Ballet Arizona is preparing to present its historic 2020-2021 season. The season will mark the 35th year for Arizona’s official ballet company and will include captivating performances, including a world premiere from heralded Artistic Director Ib Andersen.  

Ballet Arizona will kick off the new season Sept. 24-27, 2020, with a dance program designed to move you – Contemporary Moves: An Evening of Four Short Ballets. These ballets are a dance lover’s dream, featuring works from some of the most renowned choreographers of our time, including Tony Award-winner Twyla Tharp, Ballet Arizona’s own Andersen, and a world premiere by company dancer/choreographer Nayon Iovino. 

Ballet Arizona will bring ballet masterpiece Giselle center stage Oct. 22-25, 2020. The haunting tale of a young woman who dies from a broken heart. Giselle is famous for the Wilies, the ghostly maidens who take revenge on the young nobleman that betrayed her. 

The holiday season would not be complete without The Nutcracker, Dec. 11-24, 2020. The $1.8 million dazzling production, created by Andersen, sparkles from start to finish. In December, more than 150 dancers will come together on the stage of Symphony Hall to bring the enchantment and splendor of The Nutcracker to life. Ballet Arizona’s production has been named “among the top three in the country” by The New York Times.

Ballet Arizona will bring Ib Andersen’s choreography to the music of Mexican singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel Feb. 11-14, 2021. The highly anticipated world premiere, Juan Gabriel, pays homage to the legendary performer who captured the hearts of millions worldwide and whose works have transcended generations. 

The All Balanchine program will present three ballets by the legendary choreographer George Balanchine and staged by Andersen, who is one of a handful of artists worldwide authorized by The Balanchine Trust to stage the late choreographer’s masterpieces. The lineup includes performances of Raymonda VariationsLa Valse and The Four Temperaments May 6-9, 2021 at Symphony Hall. This is truly an evening not to be missed. 

Ballet Arizona’s annual tradition An Evening at Desert Botanical Garden will finish out the 2020-2021 season May 18-June 5, 2021. Staged in Desert Botanical Garden’s Schilling Event Plaza, this production is surrounded by the beautiful backdrop of the garden landscapes and the sunset against the Papago Buttes, where the beauty of ballet is presented in a stunning environment matched by Andersen’s innovative choreography. 

The Phoenix Symphony will join Ballet Arizona for two performances, Giselle and The Nutcracker, enriching the experience with live music and providing patrons the opportunity to enjoy two of the Valley’s premier arts organizations simultaneously. 



Sept. 24-27, 2020

Orpheum Theatre

Choreography: Twyla Tharp, Ib Andersen, Nayon Iovino

Music: David Byrne, Frank Sinatra 

Ballet Arizona kicks off its 35th anniversary season with some of the finest and most unexpected modern ballet works. Twyla Tharp’s The Golden Section will feature spectacularly gilded athletic costumes highlighting the 1980’s era with breathtaking leaps and daring partnering, set to the new wave score of David Byrne.

Another stunning work by Tharp, Sinatra Suite, presents Frank Sinatra’s greatest hits within a series of ballroom duets, including “Strangers in the Night,” “My Way” and “One for My Baby.”

In two separate works, Andersen and Ballet Arizona dancer-choreographer Nayon Iovino will push the limits in two groundbreaking ballets. Andersen is famous for his contemporary original works such as RioPines of RomeMosaik and Play. Iovino will present an innovative and thoughtful new work that can only come from the mind of AZCentral’s “best up-and-coming choreographer.” 


Oct. 22-25, 2020

With the Phoenix Symphony at Symphony Hall

Choreography: Marius Petipa, staged by Ib Andersen

Music: Edvard Helsted, H.S. Paulli, Niels W. Gade and H.C. Lumbye 

This haunting masterpiece is one of the most beloved and romantic ballets of all time. Giselle is the story of a young woman who dies of a broken heart. The ballet is famous for the Wilies, her ghostly maidens that take revenge on the young nobleman that betrayed her. Presented alongside the tremendous talent of the Phoenix Symphony, this evocative performance is not to be missed.  


Dec. 11-24, 2020

With the Phoenix Symphony at Symphony Hall

Choreography: Ib Andersen

Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Celebrate the joy and wonder of the holidays with Ballet Arizona’s The Nutcracker. Follow Clara’s wintry adventures as she battles mischievous mice and charms the Sugar Plum Fairy. With 150 performers, 100,000 Swarovski crystals, and Tchaikovsky’s cherished score performed live, Ballet Arizona’s The Nutcracker is the best way to celebrate the holidays with friends and family! Due to increased audience demand, single tickets go on sale on June 1. 


Feb. 11-14, 2021

Symphony Hall

Choreography: Ib Andersen

Music: Juan Gabriel                                                                                                                     

Juan Gabriel surrendered to his audiences, expressing his admiration and love for them in each performance. His unique style and energy captivated the most discerning audiences, compelling Andersen to create an intense and passionate performance set to one of Juan Gabriel’s most iconic concerts. It’s a new work like nothing seen before; performance as poetry; bringing new appreciation to the emotional authenticity of this musical legend – reflecting the color, passion, and vibrancy of Juan Gabriel. Expect to feel love, sadness, joy, all in one great production as a tribute to a master. Juan Gabriel is generously sponsored by Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance. 


May 6-9, 2021

Symphony Hall

Choreography: George Balanchine

Witness three ballets by the genius choreographer George Balanchine and staged by Artistic Director Ib Andersen, who is one of a handful of artists worldwide authorized by The Balanchine Trust to present Balanchine’s masterpieces. The 2021 lineup includes performances of Raymonda VariationsLa Valse and The Four Temperaments 


May 18-June 5, 2021
Desert Botanical Garden

Choreography: Ib Andersen 

From the choreographer that brought you masterpieces such as EroicaTopia and The Four Seasons – An Evening at Desert Botanical Garden promises a spectacular ballet performance that is uniquely Arizonan. Surrounded by the lush desert landscape with the setting sun as a backdrop, Ib Andersen’s vision for dance in the desert continues in 2021 with An Evening at Desert Botanical Garden. Expect the unexpected as Ballet Arizona evolves, takes chances, and challenges the boundaries of contemporary ballet in the desert we call home.