Is Ballet West a Balanchine?


Ballet West is a professional ballet company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Founded in 1963, it is one of the oldest and most respected American ballet companies.

It performs primarily classical works from the traditional repertoire, as well as works by contemporary choreographers. Ballet West has become renowned for its commitment to the art of classical ballet and its dedication to the legacy of George Balanchine.

Ballet West was founded by William Christensen, a former principal dancer with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Christensen was determined to create an American company that would perform works by George Balanchine and other important choreographers of the time. To this end, he worked closely with Balanchine himself to select repertoire and craft a repertory that would reflect his innovative vision for classical ballet.

Ballet West’s relationship with Balanchine has been a defining feature of their repertory ever since. The company frequently performs several of his works each season, including such classics as “The Nutcracker,” “Serenade,” and “Apollo.” They also have performed world premieres of new works created specifically for the company by choreographers inspired by Balanchine’s style.

In addition to its commitment to performing Balanchine’s works, Ballet West has also embraced his approach to training dancers and teaching technique. Their education program follows a traditional syllabus inspired by Balanchine’s methods and has produced some of today’s most talented dancers who go on to join major national and international companies around the world.

The influence of George Balanchine can be felt throughout all aspects of Ballet West’s work—from their performances, to their training program and beyond. This is why it can be said that though it is not a direct successor of his own company, Ballet West certainly carries on his legacy in every way possible.

In conclusion, it can be said that while not an official part of his own organization or school, it is clear that Ballet West is deeply rooted in the work and vision of George Balanchine who had a profound influence on their artistic direction over the years. As such they can be considered one among many modern-day embodiments of his legacy in ballet today.