Ballet West II gets new interim director

Published July 18, 2013 12:44 pm

Dance • First soloist Christopher Sellars will oversee the company's development troupe.
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Christopher Sellars, first soloist with Ballet West, has been named the new interim director of Ballet West II — the company's development troupe.

Sellars will take the reins in this additional capacity on Aug. 5.

He replaces principal artist Christopher Ruud, who is stepping aside to focus exclusively on his dancing and choreography.

"Having begun my career as a member of Ballet West II, I know how exciting and terrifying it can be to come to a large, professional company at a young age," Sellars said in a news release. "I hope to draw from my own experiences over the years to make a difference in their professional lives and to build upon the exceptional leadership that has come before me."

Sellars becomes the fourth director of Ballet West II, which was formed in 2005 and was initially led by academy director Peter Christie. In 2007, former Joffrey dancer Mark Goldweber assumed the role, serving as ballet master for Ballet West and director of Ballet West II. Goldweber passed away in December 2011.

After Goldweber's passing, Christopher Ruud stepped in to run Ballet West II.

"Christopher did an exceptional job, but he and I agreed that at this time in his career he needed to focus more on his dancing and his fast-growing choreographic endeavors," said Ballet West artistic director Adam Sklute, noting that Ruud will stay involved with Ballet West II as his schedule allows.

An inaugural member of Ballet West II, Sellars joined the main company in 2006. He has quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a demi-soloist in 2008 and soloist in 2010. For the 2013-14 season he has been promoted to the first soloist position.