Ballet Arizona’s Top 10 Moments of the 2020-2021 Season
Join us as we take a look at the top 10 moments of our 2020-2021 season, made possible by you! What has been one of the most challenging times at Ballet Arizona, has also been one of our most remarkable. This past year was a testament to how powerful we are as a community and the unique magic of dance that continues to bring us together.
Nayon Iovino in Ib Andersen’s The Four Seasons at Desert Botanical Garden. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.
Ballet Arizona dancers in the studio. Photo provided by Manley Films.
1. BE OUR BRIDGE COVID RELIEF FUND
You helped Ballet Arizona build a bridge to the future. Alongside Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance, longtime arts and culture philanthropists, our community came together and raised more than $1.2 million in recovery and resiliency funding to provide our company a financial bridge to the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your support kept our doors open and our dancers, faculty, and staff together and employed. Click here to watch everything you made possible.
Ballet Arizona dancer in Nayon Iovino’s Abrazo. Photo by Tzu-Chia Huang.
2. NEW WORKS INITIATIVE
Your generosity brought four new works to the stage! From Company Dancer and Choreographer, Nayon Iovino’s Abrazo, to Artistic Director, Ib Andersen’s Goldberg Variations and The Four Seasons, these musically-driven ballets left a lasting impression on our audiences in Dorrance Theatre and in homes, with our digital performances. New works are vital for the artistic health of Ballet Arizona and a key pillar in our mission to create, perform, and teach outstanding classical and contemporary ballet. Click here to learn more about the New Works Initiative.
Community Angel Night attendees at Ballet Arizona’s The Nutcracker Suite.
3. COMMUNITY ANGEL NIGHTS
You brought some holiday magic into people’s lives with our beloved Community Angel Nights program. This year was made even more special, as we hosted our very first sensory-friendly performance of The Nutcracker Suite in partnership with First Place! For this performance, key production elements, like light and sound, were adjusted to create a more supportive and friendly environment for families with loved ones with special needs, opening new doors for increasing accessibility to the performing arts in our community. Click here to learn more about our Community Angel Nights program.
Students of The School of Ballet Arizona and Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestras in Swan Lake at Desert Botanical Garden. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.
4. SWAN LAKE AT THE GARDEN
This Spring, students of The School of Ballet Arizona and Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestras came together for the first time to perform Swan Lake at Desert Botanical Garden. This production was a collaboration representing a longtime vision come to life and played a key role in furthering all of the student’s education. For SBAZ School Director, Maria Simonetti and PYSO Artistic Director, Matthew Kasper, these performances were a testament to the will and ingenuity of our institutions and a signal to the people of Phoenix that the arts are still here. Click here to learn more about The School of Ballet Arizona.
Ballet Arizona Contemporary Council and Ballet Barre members participating in Intro to Ballet Class. Photo by Alexis Kunzelman.
5. CONTEMPORARY COUNCIL
Ballet Arizona’s Contemporary Council was not deterred when faced with the challenges of this past year. Instead, they banded together and created an engaging events calendar, from panel discussions with leading, local professionals and a ballet class led by one of our company dancers, to virtual trivia nights and a cocktail class, there was something for everyone. Additionally, they raised over $8,000 in revenue and increased their membership to 12 serving members! Click here to learn more about Contemporary Council and Ballet Barre.
Kate Loxtercamp and Serafin Castro in Ib Andersen’s Goldberg Variations. Photo by Tzu-Chia Huang.
6. 2021 BALLET UNDER THE VIRTUAL STARS
Ballet Arizona’s decades-long Valley tradition continued… only the stars went virtual! Presented by the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation, this free digital performance featured the traditions of classical ballet with August Bournonville’s Pas de Sept, the excitement of new works with Artistic Director, Ib Andersen’s Goldberg Variations, and a live chat discussion with company dancers. This year, people across Arizona were joined by viewers in almost all 50 states and some international for a truly special evening of dance. Click here to learn more about our community programs.
In the past, our annual Dance with Me Gala has always been a night to remember, bringing out patrons together to support the mission of Ballet Arizona. However, as most things changes this year, so did our gala and we instead celebrated with Set the Stage: Balanchine! Made free to our entire community, thanks to your generosity, this digital performance, offered in English and Spanish, brought the ballets of George Balanchine and excerpts from Nayon Iovino’s fan-favorite work, Mambaz, to your home. Click here to learn more about Set the Stage.
Ricardo Santos and Demitra Bereveskos receiving the 2021 Hazel Hare Award. Photo provided by Manley Films.
8. 2021 HAZEL HARE AWARDS
We celebrated the 3rd anniversary of the Hazel Hare Award of Artistic Excellence. Artistic Director, Ib Andersen awards a male and female dancer each season whose spirit echoes the strength, dedication, and passion that Hazel exemplified throughout her entire life. This season’s recipients were Ricardo Santos, who has mastered the difficulty of this art form and has a true passion for ballet, and Demitra Bereveskos, whose combination of brain, talent, and perseverance, embody everything needed to become a dancer. Click here to learn more about Hazel Hare.
Joan & Mack Schwing
9. $50,000 MATCHING GIFT CHALLENGE
Not only did you match the $50,000 challenge, set by longtime arts advocates, Joan and Mack Schwing, you exceeded the goal, raising over $70,000! You made a direct impact on the dance you experience on stage and the art we bring to our community each and every season. Most importantly, you helped ensure our company and ballet remain a treasured part of Arizona and are here for future generations. Click here to see your support in action.
Ballet Arizona Studio Company dancers and the students of The School of Ballet Arizona in rehearsal for Swan Lake. Photo by Alberto Peñalver.
10. THE SCHOOL OF BALLET ARIZONA SCHOLARSHIPS
You gave 37 students the opportunity to pursue their dreams through scholarships to The School of Ballet Arizona. From classes over Zoom to the health protocols put in place at our studios, our students and faculty persisted during one of the most difficult years to ensure SBAZ’s world-class training continued. School Director, Maria Simonetti says, “After an isolating year, you can feel the excitement radiating from the students… I want SBAZ to be a place that continues to bring these kids joy.” Click here to learn how you can support The School of Ballet Arizona.
We want to hear from you! Comment below with your favorite moment from Ballet Arizona’s 2020-2021 season.