First Stop – Ballet Sun Valley


Dutch National Ballet in Hans van Manen’s Trois Gnossiennes;
Photo credit: Hans Gerritsen

Pile out of the car everyone and welcome to our first stop of En Face On The Road – we’ve arrived at Ballet Sun Valley!

Nestled between the mountains and the forests of Idaho you’ll find Sun Valley, a petite resort town known for celebrities who have owned homes there (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mark Zuckerberg, and Oprah Winfrey being just a few of them), powdery skiing in the winter (it’s an official Olympic training site), wildflower-filled hiking in the summer, and for one especially glorious weekend of the year the Ballet Sun Valley Festival

Founded to provide an unparalleled cultural experience for Sun Valley locals and visitors alike, Ballet Sun Valley’s inaugural festival in 2012 featured twenty dancers from San Francisco Ballet, and since has continued to bring in other nationally acclaimed ballet companies including En Face partners Boston Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet. This year’s festival was truly one for the books though, for not only was it Ballet Sun Valley’s first year hosting an international ballet company, but it was also the Dutch National Ballet’s inaugural performance in their first tour in the United States in 40 years. 

 Over the past 60 years, Dutch National Ballet has evolved into one of the world’s most critically acclaimed ballet companies. With a unique and wide repertoire, a tradition of innovation, and nearly 80 dancers from all over the world, the company plays a leading role in Dutch cultural life and beyond.

The Dutch National Ballet presented two unique programs over the course of the weekend.  Program A featured a curated collection of four works by Dutch choreographer Hans van Manen, who is internationally recognized as one of the grand masters of contemporary ballet. Van Manen has choreographed more than 150 ballets and his works are performed by the most esteemed ballet companies all around the world. Program B expanded Dutch National Ballet’s vocabulary further with six pieces including works by Marius Petipa, William Forsythe, and Wubkje Kuindersma. 

En Face Content Curator Alanna Love was in attendance for Program A to share the experience with our readers via Instagram stories. 

“It was such a delight to experience ballet in the Sun Valley Pavillion – there the wind was softling rustling costumes and wisps of cottonwood were gathering at the dancers’ feet while the sun softly changed the ambiance as we drifted our way from evening to sunset. The Dutch National Ballet put on a breathtaking performance as they showcased the range of not only their own balletic excellence, but also of the creative range of choreographer Hans van Manan. Ending with a standing ovation, with this performance Ballet Sun Valley and Dutch National Ballet enchanted their audience and launched this landmark US tour on a high note.” – Alanna Love

Check out her Instagram story takeover here and watch an excerpt of one of the evening’s works, Trois Gnossiennes, below. 

Next Stop: You tell us!

Where should En Face On The Road go next? Tell us in the comments! Or do you want to be a part of En Face On The Road yourself? 

If so, email, and if you’re a dancer please fill out this form. We can’t wait to continue this adventure together. 

Alanna Love is a writer based out of Boise, Idaho. She revels in tracing the thread of beauty woven throughout daily life, especially when it is found in ballet, literature, or historical wardrobing.
Follow Us

Subscribe For Updates & Giveaways!

Stay up to date with exciting original content, upcoming performances, and giveaways unique to your community and beyond!