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Ballet West's 'Cinderella'??


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#1 TCDC

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 11:50 PM

Has anybody had a chance to see Ballet West perform Ben Stevenson's 'Cinderella'?

I moved to Salt Lake City recently and have had the wonderful pleasure of seeing New Artistic Director Adam Sklute's company perform The Three Musketeers and Nutcracker. This company I notice is not written about commonly however I see great change coming with Sklute. His enthusiasm and pre-performance speeches really set a tone of what to expect for the audiences.

This company has some bright young stars with so much talent spread throughout the corps.

I made a few trips out to Salt Lake during the Jonas Kage era and from the limited knowledge I have on it, the company is experiencing quite the change currently. I've even heard the rumor of a few dancers being let go after this season. (anybody have any creditable information on this?)

I now have season tickets and will be attending every rep from this point on, however I am looking forward to reviews possibly on their most recent performance of Cinderella.

I see a bright future in Michael Bearden (a wonderful prince like body with such calm line and technique), Katherine Lawrence (clearly a beautiful soloist with such strong technique), Jason Chinea (never ending turns and a stage presence that steals the hearts of everybody in the audience), Christopher Sellars (energy anybody would die to have and such a passion for jumps), and Christiana Bennett (my personal favorite. such an amazingly beautiful dancer with legs that never end. Her performances intrigue tremendously and I believe she is married to fellow Principal Dancer Chris Ruud.)

I very much enjoy this company. I look forward to more performances to come.

#2 pnbmom

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 10:21 AM

So glad that you enjoy Ballet West! As a mother of one of the dancers, we try to attend everything we can, although we live several states away. I agree that there is a new energy & enthusiasm. They are particularly excited about performing Serenade at the Kennedy Performing Arts Center in D.C. this summer. Some personnel changes are coming, but I'm not comfortable writing about them. Next season will be interesting...actually several ballets the company has never performed before & I am not familiar with.

By the way, you mentioned some of my favorite dancers above!

#3 love_ballet

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 07:07 PM

I saw 2 different casts of Cinderella. I love the Prokovief music but the story doesn't really grab me. That said, I still enjoyed the performances. The production allowed many dancers to rotate through different types of roles, both principal and supporting (rotating through the 3 casts). Some highlights for me were Jason Chinea as the Jester, and Chris Ruud and Michael Beardon as Stepsisters (albeit not together but in different casts).

I am really excited about the upcoming season -- as much as I enjoy the classics like Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Giselle, they have been repeated quite a bit over the last few years and it will be fun to have so many new (to Salt Lake) works presented. I particularly look forwarded to seeing Madame Butterly being presented both by Ballet West and also by the Utah Opera.

Some of the upcoming staffing changes have been reported in the media: Love Onstage mentions that Nicholas Smith's contract will not be renewed, and Ballet West's Magic Sklute notes that three dancers will not be offered contracts for next year. We will have to wait and see. There are some promising dancers coming up through Ballet West II as well.

While I enjoyed many of the things that Jonas Kage brought to the company (especially the Hans van Manen repertoire) and was sorry to see him go, I think that Adam Sklute may have a better rapport with the donors in the community. Time will tell.


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