Ballet West Presents Bold Triple Bill With ‘The Nijinsky Revolution’

Ballet West dancers will present a triple-bill entitled "The Nijinksy Revolution" opening this week. Photo Courtesy: Luke Isley

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 11, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Ballet West will be presenting a triple-bill for its spring repertory program “The Nijinsky Revolution” this week.

The pieces, “Games,” “The Rite of Spring” and “Afternoon of a Faun” play at Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, from Friday through April 23.

Adam Sklute, Ballet West artistic director, said the three pieces are striking.

“At the dawn of the 20th Century, Vaslav Nijinsky, the legendary dancer for the Ballet Russes, choreographed a body of work that shocked and inspired audiences, while redefining the art form of ballet forever,” he said, in a prepared statement.

“The Nijinsky Revolution presents three modern day re-imaginings of these works. The concepts and ideas remain just as tantalizing and fascinating to this day.”

Helen Pickett, award-winning American choreographer, presents “Games,” set to the 1913 score by Claude Debussy. Originally titled “Jeux” when it premiered in France, Ballet West presents this 21st-century version more than 100 years later with the exact same late Belle Epoch libretto — two women and one man in a playful, swirling love triangle.

The ballet is an intimate, almost voyeuristic look into an unorthodox romance, according to its description in Ballet West’s statement. Because of its mature content, Ballet West is presenting it first on the program and alerting patrons of its subject matter before purchasing tickets.

The second ballet, Jerome Robbins’ spellbinding “Afternoon of a Faun,” which made its debut in 1953 at New York City Ballet, captures the mystery of Debussy’s and Nijinsky’s original 1912 tale, while setting this love duet between a young man and woman in a billowing white silk ballet studio.

Finally, back by overwhelming demand, the program closes with the athleticism of Resident Choreographer Nicolo Fonte’s “The Rite of Spring.” When Nijinsky and Igor Stravinsky premiered this work in 1913, the original ballet’s pagan rituals and heavy angular dancing caused riots in Paris. Fonte’s re-imagining, which debuted in Salt Lake in 2013, places almost the entire company and a young boy in a timeless realm.

Tickets are now available for the seven performances of “The Nijinsky Revolution,” starting at just $20, at or by calling the Ballet West ticket offices at 801-869-6900.

Click below to watch Gephardt Daily’s interview with principal dancer Christopher Ruud, who will be dancing in “Games” and “The Rite of Spring.” To see which performances Ruud is appearing in, please click here.


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