BalletNext spins out some summer-season performances |

BalletNext spins out some summer-season performances

Schedule includes a free concert at the Santy Auditorium


When: 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 26

Where: Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave.

Cost: Free, but registration is suggested



BalletNext dancers, l-r, Emma Michaux, Kayla Madsen, Matthew Helms, Juliana Godlewski and Hunter Solomon, rehearse for their upcoming performances that include the Park Silly Sunday Market, and the Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium.
David Jackson/Park Record

BalletNext’s upcoming schedule will keep its dancers on their toes.

Park City’s resident ballet company is slated to perform for the public at 1 p.m. on July 24 at the Park Silly Sunday Market and 5:30 p.m. on July 26 at the Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium.

It will also leap into a private, two-night residency collaboration on July 27 and 28 at the Talisker Club, said founder and Artistic Director Michele Wiles, former principal dancer with the world-renowned American Ballet Theatre.

The first evening of the collaboration will be underwritten by Karrie McKinnon, owner and designer of Wildfire Design + Realty, the dance company’s first board of directors member from Utah, said Wiles, who founded BalletNext in 2011. 

I’m finding so much inspiration and support here that BalletNext is having a renaissance of its energies…” Michele Wiles, BalletNext artistic director

The next evening will give Talisker Club members a chance to interact with Wiles and the BalletNext dancers, Matthew Helms, Hunter Solomon and Emma Michaux hail from the Boulder Ballet in Colorado, University of Utah alumni Kayla Madsen from the MOGA Conservatory of Dance in North Salt Lake, and Juliana Godlewski from the University of Utah School of Dance.

“Last year, Kayla was one of our pre-professionals, and I promoted her to apprentice this year,” Wiles said.

The dancers will also dance in BalletNext’s public showcase on July 26 at the Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium.

BalletNext dancers for the summer season are, from left: Matthew Helms, Hunter Solomon, Juliana Godlewski, Kayla Madsen, Emma Michaux. Helms, Solomon and Michaux hail from the Boulder Ballet in Colorado. Madsen dances with the MOGA Conservatory of Dance in North Salt Lake, and Godlewski is from the University of Utah School of Dance.
David Jackson/Park Record

The program will feature three works, including the iconic “Black Swan” Pas de Deux from “Swan Lake,” Wiles said.

“‘Black Swan’ is one of the most difficult classical pas de deux to dance,” she said. “You need a special energy and sheer commitment to the technique, artform and character to do it.”

The piece is a throwback to Wiles’s nights on stage with ABT.

“I have not done this since I left the American Ballet Theatre,” she said with a laugh. “So it’s been 11 years.”

Helms will dance as Prince Siegfried, while Wiles will take on the role of the cunning Odile in this piece.

“Matt has been super supportive, and he’s been a champion,” Wiles said. “So, we’re going to do it.”

Helms is also training with professional strongman competitor Brian Shaw, she said.

“So you know I will have a very strong partner,” she said. “I’ll be in good hands with Matt.” 

The program will also include Wiles’ original work, “Elizabeth and Mary,” inspired by the rivalry between the Queen of England and the Queen of Scots.

“A lot of that piece’s pas de deux has been reformed and reshaped,” Wiles said. “It will be danced by an entirely new cast. And I’m excited to see how that will all come together again.”

The dancers will be joined by Utah-based musicians — classical guitarist Sophie Stanley, the Tribeca Ensemble and String FX, according to Wiles.

“String FX is a cool electric violin and cello group,” she said. “I think people will be happy with the music we’ve chosen. And I think they’ll leave the performance energized.”

Busy as it seems, next week’s performances were just part of BalletNext’s summer season, Wiles said.

The company held a collaboration workshop on Monday at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Center of Excellence.

Participating athletes included American World Cup alpine skiers Breanna Noble “Breezy” Johnson and Storm Klomhaus, along with aerialists Megan Nick, an Olympic bronze medal winner, and Karenna Elliot, a World Cup finalist.

“It was an incredible experience to see these super heroes take class with us,” Wiles said. “It gave us inspiration for this week.”

BalletNext also danced an outdoor pop-up performance at the Plein Air Paint Out, an artist experience presented by Park City Nursery and Gallery MAR. Wiles is preparing for other upcoming appearances at the Summit County Fair and the Arts Council of Park City and Summit County’s Art on the Trails event.

“These performances are helping to build our audience and raise awareness of BalletNext,” she said. “All of these performances mean so much to me, especially coming from New York. I’m finding so much inspiration and support here that BalletNext is having a renaissance of its energies. It’s really thrilling for me.”

The intimacy of the venues also allows Wiles to be accessible to the community, which helps her tailor her presentations.

“I remember when I performed at the nursery, people would come up and talk with me while I was putting on my pointe shoes,” she said. “I loved that, because when I performed, I could look for the people I had talked with and dance for them. I crave that connection. I dance better when I have that kind of connection.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Park City and Summit County make the Park Record's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.