Ballet Arizona


Phoenix, Arizona - Ballet Arizona

Desert Stars Dazzle Phoenix

December 9, 2011


Nothing is as beautiful as the desert sky at night or when the sunset dances off the mountains with beautiful red rock colors.  The air is clear and Phoenix dazzles at night as the city comes alive in a town where art is held to its highest standards.  Phoenix is a special place where beauty is all around, but one of the most beautiful, is presented downtown at the Symphony Theater, where the stars of Ballet Arizona dazzle on stage!

To begin with, Ballet Arizona is not just any ballet company.  They have dancers from all over the world.  Sure, there are dancers from America, but there are also dancers from South America, Cuba, Eastern and Western Europe.  The level of skill and talent at Ballet Arizona is obvious throughout the entire performance.  The art loving people of Phoenix are blessed to have one of the most talented companies in the country.

Ballet Arizona combines the magic of the talented international dance corps with innovative, soft and graceful choreography of Ib Andersen, stylistic costumes, beautiful props and flawless transitions.  The Grand Paus De Deux warms the heart with its emotionally moving gentleness spiced with spectacular feather-light lifts.  The divertissements present the consistency of the entire company.  The party scene is filled with dancing and color while the battle scene incorporates some of the funniest mice ever. 

The show opens to an innovative multimedia projection of a snowy town as we zoom down and visit with Drosselmeyer (Sergei Perkovskii) and his nephew (Marcus Murphy) behind a lighted scrim, preparing for the party.  And then up and away through the snowy forest to the Stahlbaum house.  The curtain raises to a magnificent great room with a fireplace and stairway on the left and clock on the right.  Maids are carting drinks and a butler assists.   The guests arrive and soon everyone is dancing, complete with lifts and spins.  Smoke starts appearing from the fireplace and Drosselmeyer appears with his nephew.  Soon he is center stage as the party watches his magic and then his two harlequin dolls and a dancing soldier.  The dancing continues along with the unstable grandparents who are saved from falling by the gentlemen guests.  The party ends and Clara (Mia Domini) falls asleep on the sofa. 

Clara awakes to Drosslemeyer orchestrating a flawless transition of props that lead to the room shrinking to reveal a giant mouse fireplace on the left and a stone castle with drawbridge on the right.  The mice are furry, almost lifelike, with big fat rat-like tails, each with their own little comical personalities.  The soldiers in red with tall black hats begin to battle and the comical little mice as they shy away when the Nutcracker appears.  They are soon joined by a long fat-bodied Mouse King who battles the Nutcracker until he is stabbed.  He falls and all the little mice people come over to provide CPR and react vividly to the sad drama of their loss. 

Clara and the Prince travel to a land of Snow, surrounded by the desert stars on a magnificent clear-sky sparkling evening.  The snow king and snow queen appear dressed in a long flowing gown of white.  The snow corps of twelve Snowflakes fills the stage with stunning choreography that highlights the talented snowflake dancers.  Flurries of three and six, swirling and shifting across the stage.  A really beautiful performance. 

Act II opens to a giant billowy satin backdrop lighted with the colors of a desert sunset as yellow-gold angels with giant feathery wings fill  the stage, floating across the stage in a light misty cloud.  The backdrop disappears and a crystal throne appears surrounded by the contemporary light white drops lighted with desert pastels.  Clara and her Prince arrive and take their place on the throne.

Two Spanish Chocolate couples begin the divertissements followed by the alluring Arabian Coffees dressed in soft sheer purple outfits.  The Chinese Tea couple were full of excitement with lifts that require a catch.  The Marzipan were dressed in candy kiss-like burgundy swirls.  The Russian Trepak were dressed in blue and pink, and the carrosel-like Mother Ginger Arrived with four young couples dressed in little tutu outfits.  The Waltz of Flowers was made up of a corps of eight dancers who provided the perfect backdrop for the amazing talents of the Dew Drop, Kanako Imajoshi. 

The Sugar Plum Fairy, Jillian Barrell, and her Cavalier, Gleidson Vasconcelos, finished with the Grand Paus De Deux, a choreography that was gentle, graceful and spectacularly  moving.  A tantalizing blend of beauty, emotion, talent and style.

Be sure not to miss the Ballet Arizona's production of The Nutcracker Ballet.  You will leave with the holiday spirit in your heart and a memory to treasure.  The combination of talented dancers and graceful choreography is amazing!


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