Ballet AZ Blog

A Milestone in creative excellence

Taking Risks…

2023 celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Ballet Arizona Center for Dance. Our new home increased the footprint of the company exponentially – both physically and artistically. A decade later, this state-of-the-art facility remains the most impressive in the Southwest, with the artistic reputation of the company holding equivalent international acclaim. This move was a turning point for the organization in 2013, the result of a $13.5 million capital campaign that not only funded the construction of the building but created the financial support for our strategic initiative fund. This $1 million reserve supports strategic investments that advance our mission. We have used it for projects such as costume creation for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, live music accompaniment for the All Balanchine program, and a solar parking installation that reduces our overhead costs. Our home has allowed us to take creative risks, nurture emerging artists, and deepen our community impact. We reflect on the hundreds of performances that have graced the Dorrance Theatre stage and the profound impact of creative freedom this space has fostered. This milestone marks a decade of creative excellence, artistic exploration, and the cultivation of emerging talents.

Creative Freedom: The performing arts have long been a medium through which human expression is elevated to its highest form. However, the ability to bring avant-garde visions to life often collide with the financial constraints inherent in the world of production. The Ballet Arizona Center for Dance, alleviated these constraints, providing our artists and young-artists-in-the-making, with a space where creativity could flourish. Since its creation, Ballet Arizona has fostered a community of world-class training for students of all ages, full-length school performances with live music from Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestras, a multitude of community engagement program offerings, and performances by the professional company. Although there will always be financial hurdles associated with our art form, we are willing to take risks and are poised to do so.

Nurturing Emerging Talents: One of the core values of Ballet Arizona is ‘Nurturing People’ and at the heart of that belief is nurturing emerging artists. In 2013, Artistic Director Ib Andersen, made the brilliant discovery – one of our dancers, Nayon Iovino, as a tremendous choreographic talent. He premiered his first work for Ballet Arizona, Inner Layer, in the spring of 2014 at Dorrance Theatre as part of a program called Innovations. Since then, you have supported Nayon’s work as it evolved on stage at the Orpheum Theatre and Symphony Hall. In 2019, he was one of only three choreographers from around the world accepted into the New York Choreographic Institute, a division of New York City Ballet. There he partnered alongside a Julliard composer, and together, they created an original ballet set to an original score. In 2022, he was promoted to Resident Choreographer, and to now say, that Nayon wrote and choreographed his first full-length ballet, the original story Moving Movies, is a moment when we will all reflect back with pride and nostalgia saying, ”we knew him when…” Ballet Arizona will continue to create an environment where emerging artists can spread their wings and contribute to the evolution of the art form. Don’t miss this historical moment and join us this February for Ballet Arizona’s world premiere, Moving Movies. After all, you certainly helped bring it to life.

Read “Behind-The-Scenes of Moving Movies”

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