Ballet AZ Blog

SBAZ Spotlight: Ib Andersen’s Peter and the Wolf

In ballet, innovation often breathes new life into timeless classics. For the students of the School of Ballet Arizona (SBAZ), innovation will take shape in Artistic Director, Ib Andersen’s new rendition of beloved children’s story, Peter and the Wolf at this year’s annual Spring Performance.

Originally created in 1936, by Sergei Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf was never intended to be a ballet, rather a symphonic tale to educate children about music. However, Andersen’s vision for this piece will transcend the traditional boundaries of storytelling and bring dance to the forefront.

While paying homage to the classical roots of ballet, the choreography will showcase Ib’s dynamic approach to movement and staging, while bringing a fresh perspective that speaks to modern audiences.  From the whimsical antics of Peter to the menacing prowls of the Wolf, the ballet will unfold a rich tapestry of emotion and imagination.

Working with Ballet Arizona’s Costume Director, Leonor Texidor, and Technical Director, Zachary Cooper, Ib has designed new costumes and set pieces that been cleverly woven together. Some of the elements featured will include a tree for characters to perch on and children in hand-painted costumes, giving the illusion of a pond.

“I saw Peter and the Wolf when I was a kid, so it has been fun thinking back to my first experience with this story and now making my twist to it. The process of creating a ballet goes beyond the choreography, there are costumes to design and sets to build. Combining that and working with kids, it has been a different but wonderful challenge and I am excited for everyone to see it,” says Ib.

For the young dancers of the SBAZ, learning under guidance of the artistic director is a transformative experience and another reminder of what sets our training apart from other ballet schools. In addition to their weekly classes, the process of attending rehearsals and preparing for performances provides an element of mentorship, instills an appreciation for the art of storytelling, and provides a space for self-expression. 

Join us for the School of Ballet Arizona’s Spring Performance and see Ib Andersen’s Peter and the Wolf come to life May 24-26 at the Orpheum Theatre.

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