Willam Christensen (right) rehearsing Bart Cook

Courtesy Ballet West

Celebrating 75 Years of Sugar Plum

America's oldest Nutcracker celebrates its milestone 75th anniversary this month.


Willam Christensen created his production for San Francisco Ballet in 1944—the first full-length version in the U.S.—but it has been a fixture of Ballet West's repertory since 1963, when he became the company's founding artistic director. The tradition that launched our nationwide holiday fixation on dancing snowflakes and sweets marches on with Ballet West's annual run in Salt Lake City, December 7–26.

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3 Ways to Become More Resilient—Even in a Pandemic

COVID-19 has meant canceled programs, postponed commissions, early retirements and cuts in budgets. Under­standably, overwhelming thoughts of loss and negativity abound. But, according to licensed social worker Josh Spell, this is precisely the time for self-inquiry. A former dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet and Kansas City Ballet, Spell works with several companies to provide coping tools to reduce stress and perfectionism—chronic issues made worse by the pandemic.
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