All Recent Reviews Back to News & Press Releases

Feb 11, 2022

AZBigMedia: You’ll fall in love with Ballet Arizona’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’

What happens when Ballet Arizona and The Phoenix Symphony pair up for a production of Romeo & Juliet? Magic. So much so, you may find yourself asking “Did my heart love till now? Read More >

Dec 23, 2021

AZBigMedia: ‘The Nutcracker’ mesmerizes at Ballet Arizona

Having never been to a ballet before, I was skeptical and unsure if I would enjoy such a classic tale told through movement and melody. Read More >

Feb 11, 2021

The Ballet Herald: ‘Ballet Arizona Review: Inspiring Glimpses of the Past, Present, and Future’

Filmed in the company’s on-site Dorrance Theatre, Ballet Arizona’s Inspire program fulfills the promise that its title bears.

It is not only an exhibit of his company’s technical and theatrical range from classical to contemporary that Artistic Director Ib Andersen has curated but also an intimate digital environment in which we hear directly from him and the dancers. Read More >

May 25, 2018

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. Read More >

May 18, 2018

Phoenix New Times: “Ballet Arizona Performs the World Premiere of Ib Andersen’s Eroica”

The glow of a setting sun surrounds a pair of peaks just west of Desert Botanical Garden. A short walk from the garden’s entrance, there’s a stage lit with an icy shade of blue. Read More >

Jun 27, 2016

The New York Times: “Ballet Arizona performs ‘Round’ in a Dreamy Desert Ambience”

“For centuries, ballet has focused all of its stage deportment on one specific arc of space, through a proscenium arch to a large audience. Read More >

May 19, 2015

Phoenix New Times: “Ballet Arizona’s ‘Innovations’ is Ib Andersen’s Legacy in the Making”

For many decades, major performing arts organizations including ballet companies have followed a fairly predictable path: presenting well-known repertory in large venues, while expecting contemporary audiences to sit through lengthy productions of classic works. Read More >

Feb 6, 2015

The New York Times: “Striving for Steps that Look Effortless”

“‘If you love the warm of the sun…go.’ These words, which you might find in a tourist brochure about this desert city [Phoenix], actually come from the 19th-century Danish ballet choreographer August Bournonville, recounting in his memoirs a trip to southern Italy, not the American Southwest. Read More >

Jan 16, 2015

The New York Times: “Ballet Arizona’s ‘Napoli’ Embodies a Culture of Exuberance”

“Naples, a city I adore, and its encirons burst to life onstage in “Napoli,” a ballet choreographed in 1042 by August Bournonville. Read More >

Mar 31, 2014

Downtown Phoenix Journal: “Tutus and Beyond”

“Ballet Arizona’s Masters of Movement should require seat belts for audience and dancers alike due to its sheer exhilaration. Each of the program’s three ballets reveals a completely different side of the troupe while reinforcing the company’s burgeoning reputation for excellence, athleticism, and technical accuracy… Read more.” Read More >

Feb 14, 2014

AZ Lifestyle Magazine: “Ballet Arizona Does Right by ‘La Bayadère'”

“A Russian ballet that is choreographed by a Frenchman, scored by an Austrian, set in the Himalayas and
performed in Arizona by lead dancers from Cuba, Brazil and the U.S. Read More >

Nov 19, 2013

The New York Times: “‘Cinderella’ Tries the Fit With Ballet Arizona”

“Above all, it tells the “Cinderella” story with compelling human detail. The frictions between Cinderella’s father and stepmother (Astrit Zejnati and Kenna Draxton) include vivid arguments, both painful and absurd. Read More >

May 30, 2013

Downtown Phoenix Journal: “Beyond Walls: Ballet Arizona Escapes to the Desert”

Symphony Hall and the Orpheum Theatre are Ballet Arizona’s usual performance spaces, firmly in the heart of downtown. Occasionally, however, the troupe ventures outdoors for its free annual Ballet Under the Stars community performances and, for the second year, Topia at Desert Botanical Garden. Read More >

May 28, 2013

Phoenix New Times: “Behind the Scenes: Ballet Arizona’s Topia at Desert Botanical Garden”

“Topia takes Ib Andersen’s choreography, sets it to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, and places it on an 80-foot-long stage at Desert Botanical Garden with the Papago Buttes as a backdrop.  Read More >

May 16, 2013

Phoenix New Times: “Ballet Arizona’s Topia at Desert Botanical Garden Is a Full Sensory Experience”

