SALT LAKE CITY — Ballet West has long been on the forefront of dance in America, and with its 2019-20 season announcement released Tuesday, the company's upcoming season is no exception.
Featuring two world premieres, one U.S. premiere and two Utah premieres, Ballet West's next season is largely a series of firsts — with two beloved favorites for the traditionalists.
“This will be a season of history, mystery, glamour and drama,” said Adam Sklute, Ballet West's artistic director, in a press release.
Opening the season in October, Ballet West will stage “Balanchine's Ballets Russes” in honor of the 110th anniversary of founder Sergei Diaghilev's groundbreaking company. The program will feature three pieces, starting with the U.S. premiere of "The Song of the Nightingale," a work by the then-21-year-old choreographer George Balanchine that marked his initial collaboration with modernist composer Igor Stravinsky. The pair's second collaboration, "Apollo," is the next piece on the bill — a Ballet West premiere. Third will be "The Prodigal Son," a piece with music by Sergei Prokofiev and based on the New Testament story found in the Gospel of Luke.
December will bring a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Utahn Willam Christensen's "The Nutcracker," the country's longest-running full-length version of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's iconic holiday ballet. In addition to its 2017 updated costumes and sets, this year Ballet West has also partnered with BYUtv to broadcast "The Nutcracker," which will bring the cherished ballet to a wider audience.
Kicking off 2020 — and appropriately timed for Valentine's Day — Ballet West will stage the romantic ballet "Giselle," a tragic and haunting love story first performed in 1841.
After the lyrical "Giselle," the company will then feature choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton's charming "The Dream" — a retelling of William Shakespeare's comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream" — and Ballet West resident choreographer NicoloFonte's "Bolero," set to Maurice Ravel's powerful score.
Concluding the season, Ballet West will host Singapore Dance Theatre and Royal New Zealand Ballet for the "2020 World Choreographic Festival" at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. At the festival, Ballet West will premiere two new pieces from choreographers Matthew Neenan and Jennifer Archibald.
Not to be left out, Ballet West II will perform "Snow White," a newly created 90-minute ballet by Ballet West choreographers Pamela Robinson and Peggy Dolkas. As part of the Family Classics Series, this new look at the well-known Grimm's fairy tale features a score by Edvard Grieg and a guided narration for young audience members. Ballet West II will stage "Snow White" in November.Comment on this story
“I am thrilled to be able to present works that have fascinated me for many years, and build a season that highlights the great technical and theatrical versatility that I believe have become a hallmark of Ballet West,” Sklute said in the press release. “Each program has a unique magic all its own, and the entire season is designed to take our audiences on a journey through great historical landmarks into new and untried territory."
Although single tickets don't go on sale until September, interested patrons can subscribe or renew their season memberships at 801-869-6920 or www.balletwest.org.