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Ballet West’s Choreographic Festival celebrates with Scottish Ballet; will screen ‘Danseur’, which explores gender inequality in the industry

Ballet West welcomes the renowned Scottish Ballet to the line-up of the third annual Choreographic Festival at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, May 9–11. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Scottish Ballet, under the leadership of CEO and Artistic Director Christopher Hampson, presents Artist-in-Residence Sophie Laplane’s new work, Sibilo.

“I am excited that Chris chose this unique and dynamic work from Sophie Laplane,” said Ballet West 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 is ‘whistle’ in Latin) along with additional music from Glasgow’s Alex Menzies that modulates from electronica to mid-century pop music. The result is hilarious, moving, and eccentric.

“We are delighted to be presenting Sibilo by Sophie, during a celebratory year for the company,” said Hampson. “It is great to see Sophie’s work recognized on an international level, and fitting for it to be programmed in a festival that celebrates the future of ballet.”

Laplane said, “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.

“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 ‘programmes’ and celebrates new choreography.”

Also, during the Choreographic Festival, 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 offers ancillary events, adding educational and entertaining experiences. On Wednesday, May 8 at 7 p.m., 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 leads 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,” said Sklute. “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.

“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.”

The Choreographic Festival will be held at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City. Tickets start at $50, and available by calling 801-869-6900, or online at www.balletwest.org.

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