George Balanchine, known as the father of American ballet, broke ground when he put his twist on traditional ballet standards and technique. Ib Andersen, Ballet Arizona’s artistic director, is one of a handful of artists worldwide authorized by The Balanchine Trust to stage Balanchine’s masterpieces. He will present three interpretations of Balanchine’s work May 11-14, including two with an Arizona twist, during five performances of All Balanchine at Symphony Hall.
Ballet Arizona will stage Balanchine’s Square Dance for the first time in Arizona, combining the spirit of an American folk dance with the precision and techniques of classical ballet, accompanied by music by Antonio Vivaldi and Arcangelo Corelli.
Western Symphony, a joyous ballet based on traditional Western songs, will also bring a Southwestern touch to All Balanchine. The large ensemble work features cowboys and dance-hall girls with the backdrop of an Old West saloon, along with music arranged by Hershey Kay.
Agon captures the raw spirit of Balanchine’s ballets in a composition for 12 dancers, showcasing the choreographer’s talent by only using the basic elements of dance: music, dancers and choreography. Igor Stravinsky’s dissonant 12-tone score, created with Balanchine’s choreography in mind, lends an avant-garde soundtrack to the piece.
Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix
For more information/tickets, visit balletaz.org.