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Ballet West has unveiled plans for its 2017-18 season, which will start a two-year celebration of CEO/artistic director Adam Sklute's 10th anniversary with the company, as well as the long-awaited reboot of its classic "The Nutcracker."
"I wanted to create the most versatile ballet company in the world," Sklute said in a statement. "During these next two years I am excited to present programming that highlights our dancers' strength, technical purity, glamor, and their amazing range and dramatic abilities."
The season kicks off Nov. 3 with the world premiere production of "Carmina Burana," by resident choreographer Nicolo Fonte. The production boasts new choreography, sets and costumes, with a massive chorus singing Carl Orff's famous score on and above the stage. The program will include George Balanchine's "Serenade," an ethereal work set to Tchaikovsky's "Serenade for Strings."
"The Nutcracker," the longest-running production of the classic Christmas work in the United States, runs Dec. 2-30. The new production retaining Willam Christensen's classic choreography and Tchaikovsky's familiar score will feature new sets, costumes and special effects that have been in the works for two years.
The fairy tale "Cinderella" will be staged Feb. 9-25. The production an elegant affair with magical elements and raucous humor, set to Sergei Prokofiev's score features a cast of more than 50 dancers and employs choreography created by Sir Frederick Ashton that premiered in London in 1948.
Three of Sklute's works will be featured in a program set to run April 13-21. "Return to a Strange Land," with a piano score by Leos Janácek, is an athletic work created by Jírí Kylián that was one of Sklute's favorites to dance during his performing career. "Summerspace," created by the legendary Merce Cunningham in 1958, features sets and costumes by the avant-garde artist Robert Rauschenberg. And "The Shakespeare Suite," by British choreographer David Bintley, is a series of pop-culture vignettes of the Bard's plays, set to Duke Ellington's music.
The season closes with the 2018 Ballet West National Choreographic Festival, May 18-26. There will be three performances each of two unique programs, bringing together four ballet companies from across the country to share the stage with Ballet West. Sklute has commissioned world-premiere works from two choreographers whose work is seldom seen in the United States: Spain's Africa Guzman and Australia's Natalie Weir.
In addition to Ballet West's regular season, Ballet West II dancers and students from the Ballet West Academy will present a revival of "Aladdin," Oct. 19-22.
All productions, except the festival in May, will take place on Ballet West's home stage, the Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City. For season subscription and ticket information, visit https://balletwest.org.