Ballet West has announced its 60th season, marking a milestone for Salt Lake City's internationally-acclaimed dance company.

The 60th anniversary will be marked with three full-length story ballets, world premieres, a broadcast and unique historic masterpieces, artistic director Adam Sklute announced. The season will begin in October at the historic Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre with the intent of honoring the history of the company while also envisioning its future.

The announcement comes after two years of record attendance and audience growth.

"For this season, I wanted to honor the legacy of our founder William Christensen, a visionary committed to the history of ballet but also to its future," said Sklute. "In addition, I want to pay homage to all of my predecessors in unique and subtle ways by presenting a mix of audience favorites and new creations."

The company was established in 1963 by Christensen, the first artistic director along with co-founder Glenn Walker Wallace. What would become Ballet West began as the Utah Civic Ballet, the first ballet department established in an American university, at the University of Utah.

But Christensen's legacy began before Ballet West. The artistic director and his brothers established the oldest ballet company in the western United States, the San Francisco Ballet. There, the first full-length American productions of "Coppélia," "Swan Lake" and "The Nutcracker" were created.

Ballet West's production of "The Nutcracker" is the longest-running version in America, with the company performing it every year since 1963. The feat was recognized by Utah Gov. Spencer Cox last year when he declared Dec. 24 as "Nutcracker Day" in Utah to celebrate America's first and longest-running "Nutcracker."

"Utah is home to a national treasure that should be experienced and celebrated by locals and tourists alike," stated the declaration issued by Cox. "No other city, state, or company can boast that."

The iconic performance of "The Nutcracker" will appear in the company's 60th anniversary season along with a revival of "The Firebird," in a nod to Christensen, the original artistic director. The magical story of "The Firebird" is included in a triple-bill of three works that honor the scope and vision of the founder.

The 60th season is a compilation of Ballet West's unique and expansive profile. Since its inception, Ballet West has had five creative directors: its founder Christensen, Bruce Marks, John Hart, Jonas Kåge and currently, Sklute.

Several pieces conceived and produced by Sklute are scheduled to appear in the season, such as "Swan Lake" and family favorite "Beauty and the Beast."

"From the revivals of some of Ballet West's most-beloved presentations, to the creation of new, cutting-edge work, our 2023-2024 season is definitely the biggest and most ambitious season in Ballet West history," said Sklute. "It is our gift to Utah, the world, and our grand art form of ballet!"

This season's lineup includes:

  • "Dracula," Oct. 20-28
  • The triple bill of "The Firebird," with "Fever Dream" world premiere and "Stars & Stripes," Nov. 3-11
  • "The Nutcracker," Dec. 8-26
  • The triple bill of "Love and War," with the Utah premiere of "Blake Works I" and "Red Angels," April 12-20, 2024
  • "Beauty and the Beast," March 29-30, 2024
  • "The Green Table," date unannounced
  • The Choreographic Festival, June 5-8 at the Rose Wagner Theatre