Principal Artist Christopher Ruud and former Principal Artist Romi Beppu.  Photo by Luke Isley.

Ballet West’s fifth annual Innovations program takes the stage May 18, 19 and 23-26 at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center and showcases four original works created by Ballet West dancers, for Ballet West dancers.

Ballet West Soloist Easton Smith, Demi-Soloist Emily Adams and Artist Aidan DeYoung  will premiere their works alongside an expanded version of Ballet West Principal Artist Michael Bearden’s Descent and the return of Susan Shields’ bright and dynamic Grand Synthesis.

This is always my favorite show of the year, this is when Ballet West gets contemporary, the tutus come off and the dancing is raw, powerful and compelling . Over the years works that have completely blown me away are Peggy Dolkas's Yes, But How Did You Get There; Thomas Mattingly's Above a Grey Expectation and Fall Into Loving Arms, Christopher Ruud's Trapped, and even RW's Charlotte Boye Christensen's choreographic work Row. Every year Innovations pushes the boundaries of what Ballet can really be and it is refreshing and wonderful to see the new choreography that the Ballet West dancers create.

“At its heart, this is what Innovations is all about to me – building the future of ballet and dance here in Utah through commissions by national, international, local and company artists,” said Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute.

From Innovations 2009 Annie Breneman and Aidan DeYoung in YES, BUT HOW DID YOU GET THERE? by Peggy Dolkas, costumes by David Heuvel, photo by Beau Pearson

From its inception in 2007, Ballet West’s “Innovations” has enjoyed an ever-increasing public following. This year, the program will once again have an eight-performance run from May 18-26, 2012 in the intimate setting of the Jeanné Wagner Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 West Broadway. Evening performances to “Innovations” begin at 7:30 p.m. on May 18, 19 and 23-26, with matinees on May 19 and 26 at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets are $50 and are on sale now through ArtTix at or by calling (801) 355-ARTS.

Principal Artist Christopher Ruud and former Principal Artist Romi Beppu.  Photo by Luke Isley.