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Classical Ballet With a Twist: Ballet Arizona Presents Modern Masters

Haute Living, Posted By Marie Look

Ballet Arizona will present “Modern Masters” at Orpheum Theatre March 24-27, a program which will include the world premiere of “Symphonie Classique,” choreographed by esteemed director Ib Anderson and the first classical original ballet he has choreographed for Ballet Arizona.

“Modern Masters” will showcase a little something for everyone, including pieces by three in-demand modern choreographers known for pushing the envelope when it comes to defining classical ballet.

Anderson’s “Symphonie Classique” will be danced by an ensemble of 24 to Sergei Prokofiev’s “Symphony #1 in D Major, Op. 25 ‘Classical’” showcasing this renowned modern-day choreographer’s unique and beautiful take on classical ballet and the grand movements that Prokofiev’s music can evoke. This will be the world premiere for this piece, with the costumes crafted by two-time Tony Award-winning designer Martin Pakledinaz.

Film buffs and movie score enthusiasts will thrill at the opportunity to take in Alejandro Cerrudo’s piece entitled “Off Screen” featuring music from the scores of “There Will Be Blood” (Jonny Greenwood), “Syriana” (Alexandre Desplat) and “Punch Drunk Love” (Jon Brion). The resident choreographer at Hubbard Street Chicago — perhaps the most famous contemporary dance company in the nation — Cerrudo was inspired by the music in these films to create a piece for seven persons, injecting the choreography with moments of intense emotion, playfulness and humor. The performance will be a Ballet Arizona premiere.

If you’re in search of a performance with even more unconventional flair, hold on to your seat for “Polyphonia,” a dreamy piece with dramatic and modern touches choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. Making a return to the Ballet Arizona stage, “Polyphonia” features a couple dancing to 10 eclectic piano pieces by Ligeti. Wheeldon describes the piece in his own words as “romantic with comic twists,” as he has juxtaposed classical ballet steps with unexpected and extraordinary horizontal lifts, rolls and pushes off the floor to provide a breathtaking element of surprise and awe.

To purchase tickets to a performance of “Modern Masters,” visit Ballet Arizona online here.

Orpheum Theatre is located at 203 W. Adams St. in Phoenix