Ballet Arizona will continue to pull a pirouette on its programming during the COVID-19 pandemic as the Valleyâ€™s only professional ballet company presents Ballet Under the Virtual Stars, an online adaptation of its beloved free Valley-wide community performances, on Saturday, January 23. The livestream will be available on demand om Ballet Arizonaâ€™s YouTube page starting at 5 p.m. MST. In partnership with The City of Goodyear and Estrella by Newland, Ballet Arizona will also host a live online chat with dancers that begins at 6 p.m.
Ballet Under the Stars, presented by the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation, is a Ballet Arizona tradition that for over two decades has brought together ballet fans and novices for a free professional ballet performance in communities around the Valley. While the pandemic has altered the venue for this tradition, Ballet Arizona chose to proceed in a virtual format to spread the joy of dance in our community.
â€œBallet Under the Stars is one of our favorite performances throughout the year,â€ said Samantha Turner, executive director of Ballet Arizona. â€œThe show must go on! We will bring these performances to the Valley in the safest and best way we know how, despite the circumstances â€“ virtually, with interactive elements.â€
The new digital format of Ballet Under the Virtual Stars allows for some fun, behind-the-scenes extras that are not normally possible at an in-person show. Viewers will not only see incredible classical and contemporary ballet, but also dancer interviews and other bonus content.
Ballet Arizona is also thrilled to be able to continue its Class Act program digitally this year. Class Act provides children in local communities with opportunities to dance, choreograph and interact with Ballet Arizonaâ€™s own professional dancers. Ballet Arizona's Education & Community Engagement team and professional dancer Natalie Ramirez worked with students from Westar Elementary School in Estrella to learn dance basics and collaboratively choreograph a dance together. Due to the transition from in-person to digital programming, this yearâ€™s Class Act group was smaller and more focused. The students learned so much in such short time and Ballet Arizona is especially proud of their resilience, commitment, and achievement.
In addition to producing sponsor The Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation, Ballet Under the Virtual Stars wouldnâ€™t be possible without community sponsors including: The City of Goodyear, Estrella by Newland, APS, Grand Canyon University, US Bank, Margaret T. Morris Foundation, City of Phoenix, J.W. Kieckhefer Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and Shamrock Farms.
For more information about The Diane and Bruce Halle Foundationâ€™s Ballet Under the Stars, visit balletaz.org/ballet-under-the-stars.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the arts community especially hard. Performance revenues have been completely halted, tuition to the School of Ballet Arizona has been cut in half and donations have been reduced by 25%. Ballet Arizona, a nonprofit arts organization, continues to innovate despite these challenges. To support Ballet Arizonaâ€™s mission to bring the love of dance to the masses, donations to the Bridge Our Bridge Recovery Fund are welcomed.