SALT LAKE CITY — With its 55th season starting this fall, Ballet West is set to delight audiences with three classics and one production never before seen on Utah's stages. The company will perform George Balanchine's full-length ballet "Jewels," the Tchaikovsky classic "Swan Lake," the Utah premiere of the 20th-century ballet "Onegin_"_ and of course, the local favorite "The Nutcracker."
Ballet West kicks off its 2018-19 season with "Jewels," a plotless, three-act ballet inspired by a relationship Balanchine maintained with a jeweler named Claude Arpels. Each act focuses on a specific stone: emeralds, rubies and diamonds.
“Each of the three sections is evocative of a mood, an era and — even though the ballet is plotless — it tells a multilayered story," said Adam Sklute, Ballet West artistic director, in a news release.
The ballet features music from Tchaikovsky, Igor Stravinsky and Gabriel Fauré.
Last year, Ballet West introduced new costumes and sets for Willam Christensen's holiday favorite "The Nutcracker," presented by The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. "The Nutcracker" is in its 63rd year and is the longest-running production in the United States.
February 2019 will see another Tchaikovsky classic grace the Capitol Theatre stage, when Ballet West returns to the iconic "Swan Lake," which the company last staged in 2015. That previous production broke Ballet West attendance records, according to the news release.
April 2019 will see a production new to the Beehive State, with the Utah premiere of "Onegin," created and choreographed by John Cranko and based on Russian writer Alexander Pushkin's classic work.
"For many years, I have dreamed of bringing 'Onegin' to Utah,” Sklute said. "I consider this one of the great ballets of the 20th century. Cranko’s genius of storytelling, and his brilliant pas de deux work, shine in his deft handling of Pushkin’s heartbreaking verse-novel 'Eugene Onegin.' This piece of dance-theater will have you on the edge of your seat."
Closing the 2018-19 season, Ballet West will bring back the World Choreographic Festival, which will feature dancers from Ballet West and four other international ballet companies.
In addition to Ballet West's regular season, Ballet West II, with dancers from the Ballet West Academy, will perform "Beauty and the Beast," which had its world premiere two years ago on the Capitol Theatre stage. "Beauty and the Beast" is a part of Ballet West's Family Series, which makes ballet accessible to young audiences with guided narration and shortened presentation.
Ballet West's upcoming season will bring a mixture of new ballets and well-loved classics to Utah's audiences, which is just as Sklute wants it.1 comment on this story
“When I arrived in Salt Lake City 10 years ago, I was honored to become part of a company already known for a broad repertoire,” Sklute said. “My vision was to weave the great and storied history of Ballet West with a new, dynamic and 21st-century outlook.”
Single tickets for the general public do not go on sale until September, and Ballet West encourages individuals to subscribe or renew their season memberships early. Tickets for the three-show subscription packages start at $64. Ballet West can be reached at 801-869-6900 or balletwest.org.