Ballet Arizona

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A look at Ballet Arizona’s latest programs.

Ted Simons:
A celebration of dance is being presented by Ballet Arizona. Two completely different programs are being offered on consecutive weekends, March 28 through April 6. Merry Lucero and Videographer David Riffle have a preview.

Merry Lucero:
The dancers of Ballet Arizona are poised to grace the stage of the Orpheum Theater this weekend and next. The company will present their spring program Mixed Repertory 08. Dancer, Ross Clarke explains the program.

Ross Clarke:
Over the next two weekends it's two triple bills, mainly abstract ballets, we don't take on a character as such, a lot of the ballets we do you're usually given a character, these ones are more pure dance. These weekends are great. It is a good way to see the physicality of dance and how we -- pure joy of dance. And we're doing seven different ballets over two weekends.

Merry Lucero:
Four of the works are original pieces by the artistic director Ebe Anderson. Here Anderson conducts a tech rehearsal, making adjustments.

Ross Clarke:
This is the first time on stage. Mainly for getting our spacing, what marks we have to be on. Tiny little marks on the floor, and that's how we know where we are. We are getting that. We are getting used to the lighting. Used to the music cues. This rehearsal wasn't about really dancing, it was mainly about our heads. Getting our heads around the piece, and we will do another one tonight and that will be with everything.

Merry Lucero:
The dancers are marking some of the lifts and more strenuous moves for this rehearsal.

Ross Clarke:
We work on a seven day week this week, and we're doing like two full rehearsals each day, and if we went full out, nonstop, we would get to about Thursday and all pass out. We have to pace ourselves.

Merry Lucero:
The repertory is a combination of cutting edge works. The program this weekend begins with the lyrical contemporary preludes and feuds. Next another piece choreographed by Anderson.

Michelle Mahowald:
It changes from being kind of, I don't know if I want to say cute, but along those lines, but then it goes into a beautiful adagio, and then in the end very charged, energetic, very dynamic.

Merry Lucero:
The next piece This Weekend, is Sinatra Sweet, an intimate duet to the music of Old Blue Eyes. The program this weekend ends with act three of Napoli, a lively 19th century Italian wedding scene. They have both been with ballet Arizona for two seasons and came to the valley to be with the company.

Michelle Mahowald:
I like working with Ebe. I like working with the rest of the dancers. Everyone is just -- the environment is really friendly, really encourages growth, you know, it really -- he really takes his time with his dancers and I very much appreciate that. I think that it is not often that you can find that.

Merry Lucero:
The program beginning Friday, April 4th, features a different lineup of dances which are also a mix of original and showcase pieces.

Ross Clarke:Ballet Arizona;

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