petipa by Adam Sklute, First Ballet West production: 1986

PROGRAM 4 – April 11, 12 and 16-19, 2014

"The Rite of Spring" (world premiere) music: Igor Stravinsky; choreography: Nicolo Fonte

"Divertimento No. 15" (revival) music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; choreography (1956): George Balanchine, Ballet West premiere: 1990

"Forgotten Land" (Utah premiere) music: Benjamin Britten; choreography (1981): Jiri Kylian


"Innovations 2014"May 16, 17 and 21-24, 2014, at the Rose Wagner performing Arts Center

World premiere — Ballet West principal artist Christopher Ruud, three new creations — Ballet West artists, to be announced; world premiere — Philadelphia-based choreographer Matthew Neenan

Megan Marsden is an intern with the Deseret News writing for the Faith & Family section. She is currently a junior at BYU-Idaho studying communication. The views of the writer do not reflect the views of BYU-Idaho.