Ballet AZ Blog

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ib Andersen

Here are ten things about Ib Andersen, in his own words, that you may not know:

  1. Life experience is your greatest inspiration. I believe that anyone who is creative finds inspiration through the sum of your life experiences. It’s what you’ve been exposed to, it’s who you are.
  1. He is part of a HUGE family. When we’re together its almost 30 people. There are four kids in my family and they all have kids. And the kids have kids. I come from a family that loves kids.
  1. Began ballroom dancing at age 3. My oldest sister was doing it and I went to an annual student performance. I guess I liked it so much and I wanted to dance. I started when I was three.
  1. He grew up in the Royal Danish Theatre. My mom saw an advertisement in the paper that the Royal Ballet School was having auditions and she took me in. I got in when I was seven. It was a school where you had ballet six times a week and also normal school work in the same place in the theatre. I received so much performing arts exposure directly by seeing and being around it. I watched rehearsals for plays and opera and also performed in it. 
  1. His brother, Peter Steen Andersen, is an Opera Singer at the Royal Opera House in Denmark.
  1. Creativity is surrounded by numbers. In my family we all are very good at numbers. All of us. Numbers play into anything that is creative. I do believe in the importance of mathematics, how you calculate, how you divide. It all plays a part and becomes something bigger when I choreograph a new piece. 
  1. He’s an accomplished artist. The lighting in Arizona is extraordinary. There’s a clarity in Arizona that is more than almost anywhere else. The intensity of the sun, and then because it’s so dry you see more color here than anywhere else that I have visited.
  1. Sang as a frog in the opera The Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janáček I was a frog. And I was singing. To be exposed to that when you are seven is amazing. I’ve been very privileged to have had that kind of upbringing.
  1. Performed alongside Bodil Kier, the first lady of Danish theater. In Medea, I was one of her kids. To act and literally be held by this diva, this cult figure. It’s amazing. It stays with you. I still remember it.
  1. Maintains a strong sense of self. I’ve always known who I was from a very young age. I really don’t know what our parents did. But they gave us confidence. It’s a strong core. Wherever the wind blows, and because life is not easy, I think I’ve always maintained a strong sense of self. I’ve never lost myself.

About Ib Andersen: Following a brilliant career performing on the world’s greatest ballet stages, Ib Andersen was named Artistic Director of Ballet Arizona and The School of Ballet Arizona in 2000. During his tenure at Ballet Arizona, he brought the classic ballet Napoli to the American stage, created brand new ballets, such as Topia and Round, and so much more, earning Ballet Arizona praise from The New York Times as being “one of the most enterprising ballet companies today”.

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