Students in the ballet program at BYU are instructed with a unique knowledge base that combines artistry, critical thinking, technical achievement, and spirituality. Our goal is to guide students in their roles as artists, educators, choreographers, and scholars with an awareness of the impact they have as they contribute to their community and to society. Central to the ballet program, BYU Theatre Ballet fosters love and appreciation for ballet, recognizing it as an artistic means of expression and communication. Striving for excellence, Theatre Ballet seeks to be a gospel-oriented catalyst for students to achieve their highest potential. We aspire to serve, educate, and edify audiences through uplifting performances, outreach programs, and teaching opportunities. Theatre Ballet Studio Company, the second-tier and preparatory company for BYU Theatre Ballet, also provides many performing opportunities throughout the year, including mentored student choreographic processes and collaborations with Theatre Ballet. Through exceptional training at all technique levels, ballet at BYU upholds an environment where high academic and artistic standards nurture students as fine artists and promote lasting personal and artistic achievement.
BYU Theatre Ballet is Brigham Young University’s mainstage ballet performing company. Students in BYU Theatre Ballet regularly perform on campus in traditional full-length classical ballets (including Swan Lake, Giselle, and The Sleeping Beauty) and innovative contemporary choreographic works. BYU Theatre Ballet also works closely with The George Balanchine Trust and The Gerald Arpino Foundation to provide students opportunities to perform masterworks from these influential choreographers. In recent years, Theatre Ballet has performed Balanchine’s Serenade and Walpurgisnacht Ballet, as well as Arpino’s Confetti, Birthday Variations, Reflections, and Viva Vivaldi. Through these experiences, students work closely with professional répétiteurs, further developing their technique and artistic expression. Additionally, BYU Ballet has been host to several masterclasses from incredible artists and educators including Cameron Basden, Christina Johnson, Melinda Howe, Kevin Thomas, Michael Bearden, Christina Hampton, and the late Debby Hadley. Students also develop their technique and receive professional feedback as they participate in American Ballet Theatre Student Examinations.
Theatre Ballet students have unique opportunities to perform off campus. In the fall of 2023, Theatre Ballet was the only university program invited to perform at the Arpino Centennial Celebration in Chicago where they performed Arpino’s Viva Vivaldi. Members of Theatre Ballet have performed and received honors at the Puerto Rico Classical Dance Competition, the Women in Dance Leadership conference in Pennsylvania, and regionally at The Ballet Alliance festivals for the past many years where students are able to take master classes, educational courses, and perform. Selected students also have the opportunity to present their original choreography at The Ballet Alliance festivals and receive feedback from professional adjudicators.
BYU Theatre Ballet students participate in numerous study abroad experiences where the students study at the Hamlyn Ballet school in Florence, Italy and La Scala Theatre Ballet School in Milan, Italy. Classes include Cecchetti-method ballet technique, Baroque dance, and contemporary styles.
Theatre Ballet has created three dance films in recent years. Department of Dance Chair Shayla Bott worked with Theatre Ballet members and the BYU School of Music to create her film Tutti featuring her original choreography. Theatre Ballet director Ashley Parov worked as the producer and choreographer for the film Giselle, presented at the Utah Dance Film Fest, the New York Arts & Entertainment Film Festival, and the Experimental Dance and Film Festival. Ashley Parov also collaborated with choreographer Eva Stone to create a film centered around Stone’s original choreography entitled O Dear Blossom.
Theatre Ballet Studio Company
Theatre Ballet Studio Company provides performing opportunities in a company setting for those who are working at developing and broadening their performance skills, in possible preparation to perform with BYU Theatre Ballet.
Each semester, Theatre Ballet Studio Company holds an audition as well as a culminating performance. There are also opportunities to train and perform with BYU Theatre Ballet. Dancers rehearse and perform a variety of classical and contemporary ballet styles, including traditional repertoire, faculty works, and mentored student choreography.