“The desert adds a layer of meaning to ‘Topia’ that arguably couldn’t be achieved in an indoor venue. The choreography is kaleidoscopic, making the dance feel even more like an impressionist painting. Read More >

May 3, 2013

Art Musings: “Palate Cleanser”

“Whatever your own tastes in dance, you’d be wise to choose ‘All Balanchine’ from this weekend’s menu. Balanchine’s work well-performed is a perfectly refreshing experience, more now than ever before, given all the bells and whistles served up on stage these days.  Read More >

May 3, 2013

Downtown Phoenix Journal: “Fine Pointe”

“The authenticity and accuracy of Ballet Arizona’s All Balanchine program this weekend relies on the invaluable knowledge of Artistic Director Ib Andersen, himself a Balanchine protégé.  Read More >

May 3, 2013

AZ Lifestyle Magazine: “Balanchine’s Vision: Ballet Arizona’s Gift”

“Ballet Arizona’s annual celebration of Balanchine highlighted the ever-growing strengths of this vibrant company. From the effortless unison in Serenade to the clarity and precision in Four Temperaments, George Balanchine’s vision was translated on stage. Read More >

Apr 1, 2013

AZ Lifestyle Magazine: “Ballet Arizona Raises the Bar with Director’s Choice”

“Ballet Arizona’s Ib Andersen receives praise as one of the globe’s best living choreographers by AZ-Lifestyle Magazine. The three pieces in Director’s Choice are described as fractal, funny, and faux-epic. Read More >

Mar 29, 2013

Downtown Phoenix Journal: “Diversions, Creatures, and a World Premiere”

Prepare to see more than a menagerie onstage when Ballet Arizona performs Director’s Choice at the Orpheum Theatre this weekend. “It’s a challenging, very diverse program,” says Ib Andersen, the troupe’s artistic director, who chose three disparate works to showcase his dancers. Read More >

Mar 29, 2013

Reviews: Director’s Choice – “You Dance Funny. So Does Me.”

“Blogger Steve Ha critiques Le Carnaval des Animaux, Second to Last, and Diversions in his blog giving praise to Alejandro Cerrudo and Ib Andersen. Read More >

Feb 16, 2013

AZ-Lifestyle Magazine: “Ib Andersen’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Romances the Audience”

“Ib Andersen romances the audience with his technically strong, theatrically rich, and conceptually deep choreography in ‘Romeo & Juliet.’ Swordplay, musicality, and intense emotion move the bar up higher in this performance.”  Read More >

Oct 25, 2012 “Ballet Arizona Opens Season with ‘Giselle’ in Phoenix”

“Forget the Black Swan. The true killer role for a dance diva, says Ballet Arizona artistic director Ib Andersen, is the title character of “Giselle,” a naive peasant girl who literally dies of a broken heart, then returns as a spirit to protect the man who did her wrong.  Read More >

Sep 21, 2012 “Ballet Under the Stars at West Valley Parks”

“Ballet Arizona’s annual series of free concerts brings one of the nation’s best dance companies to city parks in every corner of the Valley, including three stops in the West Valley. Read More >

Sep 19, 2012 “Arizona Opera, Ballet Arizona’s take on ‘Romeo and Juliet'”

“There are a million ways to tell a good story. And hence the perennial popularity of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s tale of young lovers doomed to a tragic end by their feuding families.”  Read More >

Sep 19, 2012

The Arizona Republic: “Ballet Arizona Free Concert Series to Bring Ballet to Phoenix-Area Parks”

“A motto for Ballet Under the Stars might be, ‘If you build it, they will come’ — times seven. Ballet Arizona’s annual series of free concerts brings one of the nation’s best dance companies to city parks in every corner of the Valley.”  Read More >

May 26, 2012

The Arizona Republic: “‘Balanchine’ Inspires Dancers to Emotion in Phoenix”

“Comedian Martin Mull is credited with the oft-quoted aphorism, ‘Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.’ The problem with this seeming truism, however, is that dancing about architecture might be the easier task.  Read More >

Apr 28, 2012 “Ballet Arizona’s ‘Topia’ at Desert Botanical Garden”

Making ballet is different from what you might expect. For one thing, it’s slow. Ib Andersen is standing in the middle of Ballet Arizona’s studio with dancer Roman Zavarov. Read More >

Mar 24, 2012 “Ballet Arizona’s ‘Director’s Choice’ at Orpheum”

