Ballet West II has established a reputation as an elite touring ensemble, with the versatility to perform a broad spectrum of dance in venues of all sizes across the country. The two-year program provides unique training and performing opportunities for 12 young dancers, offering them personalized attention and the opportunity to enter a world-class company.
Directed by Calvin Kitten, with help from Associate Director, Peggy Dolkas, the team has a knowledge of ballet and ballet training that is unparalleled in the industry. Kitten, a 19-year veteran of the Joffrey Ballet, has two Ruth Page Awards, and has been featured on the cover of Dance Magazine. In 2001, he was named one of the “25 Dancers to Watch.” Dolkas was a Ballet West Soloist, and was named “Best Choreographer” from the Salt Lake City Weekly Art Awards. She co-choreographed The Little Mermaid in 2012, Aladdin in 2013, and Beauty and the Beast in 2016 for Ballet West’s Family Classics Series. Together, Kitten and Dolkas have elevated Ballet West II’s talented dancers to new heights.
The group's performance at the Ent Center for the Arts will feature Laden, a contemporary work created for six dancers by Ballet West Principal Artist Emily Adams first performed at the Utah Arts Festival in 2017. The piece is choreographed to Schubert’s Piano Trio no. 2 in E flat major, Op. 100, one of the last compositions the composer produced in his life. Emily says the work is about the epiphany in realizing, “that sometimes we have to let our burdens go so we can grow.” She was inspired by a line in George Bernard Shaw’s 1910 work A Treatise on Parents and Children—Family Affection. “A benefit to the child may be a burden to the parent but people become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them; and to ‘suffer little children’ has become an affectionate impulse deep in our nature.”
The evening will also include several classics (including the iconic Swan Lake Pas de Trois) and the more contemporary Becoming Chimera, choreographed by Ballet West Demi Soloist Trevor Naumann, whose approach to choreography has been called “cerebral storytelling.” His modern ballet stylings are often cast on dancers using the discordant music of Boaz Roberts as the guiding influence.
Tickets are going fast for this May 1 performance in the Shockley-Zalabak Theater—don't miss your chance to experience the acclaimed ensemble that "dazzles audiences and inspires a new generation of enthusiasts” (Salt Lake Tribune). Reserve your seats HERE.