Ballet meets fairy tale

Jillian Barrell and Russell Clarke, Cinderella, Ballet Arizona (Photo: Tim Fuller)

Fairy tales come in all sorts of forms these days. Storybooks. Online activities. Animated movies. Too often the most exciting way to experience fairy tales — through live performance art — is overlooked.

But Arizona families will have several opportunities to see fairy tales come to life on Valley stages next season. The 2011-2012 season for Ballet Arizona includes the world premiere of “Cinderella” choreographed by Ib Andersen, as well as Andersen’s “The Sleeping Beauty.”

Ballet is a magical art for the young at heart — who are so easily swept away by ethereal costumes, glistening sets and enchanted storytelling. If you’ve yet to introduce your children to the grandeur and grace of ballet, the coming Ballet Arizona season presents a perfect opportunity.

Another ballet especially well-suited to children, of course, is Ib Andersen’s “The Nutcracker.” Like “Cinderella” and “The Sleeping Beauty,” it’s best enjoyed after reading the story together as a family.

Let your children experience the story of “The Nutcracker” in their own imaginations first — then introduce them to the wonder of imaginings unfolding on stage in “bigger than life” settings.

Ballet connoisseurs will be thrilled to learn that the 2011-2012 Ballet Arizona season also includes “Director’s Choice” — featuring “In the Night” choreographed by Jerome Robbins, “Suenos” choreographed by Ib Andersen and “Paquita” choreographed by Olga Evreinoff and Marius Petipa.

“Director’s Choice” is the only work of the season Ballet Arizona will perform at the intimate Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, and the one production that will not feature music by The Phoenix Symphony.

Closing the Ballet Arizona 2011-2012 season will be “All Balanchine” featuring three Balanchine works — “Stravinsky Violin Concerto,” “Episodes” (an Arizona premiere) and “Rubies.”

Ballet Arizona has dubbed 2011-2012 their “Fairytale Season.” We never really outgrow our fascination with fairy tales, and time spent with Ballet Arizona is a beautiful way for grown-ups to get a fairy tale fix.

— Lynn

Note: The Ballet Arizona box office is currently accepting renewal and new subscriptions (including, for the first time, Thursday night subscriptions). Current subscribers must renew before April 11, 2011 to keep their current seats next season.

Coming up: More new season offerings, Stage Mom reviews “Fiddler on the Roof” at ASU Gammage, Accepted at several colleges/conservatories — tips for finding the best fit

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