“One of the stars of Ballet Arizona is back, after a year away from dancing. Natalia Magnicaballi blew out her anterior cruciate ligament in a devastating injury last year that for many professional athletes can be career-ending. Read More >

Oct 21, 2011 “Ballet Arizona’s ‘Cinderella’ is a Ball at Symphony Hall”

“Have you ever found yourself in the middle of something thinking, “Wow! This is good”? Not just good, but beyond-expectations good. Read More >

Oct 16, 2011 “Ballet Arizona’s ‘Cinderella’ at Symphony Hall”

“On Aug. 1, Ib Andersen began the process of choreographing “Cinderella” with dancers Jillian Barrell and Russell Clarke. Two-and-a-half months before its premiere, Andersen started the slow process of creating the steps that Ballet Arizona will perform this week. Read More >

Jun 3, 2011 “Ballet Arizona’s ‘Balanchine’ Program Embodies Joy in Dance”

“If you have ever seen a young white-blazed calf running and jumping in the pasture on a frosty spring morning, leaping over its sleeping mother in what can only be taken as an expression of joy; If you have seen a pronghorn bouncing as if on a trampoline in the grasslands, a style of stiff-legged locomotion called pronking. Read More >

Apr 23, 2011 “Ballet Arizona Brings Back ‘Mosaik'”

“Mosaik is 7 years old, a full-length abstract ballet choreographed by Ballet Arizona artistic director Ib Andersen. It premiered in 2004 and was reprised in 2006, and now it has returned to the Valley with a new cast and refurbished costumes and set.  Read More >

Mar 28, 2011

The Arizona Republic: “‘Modern Masters’ One Great Dance Atop Another”

The Arizona Republic, Richard Nilsen, Reviewed Thursday, March 24, at the Orpheum Theatre, Phoenix
The world seems to be falling apart around us, but Ballet Arizona just keeps getting better. Read More >

Feb 11, 2011 “Ballet Arizona’s ‘Don Quixote’ Lets Stars Shine”

“Sometimes, it seems as if all story ballets are the same: Village lad loves village lass; impediments intrude – often a father with other plans for his daughter; the problems are solved and in the third act, a wedding permits the whole thing to turn into lots of festive dancing. Read More >

Feb 10, 2011

“Don Quixote Sparkles at Symphony Hall”

Based on a minor episode from volume II of Miguel de Cervantes’ picaresque novel El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha, and set to Ludwig Minkus’ memorable score, this classic is a ballet lover’s favorite. Read More >

Dec 31, 2010

The New York Times: “The Nutcracker’s Chronicles”


Throughout Act One of Alexei Ratmansky’s new production of “The Nutcracker” for American Ballet Theater, you’re in the hands of a master. Read More >

Dec 23, 2010

The New York Times: “The Nutcracker Chronicles: Dreaming of Snow”


PHOENIX — It seems there’s always a soprano outside Symphony Hall here, singing out of tune: not always the same woman, but always the same lack of pitch. Read More >

Jun 22, 2010

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Ballet Across America Performances Sweep Across a Landscape of Ballet”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, By Jane Vranish

Dance consumers can get their fill of ballet in two ways: through snippets on YouTube or the cost-prohibitive and time-consuming way, through travel. Read More >

Jun 19, 2010

The Washington Post: “Southern Dancers Step up at Kennedy Center’s ‘Ballet Across America'”

The Washington Post, By Sarah Kaufman, Washington Post Staff Writer

There’s a Southern thing going on at the Kennedy Center’s Ballet Across America series this week. Read More >

Jun 13, 2010

The New York Times: “Balanchine Protégé Transplants the Spirit to the Southwest”


PHOENIX — Thirty years ago the Danish dancer Ib Andersen joined New York City Ballet, becoming the last new man of importance to work with George Balanchine. Read More >

Jun 11, 2010

The Arizona Republic: “Ballet Arizona brilliant in ‘Balanchine Classics'”

The Arizona Republic, By Richard Nilsen

We expect more out of great art than entertainment: We expect it to change our lives. Read More >

May 17, 2010

The Arizona Republic: “‘Play’ is Great Reprise for Ballet Arizona”

The Arizona Republic, by Richard Nilsen

It is great fun to come back to a new dance you’ve seen once before and be reminded of what you loved the first time around. Read More >

May 9, 2010

Ballet Arizona’s ‘Play’

Ballerinas as broccoli? Dancers as dessert? Ib Andersen isn’t talking about victuals when he describes his new ballet, Play, as “a seven-course meal.” Read More >

