Ballet AZ Blog

Legacy & Impact: Celebrating Ib Andersen

During Ib’s tenure as artistic director, he created over 36 ballets, brought a multitude of renowned classics and cutting-edge new works to the stage, and gave us all so many memorable moments. Here are some of the highlights from his 24 years with Ballet Arizona.

A timeline of Ib Andersen’s Choreographic Works…

  • 2000 – Amoroso world premiere
  • 2000 – The Nutcracker
  • 2001 – Brandenburg Concerti
  • 2001 – Indigo Rhapsody world premiere
  • 2002 – Suenos world premiere
  • 2003 – Romeo & Juliet world premiere
  • 2003 – 2B world premiere
  • 2004 – Mosaik world premiere
  • 2004 – Elevations world premiere
  • 2005 – Coppelia
  • 2005 – 2B Complete world premiere
  • 2005 – Go With It world premiere
  • 2006 – The Nutcracker world premiere
  • 2007 – Play world premiere
  • 2007 – Giselle
  • 2008 – Dance of the Hours world premiere
  • 2008 – 1052 world premiere
  • 2008 – A Midsummer Night’s Dream world premiere
  • 2010 – The Sleeping Beauty
  • 2010 – Diversions world premiere
  • 2011 – Symphonie Classique world premiere
  • 2011 – Cinderella world premiere
  • 2012 – Topia world premiere
  • 2014 – La Bayadere
  • 2015 – Napoli – U.S. premiere
  • 2015 – Pines of Rome world premiere
  • 2016 – Round world premiere
  • 2017 – Rio world premiere
  • 2018 – Pelvis world premiere
  • 2018 – Eroica world premiere
  • 2019 – The Firebird world premiere
  • 2019 – Mosaics a retrospective
  • 2020 – A Midsummer Night’s Dream relaunch
  • 2020 – Goldberg Variations world premiere
  • 2020 – Pas de Sept (from A Folk Tale)
  • 2021 – Bolero world premiere
  • 2021 – The Four Seasons world premiere
  • 2022 – Juan Gabriel world premiere
  • 2023 – The Rite of Spring world premiere
  • 2024 – Peter and the Wolf world premiere

Company Connection | Current & Former Dancers Reflect on their Time with Artistic Director, Ib Andersen

I knew that I had to learn from Ib the first moment I met him. He gave me a vocabulary I didn’t know existed and am forever grateful. He could see the parts of me I didn’t know were there and challenged me to refine them. Thank you IB Andersen for your experience, your mastery and your heart. I had a blast!

Joseph Cavanagh, Former Company Dancer & Ballet Master

I have spent the better part of the past 17 years in the studio with Ib. I have learned so much from him! My artistry, technique, and musicality have been shaped by his coaching and his eye for dance. He has guided and pushed me to become the dancer that I am today, and he often believed in me more than I believed in myself! It has been a joy and an absolute honor to work so closely with him all these years. I will really miss dancing for him.

Jillian Barrell, Company Dancer

For most of my life as a dancer, I felt like I didn’t fit in. I was made to believe that ballerinas had to act a certain way & present themselves as that quintessential, quiet, ethereal woman. Then I met Ib Andersen. He embraced everything about my rough, raw, unfiltered expression for dance, and he celebrated it. He always made me feel like I could just be myself, and with that, he changed the trajectory of my life. Ib is one of the reasons I am the person I am today. I will always be grateful for the time we spent together.

Chelsea Teel, Former Company Dancer

I have learned so much with Ib over the past nine years. The freedom and trust that I was given to find myself as an artist, always digging deeper to bring out new layers and pushing me to my hardest. What I realize today as an artist is the limit doesn’t exist. I will never forget when Ib would say, “You should always give 100% because, why not? You never know what tomorrow will be… if you will even be alive, so do it today!” I will forever appreciate, love, respect, trust, admire, and be grateful for Ib and all that I have learned from him.

Helio Lima, Company Dancer

One of my favorite memories (and there are many) of Ib in the studios at Ballet Arizona is when he would have to demonstrate some sort of partnering with you either because he was choreographing or rehearsing something. You immediately felt in control and weightless with his support. It is so innate for him and made the movement so magical.

Kenna Draxton, Former Company Dancer

Having grown up in Phoenix, Ib set the standard of what ballet meant to me. Ever since I was young, he has been the pillar of classical ballet for Arizona and was integral in cultivating the art in this community. I’ve been afforded so many opportunities through his work and am honored to have been part of it.

Ethan Price, Company Dancer

I have so many fond memories of working with Ib, far too many to fit on a page. Ib challenged me, inspired me and pushed all of us to be better than even we believed we could be. However, my fondest memories of Ib are laughing with him-we had so much fun. Ib’s humor, playfulness and love for his job and his dancers are what made the Ballet Arizona studio feel like home.

Michelle Vagi, Former Company Dancer

Ib has taught me so much, from what singing with your body means to quality of movement and freedom in the dance. I’ll treasure all the moments in the studio and all the knowledge that I’ve acquired through the years. I get to pass something special onto the next generations of dancers because of him. I’m also very grateful that he saw something special in my choreography and allowed me to choreograph on Ballet Arizona for the past 10 years, creating new works and honing my craft. That opportunity has allowed me to grow into the artist I am today!

Nayon Iovino, Company Dancer & Resident Choreographer

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