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With only a few more performances of Ballet West's "Journeys and Reflections" remaining, you'd better hurry to this thrilling triple-bill of George Balanchine's "Chaconne," Garret Smith's "Façades" and Kurt Jooss' 1932 antiwar masterpiece, "The Green Table."

Hard-core ballet audiences have a reputation of preferring the big classical works, but within repertory evenings are some of the most captivating ballets of our time. After all, the elusive peak experience in art is to be emotionally moved and intellectually confronted. The three ballets in "Journeys and Reflections" do just that. They are stylistically diverse yet serve as stepping stones into deeper and perhaps murkier subjects.

Opening the evening was "Chaconne," where Balanchine's legendary love of women is on full display from the smallest gesture to the longest extension. Principal dancer Emily Adams studied at Balanchine's School of American Ballet in New York, and her training is apparent in the detailed use of her hands and sharp attack of her feet.

Principal Katherine Lawrence isn't the long-leggy Balanchine stereotype, but through approach, intellect and strength, she conquered the style: moving a split-second earlier to arrive directly on the beat — classic Balanchine phrasing.

The choreographic structure of "Chaconne" is odd and ingenious, busting the mathematical norms of trios and duets and how those should dissolve into the group of nine. But as corps dancer Anisa Sinteral moves downstage to take center, her easy facility and spring into échappé put all that counting to rest.

Next on the program was Utah native Smith's "Façades," a smart, witty, irreverent and unconventional ballet that is somehow also exceedingly elegant. The costuming, set pieces and wonderful casting create a mesmerizing onstage world. It's what I imagine it might look like to watch a carnival at night from under a circus wagon. Dancers Katie Critchlow and Allison DeBona embody the theatrical essence of the choreography.

Closing the evening was Jooss' iconic "The Green Table." I commend Ballet West artistic director Adam Sklute for presenting this ballet during this particularly strife-filled year in our country. "The Green Table" is a cautionary tale whose stylistic integrity earns it the high praise of a masterpiece. Jooss made this work in Germany in 1932, after the atrocities of World War I and before the horrors of World War II. Joffrey Ballet revived it during the Vietnam War, and American Ballet Theatre first performed it in 2005 as the U.S. was in combat in Iraq. As East Coast dance critic Robert Johnson recently stated, "No one can say our artists haven't warned us."

Costumed in crisp, plain dresses and head coverings, the Women in "Green Table" represent the quintessential peasant refugees — pick your culture — who are powerless against their aggressors and succumb to death. Christopher Ruud was brilliantly cast as the Profiteer, and Beckanne Sisk altered her physical presence to be almost unrecognizable as the fragile Old Mother.

The performance as a whole was exceptionally well cast. These are not ballet dancers trying on modern dance the way adolescents try on torn jeans. The company has developed a distinct language and consistent style that give it the strength and versatility to tackle bold new work and important revivals. —

'Journeys and Reflections'

A sometimes gripping and other times delightful evening of ballet.

When • Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m.

Where • Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $19-$87; Art Tix outlets and

Running time • Two hours and 30 minutes, with two 15-minute intermissions

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