Satisfy your craving for the new and unexpected as Ballet Arizona presents Director’s Choice from Sept. 26-29 at Orpheum Theatre. Witness a selection of contemporary works that push the boundaries of ballet. 

Director’s Choice represents the evolution of ballet in that it celebrates the past, present and future of ballet. The production will feature three distinctly different ballets: a work by the legendary choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton, a Latin-inspired world premiere by Ballet Arizona Dancer Nayon Iovino, and a sentimental reflection of Ib Andersen’s 20 years with Ballet Arizona. Audiences are sure to be inspired by this diverse repertoire. 

“I have always wanted to produce an Ashton ballet at Ballet Arizona, and this is the first time I have had the opportunity,” said Artistic Director Ib Andersen. “It is exciting for us to include this in our repertory this year. It will be the Arizona premiere by such a world-renowned choreographer. As I reflect on the past 20 years I am inspired, humbled, and grateful to have been a part of our Phoenix community. Audiences have allowed me to fulfill my passion to teach and create art to share with Arizonans and that is a gift I do not take for granted.  As a result I want to create a new ballet that highlights and celebrates some of the audience favorites throughout my tenure here – sort of a ‘greatest hits’ if you will – I think it will be a fun way to honor our patrons.”

The trio of ballets will also include an on-stage “party.” The host of the party will be longtime Ballet Arizona dancer Nayon Iovino, AZCentral’s “Best Up-and-Coming Choreographer” and a 2019 New York Choreographic Institute Participant.

“The experience I had at the New York Choreographic Institute gave me a different point of view of the choreographic process,” said Iovino. “I was excited when I found out I would be choreographing something new for Ib’s 20th anniversary season. As I began to brainstorm ideas and look for music for this new ballet, I kept coming back to the idea that I just wanted to throw Ib a big party on stage. My hope is that audience members will feel as if they are part of the celebration!” 

The 2019 lineup for Director’s Choice includes:

Les Patineurs [The Skaters] – Performed for the first time in Arizona, Sir Frederick Ashton’s charming collection of vignettes evoke the movement of ice skating. It is a one-act series of divertissements set in a lantern-lit Victorian ice rink.

New Work from Ib Andersen – Andersen will mark 20 years with Ballet Arizona with a new ballet crafted from some of his greatest hits and new works as he continues to keep ballet fans on their toes.

New Work from Nayon Iovino – Iovino will present a Latin-infused on-stage “party” in honor of Andersen’s 20th year. Iovino’s most recent work was featured in New York City after being one of three choreographers selected to participate in the New York Choreographic Institute in February 2019. 

Tickets for Director’s Choice start at $34, with discounts offered for seniors, students, military and groups and may be purchased at or at 602-381-1096.