Beer, ballet, bites and the best part… everyone benefits!

By Holly Vasic

Beer and Ballet returns to Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center this September to benefit Ballet West’s educational and artistic programs.

The evening will begin with guests relaxing at this less formal affair in the center’s lobby. After light appetizers and craft brews, attendees will witness the debut of excerpts from “Works from Within”, pieces created by Ballet West Dancers themselves and performed by Ballet West 2. The traveling ensemble will officially premier the entire performance at St. George’s Cox Auditorium in March. Emily Adams, Katlyn Addison, Adrian Fry, Trevor Naumann, Chelsea Keefer, and Christopher Sellars are the choreographers of these original pieces specifically selected by Ballet West’s CEO and Artistic Director Adam Sklute.

Ballet West 2 has performed all over the United States and, according to the Ballet West website, “has established a reputation as an elite touring ensemble, with the versatility to perform a broad spectrum of dance in venues of all sizes across the country.” The company has 12 dancers at a time who spend two years training and performing to hone their skills and hopefully become part of Ballet West. Director Calvin Kitten, winner of two Ruth Page Awards, and Associate Director Peggy Dolkas, a former Ballet West soloist and choreographer, give Ballet West 2 dancers invaluable guidance. The pair have shaped the talents of the troupe taking them to new heights.

“Works from Within” is part of Sklute’s vision of giving dancers a space to showcase their choreography talents. The ballets emerged from a workshop in which Sklute chose his favorites to develop into “Works from Within.” Being able to support creativity from Ballet West Dancer’s and allowing that creativity to be displayed and enjoyed by an audience is what Sklute wanted. This showcase encompasses that very aspiration.

All proceeds from Beer and Ballet will go to Ballet West’s Education and Outreach. “I CAN DO”, “Ballet West for Children”, “In Theatre Performances” and “First Look” are all different programs under Education and Outreach that benefit dancers of varying ability and ages within our community. Not only do these programs go to schools, but they also reach children in home school environments and special needs. Having a few drinks, a few bites and enjoying a few dances, all while benefiting charity is almost too good to be true.

Epic Brewing will be providing the beer and Blue Iguana will be taking care of refreshments on this evening. The press release reveals that “following the program, choreographers and dancers will join the crowd to mingle and toast what promises to be an incredible upcoming 54th Season for Ballet West.”

Beer and Ballet takes place Saturday, September 16, from 6-9pm at Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 Broadway in Salt Lake. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 day of show, this includes three drink tickets and appetizers. Purchase tickets by calling 801-869-6938 or visit www.balletwest.com. Don’t forget your photo I.D., seriously it’s required.