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Ib Andersen’s “Round” to Premiere at Desert Botanical Garden

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Ballet Arizona will premiere Artistic Director Ib Andersen’s newest site-specific work, “Round” at Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden on May 17, 2016. While any work performed with the springtime Sonoran Desert as a backdrop is cause for much interest, this one promises to be unique in terms of its physical configuration – a cross-shaped stage, with seating on all four sides - more-or-less immersed in the stage. Mr. Andersen has been quoted:

“This will be an experience like no other for our audiences. “Round” is a rare opportunity to see ballet performed in-the-round. It’s a great challenge to choreograph and presents a distinct perspective for each person based on where they sit. I think patrons will want to attend more than once to experience “Round” in different ways.”

The ballet itself is billed as having ‘themes that explore man’s connection to nature’ - not surprising given the setting. The choreography is set to the music of Thomas Ades, J.S. Bach, Claude Debussy, and Maurice Ravel. The promo video reveals strains of “Daphnis et Chloé”, and appropriately revealing attire.

Photos and videos of Mr. Andersen’s previous work at the DBG, “Topia”, are likely to provide the best insight into the ambience of “Round”. The work is subtitled “An Evening at Desert Botanical Garden”, presumably in the hopes that audience members will show up early and make an evening of it. And it’s hard to deny that watching dancers warm up on stage before the show, with the sun setting in the background, all while having dinner and a drink, tends to put one in a very receptive mood for ballet.

Round” is scheduled to be performed outdoors at 8:00PM Tuesday through Saturday for three weeks at the Desert Botanical Garden from May 17 through June 4, 2016.

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