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Ib Andersen’s Round Rediscovered(!) at the Desert Botanical Garden

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Ballet Arizona will be bringing a “reimagined” version of Round to the Desert Botanical Garden in the latter half of May 2022. Whilst rooting around for interesting material for a new topic about the forthcoming Round, I stumbled across the most amazing video of the original Round from 2016. It was apparently an experiment in so-called “360 VR” video capture. And what better subject than a unique 360 in-the-round ballet! Apparently Manley Films placed a 360 video camera at the exact center of the round stage, and filmed about a 5 minute segment, performed to Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé.

Here’s the video; you can pan right or left with your mouse to view the stage in any direction, looking out from the center:


This works properly for me on a desktop computer using an up-to-date Firefox browser. If the image that you see shows more than two light towers, and you can’t pan left or right with your mouse, then your browser isn’t doing the 360 thing properly.

Now I will say, right off the bat, that this video was never published on Ballet Arizona’s YouTube channel. (It IS posted by Manley Films, who do BAZ’s video production.)  I’m guessing that it was filmed as an experiment, that that BAZ’s artistic team didn’t think that the result properly represented the ballet to the average viewer. Frankly, if you imagine yourself seated at the center of a round stage, you’d be hard-pressed to figure out which way to look, and that’s the quandary that the 360 video similarly presents - leave the 'eye' pointing in one direction, or try to follow one or more dancers? Aarrgghh!

Nevertheless, as a fan who can recognize most of the dancers, it’s absolutely fascinating to see them in action, especially up close, and particularly to be able to see facial expressions.

Take it or leave it. I’ll add a proper topic on the upcoming Round soon, but I was stopped dead in my tracks by this unique find from the past. Spoiler Alert: the “reimagined” Round won’t be in-the-round…


Annier Navarro, Fan Shi and Roman Zavarov in Ib Andersen’s Round.  Photo credit - Caitlin O'Hara for The New York Times.



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The dancers in the above video are:

Rochelle Anvik, Amber Lewis, Arianni Martin,  Jessica Philips, and Chelsea Teel.

Randy Crespo, Jackson Dwyer, Eric Hipolito Jr., Brian Leonard, , Helio Lima, Alejandro Mendez, and Roman Zavarov.

Arianni and Helio dance Chloe and Daphnis.

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