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It's not often a top-flight dance company puts a Utah destination on its tour schedule. When they do, it's best to pounce.

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has been the darling of critics for ages, with the adoration becoming all the more pronounced ever since 1996, when artistic directors Jean-Philippe Malaty and Tom Mossbrucker took the helm. "Joy and verve" are its operating adjectives, gushed The News and Observer, while The New York Times praised the company as "a breath of fresh air."

New works are par for the course, and part of tradition where Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is concerned. The company's April 7 concert at The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Center for the Performing Arts features Jorma Elo's "Over Glow," Nicolo Fonte's "Where We Left Off" and Jirí Kylián's "Stamping Ground."

Among the 11 dancers in the company, two Utah connections stand out. Sam Chittenden, in his 14th year with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, is a BFA graduate of the University of Utah Ballet Department and Colorado State University. Katie Dehler, in her 12th season with ASFB, studied on scholarship with the University of Utah's Department of Ballet, where she received her BFA with a performance emphasis.

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Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

When • April 7, 7:30 p.m.

Where • The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City.

Info • $18-$65. Call 435-655-3114 or visit for more information.

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