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Valentine's Winter Treat


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Like the velvet petals of a scarelt rose, Ballet Arizona unwrapped a gift this weekend with its performance of "Valentine's Winter Treat" and what a treat it was! Our present came in three packages. The first was a "world premier" by choreographer Vladimir Angelov, entitled "InterPlays", set to the lilting strains of Bach's "Goldberg Variations" and accompanied by Caio Pagano, our Regents' Professor of Piano at Arizona State University. The many aspects of love's diversity were portrayed by the dancers, offering a sensuous and lively display of synchronicity and joyous abandon that perfectly exhibited the style and grace that is becoming the hallmark of Ballet Arizona. Next, was "Amoroso", a compelling work by our Artisitc Director, Ib Andersen and set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev. Passionate intensity coupled with precision and elegance of movement riveted the audience's gaze upon the dancers. The intricate choreography, with its languid adagios and brightly sparkling allegros drew them further and further into the piece as they became caught up in its spell. Prokofiev's sumptuous melodies, sometimes dark and brooding, then playful and light, were a perfect compliment to the three couples who brilliantly executed their steps, weaving a powerful hold upon the audience that left them breathless and in awe. Our final gift was "Scarlet Symphony", choreographed by Dwight Rhoden and staged by Ballet Arizona's Rehearsal Director, Maria Simonetti. With an intoxicating compilation of modern, ethnic and percussion music, the focus is squarely on the sanguine-costumed dancers as the criss cross the expanse of the stage, jeteing and pirouetting at breakneck speed. In every corner various pairings and solos formed a patchwork quilt of blazing scarlet figures. The music served as a vibrating and haunting backdrop to the dancers, who burst forth with this celebration of passion and joy.

Ballet Arizona has truly gifted the Phoenix ballet community this Valentine's Day with a three-fold gift of "Love". Janet Frascarelli

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