May 9, 2010

The Arizona Republic: “Andersen, Ballet Have Grown”

The Arizona Republic, by Richard Nilsen

Ten years ago, former Balanchine star dancer Ib Andersen took over Ballet Arizona. The company has grown tremendously since then. Read More >

Mar 29, 2010

The Arizona Republic: “Ballet Arizona Offers Robbins, Andersen Hits”

The Arizona Republic, by Richard Nilsen

There are two ways to love dance. For many, there is the individual dancer, or the pair in pas de deux. Read More >

Mar 28, 2010 “Worth the ‘Diversion'”, Posted by Ken LaFave

Five hours and counting until the final performance by Ballet Arizona of its Classic Innovations program at the Orpheum Theatre. Read More >

Nov 8, 2009

The Arizona Republic: “‘Swan’ a Gift of Beauty”

The Arizona Republic, by Richard Nilsen

The world often is unbearably ugly. About 2.5 million people have been killed in the Congo since 2004, as a result of civil and tribal warfare. Read More >

Jan 29, 2009 “Ballet Arizona’s ‘Romeo and Juliet'”

“Romeo and Juliet: sun and moon. Valentine’s Day is the place to remember the lovers, the play, and all the operas, ballets, movies, and satires made from Shakespeare’s original – such as Ballet Arizona’s upcoming performance of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, the second-most popular ballet in the repertoire after Nutcracker. Read More >

Feb 15, 2008

The Arizona Republic: “‘Don Q’ is an Exuberant Delight”

The Arizona Republic, by Richard Nilsen

We’ve become spoiled in Phoenix.

Ballet Arizona does the spoiling: They continue to give us dance not only with refined technique but with real personality. Read More >

Dec 17, 2007

KBAQ: “Ballet Arizona’s ‘Nutcracker’ is an Exemplary Holiday Production”

KBAQ, By Chris Curcio

There are many things that turn a City into a place of distinction. In the arts, one of the primary points of pride is an exemplary holiday “Nutcracker” production. Read More >

Nov 4, 2007

The Arizona Republic: ‘Giselle’

The Arizona Republic, by Richard Nilsen

There are two things to be said about dance and Ballet Arizona’s Giselle.

The first is that the current production is very well danced – one hardly expects less from the company – and that it’s well supported by great scenery, costumes, lighting and staging. Read More >

Jun 10, 2007

The Arizona Republic: “Ib Andersen’s Memorable Feast ‘Play’ Offers 7 Courses of Artistic Delight”

The Arizona Republic, by Richard Nilsen

Ballet Arizona ends its season this weekend with a new program of dances by artistic director Ib Andersen. Read More >

Apr 13, 2007

The Arizona Republic: “Ballet Mixes Heat, Exuberance”

The Arizona Republic, by Richard Nilsen

Ballet Arizona’s “Mixed Repertory” is an evening-long crescendo: Starting slow with classical ballet, turning up the heat with Balanchine and ending at a rolling boil with Twyla Tharp’s study in frantic perpetual motion. Read More >

Feb 18, 2007

The Arizona Republic: “A Pleasant, If Familiar, ‘Coppelia'”

The Arizona Republic, by Richard Nilsen

Ballet Arizona’s Coppélia is the same production as the one the troupe performed in 2005, but with two major differences. Read More >

Dec 12, 2006

The Arizona Republic: “Spectacular ‘Nutcracker’ Works Magic for Holidays”

The Arizona Republic, by Richard Nilsen

In Hollywood, they have a phrase about production budgets: Is the money spent visible “on the screen?” Read More >

Dec 11, 2006

KBAQ: “Ballet Arizona’s New”

KBAQ, by Chris Curcio

“THE NUTCRACKER,” Ballet Arizona, Symphony Hall, Phoenix, AZ
Air Date: Monday, December 11, 2005

Ballet Arizona new “The Nutcracker” transports the company into the big leagues of major American dance companies with its breathtakingly beautiful, dazzlingly danced, and magical production crafted brilliantly by the company’s creative artistic director Ib Andersen. Read More >

Nov 6, 2006

The Arizona Republic: “‘Swan Lake’ Rises from Fairy Tale to Myth”

The Arizona Republic, by Richard Nilsen

Among the Bamana peoples of Mali, in West Africa, there is a ceremony in which dancers dress up as an antelope – called Tsi Wara – and imitate the movements of the animal. Read More >