Breathing life into original choreography requires a gift of artistry, vision and execution, all within the realm of infinite patience. No one does this better than our Artistic Director Ib Andersen! He also mentors and inspires his dancers to do the same, and Friday night we were treated to a special Studio Spotlight giving us a glimpse into the rich creativity that brings these original works to life in Today’s Masters.
The evening began with a Prima Circle member reception in Ballet Arizona’s Dancer’s Lounge. It’s always a pleasure to mingle with other Balletomanes, as we like to think of ourselves. There’s an enthusiasm and excitement that we all share for this beautiful art form and it comes alive during these gatherings. Almost 60 of us enjoyed a generous array of delicious hors d’oevres, served alongside a signature cocktail, wine and beverages. Ib spoke to us about his latest piece, Rio, choreographed to the music of famed composer Philip Glass. Principal dancerNayon Iovino also gave us a glimpse into his very introspective and moving piece, Rigged Games, choreographed to the music of Igor Stravinsky. Prima Circle committee chair, Kate Groves, did a marvelous job presiding over this lively and engaging group!
The evening continued with a one-hour preview of these original works being showcased in the upcoming Today’s Masters. We are so fortunate to have the intimate Dorrance Theater for these performances. The ever-present Joseph Cavanaugh emceed this portion of the evening, giving us insights into the creative process and positive energy pervasive in these New Works. Ib and Nayon both spoke to us about the motivation for their pieces and the process involved. Questions were entertained from some of the almost 160 people present.
And then the magic began! The highly-imaginative and intriguing theme of Nayon’s work was a perfect contrast to the lush and sultry samba permeating Ib’s exotic choreography. I’m always amazed at the transformation that occurs when the dancers take on their roles in ballet and how I become transformed with them! This night was no different. I think many of us would have sat there for another hour completely mesmerized! But it was not to be, for when the dancers finished Mr. Cavanaugh thanked us all for coming and I made my way home with maybe just a little bit of that magic tucked away inside. It was the perfect way to start a weekend!