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Arizona Republic: “‘Eroica,’ Ballet Arizona ★★★★½”

OK, you should take the star rating with a grain of salt. I’m no dance expert, but I have become a huge fan of Ballet Arizona and choreographer Ib Andersen. Taking his cues from his onetime mentor, George Balanchine, Andersen excels at abstract dance-for-dance’s-sake — and he has been at his most creative in imagining outdoor performances at the Desert Botanical Garden. “Eroica,” set to Beethoven’s “Heroic” Symphony No. 3, is Andersen’s third ballet for the garden, and he takes the composer’s theme literally with grand gestures. One dancer will ride upon the shoulders of two others like a Roman general parading in a war chariot. Yet in the kaleidoscopic sweep of 30 bodies come moments of intimacy and humor, such as two ballerinas swinging from a male dancer’s arms like filigrees on a twirling chandelier. But don’t reach too hard for metaphors: The movement is all about the music.

Bottom line:Ballet Arizona is regarded as one of the best companies in the country. Come see why. Read more.