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School of Ballet Arizona presents world premiere of ‘Peter and the Wolf’

First composed in 1936 by Sergei Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf is a ‘symphonic tale for children’ featuring a narrator and different themes for each character in the story. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress)
School of Ballet Arizona celebrates Ib Andersen’s contributions at Ballet Arizona
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

The School of Ballet Arizona is hosting its annual spring performance, ‘Peter and the Wolf and Other Works,’ in collaboration with the Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestras on May 25 and 26 at the Orpheum Theatre.

Before concluding his final season as artistic director with Ballet Arizona, Ib Andersen will present the world premiere of Peter and the Wolf, along with some of his beloved pieces from over the years, according to press release.

First composed in 1936 by Sergei Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf is a ‘symphonic tale for children’ featuring a narrator and different themes for each character in the story. The highly anticipated narrator for this performance will be Geoffrey Owens, a well-known actor, teacher and director, the release states.

Geoffrey Owens

Mr. Owens is best known for his role on “The Cosby Show,” but has appeared in numerous stage productions, was a member of a diverse Shakespeare company and recently narrated Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” for The Phoenix Symphony.

In addition to the premiere of Peter and the Wolf, The School of Ballet Arizona is celebrating several other works created by Mr. Andersen throughout his career at Ballet Arizona, including:

  • Swan Lake – Premiered with Ballet Arizona in March 2003, this storybook ballet was the first production the School of Ballet Arizona and the Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestras collaborated on in 2021.
  • The Firebird – Set to one of Ib Andersen’s favorite pieces of music, Firebird originally premiered in February 2019 with Ballet Arizona.Play – An Andersen original that first premiered in June of 2007 by Ballet Arizona. This ballet uses innovative choreography, costuming and lighting techniques to reshape traditional dance moves to familiar music, including “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star.”
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream – A hilarious masterpiece of dreams, illusion, love, and fantasy, this ballet initially premiered with Ballet Arizona in October 2008 and was revamped in 2020 with costumes by Fabio Toblini.
  • Romeo & Juliet – First premiered in February 2003, this was the first full-length ballet that Ib Andersen choreographed for Ballet Arizona.

“We are absolutely thrilled to showcase several of Ib Andersen’s iconic works from over the years during our annual spring performance,” María Simonetti, the director of The School of Ballet Arizona. “These young dancers and musicians are truly the next generation of performing artists. Their passion, dedication and talent are showcased with every movement performed and every note played. This is one performance you won’t want to miss!”

Mr. Anderson says he is excited for the final premier at Ballet Arizona.

“It is an honor to present one final premiere with The School of Ballet Arizona,” Mr. Andersen. “Peter and the Wolf is a fun and well-known tale that I am delighted to bring to life through this ballet.”

The School of Ballet Arizona is the only professional school to offer live music through a youth symphony orchestra with its performances. In addition to performing works choreographed for professional companies, students have the unique opportunity to perform with live music for both its spring and fall showcases, providing training that will help prepare them for professional productions.

Young musicians in the Youth Symphony enjoy weekly rehearsals led by world-class conductors, sectionals coached by professional musicians, weekend retreats, and the opportunity to performs before thousands of audience members in the highest-quality venues throughout the Valley.

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