Board Member Sheryl Lefavi was honored at the 12th Annual Utah Philanthropy Day luncheon as Ballet West’s Heart and Hands award recipient on Thursday, November 18th. This luncheon is hosted by the Utah Nonprofits Association and Utah Society of Fund Raisers to recognize Utah’s outstanding volunteers and philanthropists. In addition to serving on the Ballet West Board of Directors Sheryl has been the Chair of our successful Gala for the last four years. Her dedication and love for the ballet is greatly appreciate by all of the Staff and Artists of Ballet West. Congratulations Sheryl.
Thanks to Jared Oaks you can watch an interesting video on YouTube about the Nutcracker music.
If you have special memories of Ballet West’s historic NUTCRACKER and would like to share them, the New York Times would like to hear from you!
Click the link below and start telling the world your special Nutcracker memories.
Ben Stevenson is here teaching us the Pas de Trois from his DRACULA which will be performed on our gala. Ballet West will present the full ballet next season.
From the Texas Ballet Theatre website:
Mr. Stevenson, a native of Portsmouth, England, received his dance training at the Arts Educational School in London. Upon his graduation he was awarded the prestigious Adeline Genee Gold Medal, the highest award given to a dancer by the Royal Academy of Dancing. At the age of eighteen he partnered Alicia Markova in Where the Rainbow Ends and soon after was invited to join the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet by Dame Ninette de Valois, where he worked closely with Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, and John Cranko. A few years later Sir Anton Dolin invited him to dance with London Festival Ballet where, as a Principal Dancer, he performed leading roles in all the classic ballets.
In 1967 English National Ballet asked Mr. Stevenson to stage his first, and highly successful, production of The Sleeping Beauty which starred Margot Fonteyn. In 1968 Rebekah Harkness invited him to New York to direct the newly formed Harkness Ballet. After choreographingCinderella in 1970 for the National Ballet in Washington, D.C., he joined the company in 1971 as Co-Artistic Director with Frederic Franklin. That same year he staged a new production of The Sleeping Beauty in celebration of the inaugural season of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
In 1976 Mr. Stevenson was appointed the Artistic Director for Houston Ballet. For twenty-seven years Mr. Stevenson nurtured the company from a small provincial ensemble to one of the nation’s largest dance companies that has performed to critical acclaim throughout the world. He developed Houston Ballet’s repertoire by acquiring the works of the world’s most respected choreographers, commissioning new works, staging the classics and choreographing original works.
In 1978 during his tenure with the Houston Ballet, Mr. Stevenson traveled to China on behalf of the United States government as part of a cultural exchange program. Since then he has returned almost every year at the invitation of the Chinese government to teach at the Beijing Dance Academy and introduce Western dance forms including jazz and modern dance, to their students. He was instrumental in the creation of the Choreographic Department at the Beijing Dance Academy in 1985 and is the only foreigner to have been made an Honorary Faculty Member at both the Beijing Dance Academy and the Shenyang Conservatory of Music.
In July 2003 Mr. Stevenson became Artistic Director of Texas Ballet Theater.