Ballet West Choreographic Festival Goes International

On May 9-11, 2019 Ballet West presents its third annual Choreographic Festival at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. They welcome the Scottish Ballet who is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. Christopher Hampson is the CEO and Artistic Director for the Scottish Ballet and they will be presenting as an Artist in Residence, Sophie Laplane’s new work Sibilo.

“I am excited that Chris chose this unique and dynamic work from Sophie Laplane,” said Artistic Director Adam Sklute. “Sibilo’s quirky humor and interesting groupings make the work perfect for the Choreographic Festival as it explores movement, sound, and theatrics through the prism of ballet.”

Laplane’s inventive piece for eight dancers features whistling (sibilo means whistle in Latin) with additional music from Glasgow’s Alex Menzies that modulates from electronica to mid-century pop music. The result is hilarious, moving, and eccentric.

“I am delighted to present Sibilo at the Ballet West Choreographic Festival, and to see Scottish Ballet perform the work in a celebratory year for the company,” said Laplane. “As a choreographer, it is exciting to see my work being presented on an international stage, and for Sibilo to get its American premiere in a festival that programs and celebrates new choreography.”

Also on the program is a world premiere from celebrated choreographer and BalletMet Artistic Director Edwaard Liang, along with premieres by Ballet West artists Emily Adams, Katlyn Addison and Trevor Naumann.

This year, the festival will also offer ancillary events, adding educational and entertaining experiences. On Wednesday, May 8 at 7pm at the Rose, Ballet West will screen Danseur, a recently released independent film from Scott Gormley that explores gender inequality in ballet, and shines a light on bullying, homophobia, and other barriers for young men in the industry. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. Afterward, dance teacher and journalist Kate Mattingly will lead a panel discussion with Adam Sklute and Ballet West dancers.

Ticket holders are also encouraged to attend warm-ups in the Rose Room. These free educational lectures, one hour before evening performances will be hosted by Artistic Directors, choreographers, and dancers. Finally, local artists will makeover the balcony of the Rose Wagner with an exhibit, “Art of Ballet” displaying the oil, photography, and contemporary works showing the athleticism and beauty of the art form.

“Every year I look forward to this Festival. The terrific camaraderie that is built between all the companies is so inspiring. It is about taking chances. It is about seeing what other companies are doing. And it’s about learning from one another,” said Sklute. “This year’s program will certainly take those same risks and I’m thrilled that we are welcoming our first International Company. I know our audiences will be fulfilled by the exploration.”

Tickets are available now and start at $50.00. You can either call 801-869-6900 or order online at This is a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend and take your Mom to see some amazing dance.

See all our dance coverage here.

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