Utah's Ballet West Appoints Interim Artistic Director

Classic Arts News   Utah's Ballet West Appoints Interim Artistic Director
The Salt Lake City-based Ballet West has appointed Pamela Robinson-Harris interim artistic director, reports the Deseret Morning News.

Harris, who has been the company's ballet mistress since 1998, will fill the position left vacant since former director Jonas Kê‰ge was fired in April. Kê‰ge is still in settlement negotiations with the company, according to the paper.

After announcing Robinson-Harris's appointment on June 21, Carol Carter, chairwoman of the Ballet West board, told the paper, "Pam has a history with the company and we wanted someone who was familiar with the dancers and whom the dancers were familiar with."

Robinson-Harris joined Ballet West in 1985 as a dancer, after stints with the Cleveland Ballet, the State of Alabama Ballet and Ballet Mississippi. Under the guidance of then-artistic director John Hart, she rose to become Ballet West's principal dancer in 1988, performing lead roles in Anna Karenina, Rosalinda and Carmina Burana.

A search committee will launch an official search for a new artistic director in the next few days.

Kê‰ge was told in April that he had failed a performance review and given the option of quitting or being fired. After initial announcements indicated that he had chosen to step down, he told the media that he had been ousted.

Annie Van Alstyne, the administrative manager of Ballet West, was subsequently dismissed because she spoke to the press about Kê‰ge's ouster, The Salt Lake Tribune reported in June.

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