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Gov. Cox declares Ballet West a ‘national treasure’

Dec 24, 2022, 6:20 PM | Updated: Dec 28, 2022, 5:37 pm
Governor Cox declared Dec. 24 as Ballet West's Nutcracker Day in Utah to celebrate America's first ...
Governor Cox declared Dec. 24 as Ballet West's Nutcracker Day in Utah to celebrate America's first and longest running Nutcracker. (Beau Pearson via Ballet West)
(Beau Pearson via Ballet West)

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Spencer Cox declared Dec. 24 as Ballet West’s Nutcracker Day in Utah to celebrate America’s first and longest running Nutcracker.

The state of Utah presented the declaration at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre before the noon performance Christmas Eve.

“Utah is home to a national treasure that should be experienced and celebrated by locals and
tourists alike,” stated the declaration issued by Cox. “No other city, state, or company can boast that.”

Ballet West founder Willam Christensen choreographed the first full-length version of The Nutcracker in the U.S. 78 years ago.

“Whereas, today, we acknowledge, Utah is home to America’s longest-running, due to the creativity and deep passion of Ballet West’s founder Willam Christensen, who brought the full-length mastery to life, leaving a legacy in our state,” Cox said in the declaration.

That version has been performed annually by Ballet West since 1963, making it the longest running version in the country.

“We recognize the artistic value and deep contribution to community connection, holiday
traditions, and memorable moments with families and friends that are created at the ballet,” Cox
said in the declaration.

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Gov. Cox declares Ballet West a ‘national treasure’