Ballet West Honors Willam Christensen in Triple Bill
Following their season opener, Ben Stevenson’s Dracula, Ballet West honors Willam Christensen in a triple bill dedicated to his work, values, and history.
Opening the program is a revival of the company’s founder’s The Firebird which is set to Igor Stravinsky’s unmistakeable score. Conducted by Ballet West Music Director Jared Oaks, the Ballet West Orchestra will accompany dancers in Christensen’s interpretation of the Russian tale of princes, monsters, and of course, a magical red bird.
“The Firebird is quintessential Christensen. In it, Mr. C both honors the work’s classic history while bringing in his own unique and dramatic approach to choreography.”
Artistic Director of Ballet West
Next up is Fever Dream, a world premiere choreographed by former Ballet West Demi-Soloist Joshua Whitehead who also composed the music.
“Mr. C was a huge champion of new works for the ballet stage and so I have included the world premiere of Joshua Whitehead’s Fever Dream to recognize Ballet West’s ongoing commitment to the future,” said Sklute.
Closing the evening is a guaranteed crowd pleaser – George Balanchine‘s Stars & Stripes – which appeared on Ballet West’s first-ever program sixty years ago. Thanks to the huge cast, technical demands, and energetic music by Hershey Kay, this ballet is the perfect way to appreciate just how far Salt Lake City’s ballet company has come.
“At the very first performance of Ballet West in 1963, George Balanchine sent his two principal artists Melisa Hayden and Jacques d’Amboise (the original cast) to dance the pas de deux from Stars & Stripes,” said Sklute. “By including it in our 60th Anniversary program, we pay tribute to our beginnings and Mr. Balanchine’s support of Mr. C as he was building Ballet West.”