Kate Groves at Ballet Arizona’s 2019 Prima Circle Evening. Photography by Andrew Jordan.
You are such a longstanding supporter of the arts in Arizona and the chair of our Prima Circle committee. What inspired such generosity, passion, and commitment to ensuring the foundational support not only thrives and grows at Ballet Arizona?
I believe the arts make our community and our lives vibrant and rewarding, and I feel Ballet Arizona is one of the most talented arts organizations in the Valley. Additionally, once I became personally acquainted with many of the dancers, I became interested and invested in their lives and careers. I appreciate that these amazingly talented and creative individuals are dedicating this time in their lives to creating art and beauty for all of us.
What ballets or contemporary works have inspired you the most?
When I first became a board member at Ballet Arizona and I was getting to know the dancers, I would often ask each dancer what his or her favorite ballet was to dance. Many mentioned Don Quixote as a favorite. I have only seen the ballet once, but I remember loving it. I also really like most anything Ib choreographs, one of my favorites is his ballet Rio with music by Philip Glass.
What is your favorite part about being a Prima Circle member and why do you think people should join?
I am very proud of our Prima Circle program. Individuals who support Ballet Arizona and become Prima Circle members have access to an enhanced ballet experience. Members are invited to attend rehearsals and cocktail events a few weeks prior to the ballet performances, where the dancers, Ib, and other guest speakers educate members on the upcoming ballets. Recent guest speakers have included répétiteurs (individuals responsible for teaching the ballets) from The George Balanchine Trust and Costume Designer, Fabio Toblini, who created the costumes for The Firebird. We also have studio rehearsal luncheons, drinks at performance intermissions, and our Prima Circle Donor Appreciation Evening. We have a great Prima Circle committee, and we are always striving to create new educational and entertaining programs for our members.
You also have many other artistic outlets – an artist yourself? Could you tell us a little more about that?
I have been “artsy” all my life. At 12, I started silversmithing and owned my own acetylene torch! In high school and college, I was a singer, and in high school I auditioned and spent a summer at Tanglewood in the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s vocal program. More recently, I owned a business where I designed and manufactured funky felted handbags. In 2005, I won the Fashion Group International award for “Rising Accessory Designer of the Year” in Arizona. Currently, I am working on a lot of hand sewn and embellished garments. I also dance 4 times a week for fitness. Fortunately, there are no recitals!