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Posted: 11:45 AM- Ballet West announced Tuesday that Adam Sklute, associate artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet, is the Utah company's new artistic director. His appointment follows an eight-month search that began with an initial pool of 38 applicants. Sklute was the unanimous choice of the company's search committee.

"We always knew we could generate a terrific pool of candidates," said Dan Miller, chair of the Ballet West board of directors, in a statement issued by the company. "But with Adam Sklute, we more than exceeded our expectations. He brings tremendous experience and a contagious enthusiasm to Ballet West. We welcome him wholeheartedly. " Ballet West's board began searching for a new AD after firing Jonas Kage last spring, after he received a negative performance review. Kage had a year left on his contract.

"Ballet West has perhaps one of the most fascinating repertoires in the United States and I am inspired by its artists with their unique blend of grace and athleticism," Sklute said in the company statement. "Weaving together these elements we will create a new vision of dance in the American West." Sklute danced professionally for the Joffrey for 11 years before assuming various leadership positions within the company. He became assistant ballet master in 1995 and ballet master/artistic coordinator in 1998. In 2005, he was named associate artistic director for the Joffrey.

According to Ballet West, Sklute loves classical, full-length ballets and reintroduced them into the Joffrey repertoire.