Ballet Arizona’s Annual Dance With Me Gala Raised $530,000

Ballet Arizona’s Annual Dance With Me Gala Raised $530,000

Performances, cocktails, and more highlight the charitable evening on April 5.


PHOENIX – Ballet Arizona hosted its annual Dance With Me Gala on Friday, April 5 at the
Phoenix Art Museum. This memorable event was chaired by Kate Groves and celebrated the 24-
year legacy of Artistic Director Ib Andersen, as he concludes his final season. The Diane &
Bruce Halle Foundation were the evening’s honorees in recognition of their unwavering
commitment to the community and Ballet Arizona. This year’s gala raised $530,000 in support
of Ballet Arizona’s professional dance company and its upcoming season of performances as
well as its education and community engagement programs.

Guests enjoyed a breathtaking performance of Andersen’s Rio, which premiered for the first time
in 2017. Set to Philip Glass’s “Days and Nights in Rocinha,” Rio explores the movement and
vivacity found in Brazilian culture, featuring vibrant costumes and dynamic choreography.
Inspired by samba, this playful ballet recalls the joy of the country of Brazil.

“It was an honor to chair this year’s Dance With Me Gala, which honored the generous
philanthropy of The Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation who have been such extraordinary
supporters of our ballet,” said Groves. “In addition, it was a delight to chair the Gala in Ib
Andersen’s 24th and final season as we honored him as Artistic Director of Ballet Arizona and
welcomed him as Emeritus Artistic Director.” 

Groves and executive director, Jami Kozemczak, welcomed guests and spoke of the legacy of Ib
Andersen, while Tom Egan, the executive director of The Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation,
spoke of the impact Ballet Arizona has on the community. Isabella Seo and Gabriel Wright were
awarded the “Hazel Hare Award for Artistic Excellence.” In its sixth year, the Hazel Hare Award
honors dancers whose spirit echoes the strength, dedication, and passion that Hare exemplified
throughout her entire life.

Following the performance of Rio and dinner, guests took the dance floor with the professional
dancers for the remainder of the evening. This is a tradition from with Dance With Me receives
its name.

Ballet Arizona would like to thank its sponsors The Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation, Jacquie
and Bennett Dorrance, and Carole and Arte Moreno.

Ballet Arizona is the official ballet company of the state of Arizona, whose mission is to ignite
the human spirit through the magic of dance. The company is dedicated to preserving and
celebrating classical dance while creating and commissioning new innovative works. 



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