12 July 2018
Donor Spotlight: Rita & Steven Schlosser
You are such a longstanding supporter of the arts in Arizona. What inspired such generosity to the arts and specifically Ballet Arizona?
Actually, we’ve only lived here for 4 years. However, we did support the ballet, opera, and two theater companies in San Jose, California for the 15 years prior to moving to Arizona. We feel that nothing takes place of live performances. The interaction between the performers and the audience creates an electricity that can’t be matched by watching a film. We also know that many people don’t share our enthusiasm for live theater. In fact, the San Jose Repertory Company, the San Jose Ballet and the San Jose Symphony closed within the past 4 years, all from lack of support from what must be one of the wealthiest communities in America.
Why do you give?
We feel a special affinity for ballet. It is an inspired blend of strength and grace where the dancers communicate emotion through silent movement. We’ve taken our grandchildren – now 4 and 11 – to various performances and rehearsals and are thrilled that they share our fascination with the Ballet. In fact, our four year old grandson has specifically stated that we are to take him to The Firebird, which will be shown during the 2018 – 2019 season. I also like the programs presented by The School of Ballet. It is inspiring to know that Ballet Arizona is mentoring the next generation of dancers.
What ballets or contemporary works have inspired you the most?
That’s a tough question to answer. We like Swan Lake and Giselle, and think that Ib Andersen’s programs are excellent. We also like the creativity of the dancers who do choreography during the new works programs.
What are you most looking forward to next season?
Certainly, The Firebird. I’m also anticipating the New Moves program. I like seeing the styles of such a traditional art form incorporated in new and exciting ways.
Which ballet have you enjoyed most this season and why?
We love Swan Lake. It’s the pathos, the love found and lost, and the emotional content of the dance and the dancers. It never ceases to thrill us.
Any other comments you might like to contribute?
I only wish that the company could do more performances. Six times a year isn’t enough. I also wish that we could have more ballet’s in outdoor venues. Arizona is a state of vistas, I’d like to see greater use of the natural environment that surrounds us on a daily basis.