‘All Balanchine’ Presents Classics from The Father of American Ballet

‘All Balanchine’ Presents Classics from The Father of American Ballet

George Balanchine, known as The Father of American Ballet, established himself as a dance legend when he put his twist on traditional ballet standards and techniques. Before joining Ballet Arizona, Ib Andersen was mentored by the legendary choreographer during his tenure as a dancer at New York City Ballet. Ballet Arizona is excited to bring three of Balanchine’s classics to the Phoenix stage with its annual All Balanchine program at Symphony Hall from May 2-5.

All Balanchine will feature Ballet Arizona’s company dancers performing three of Balanchine’s finest works, La Valse, Prodigal Son and Square Dance, alongside live accompaniment from The Phoenix Symphony.

The opulent yet haunting La Valse, which features a score by Maurice Ravel, showcases dancers waltzing in alluring romantic-length tutus. Set in a decadent ballroom, La Valse is often described as a “choreographic poem.”

Prodigal Son takes inspiration from the biblical parable in the gospel according to St. Luke. The parable features a son who rejects his father and squanders his inheritance but returns home ashamed only to find love and forgiveness from his father. Russian dancer, Boris Kochno, further added dramatic material to underscore the themes of sin and redemption and ends the story with the prodigal son’s return.

Ballet Arizona will also present Square Dance, a piece where Balanchine blended the style of American folk dance with classical ballet. Although the styles were widely different, he felt they shared common roots. Be prepared for high spirits in this delightful Balanchine ballet.

“It is truly an honor to bring Balanchine’s artistic masterpieces to the Ballet Arizona stage,” said Andersen. “Balanchine’s impact on the ballet world is undeniable, and I’m elated to be able to bring these historic and exquisite pieces to the forefront. This year’s All Balanchine program will be an awe-inspiring experience, for both the audience and the dancers.”

Andersen is one of only a handful of artists worldwide trusted to stage these masterpieces by the Balanchine Trust. His understanding of Balanchine’s work draws respect from revered dance critics across the country.

Ticket prices for All Balanchine start at $35, with discounts offered for seniors, students, military, and groups. Tickets can be purchased by calling 602.381.1096 or visiting balletaz.org.

Ballet Arizona dancers in La Valse, Choreography by George Balanchine, copyright The Balanchine Trust, Photo by Rosalie O’Connor