World Premiere of TOPIA Presented by Ballet Arizona and Desert Botanical Garden

March 22, 2012


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Ballet Arizona, in collaboration with Desert Botanical Garden, is proud to introduce: Topia, a world premiere production by Ballet Arizona’s Artistic Director Ib Andersen. Performances of Topia are scheduled for May 2 – 26, 2012 at the Desert Botanical Garden during sunset. There will be a special showing on Sunday, May 13, in honor of Mother’s Day. Tickets are available through ticketmaster.com or by calling the Ballet Arizona box office at 602-381-1096. Reserved tables will be available for $50 and general seating for $39. Exclusive pricing is available for Desert Botanical Garden members and Ballet Arizona subscribers.

Topia will challenge each audience member to see world class ballet and a world class garden in a new light. With its revolutionary performance space, spanning 80 feet wide, and positioned against the dramatic backdrop of the papago buttes at Desert Botanical Garden, Topia will present a unique perspective of dance and the natural beauty of Arizona.

Inspired by the landscaping techniques of ancient cultures, Mr. Andersen’s vision will move all to contemplate the vastness of desert life and the struggle to express those contemplations in a singular space.  “It’s a little bit like when you are looking at a landscape,” he said. “If you are watching the Grand Canyon, you only take one section at a time. I want to make a ballet where you actually can’t get all of it in at the same time, but if you look anywhere on that stage, there will be something to see. So it’s completely insane what I am doing and definitely a huge challenge.

A documentary about the creation and collaboration behind Topia is being filmed by videographer Bill Fenster. The video takes you from the cramped rehearsal studios at Ballet Arizona to the vast landscape of the Garden. A seven minute sneak-peak of the documentary is available to watch on the Ballet and Garden’s Youtube channels.

“The Garden continues to explore the intersection of art and nature,” said Ken Schutz, Desert Botanical Garden’s executive director.  “Topia will bring another opportunity to blend the two, just as we have in the past with the Chihuly, Houser and Mayme Kratz exhibits.”

Topia is brought to Phoenix through the collaboration of Ballet Arizona and Desert Botanical Garden. This collaboration, Dance in the Desert, included the January 2012 Arizona premiere of MOMIX: Botanica.

  • What: Topia
  • When: May 2-5, 9-12 (13 Mother’s Day), 16-19 and 23 -26, 2012, 7:30 p.m.  
  • Where: Desert Botanical Garden
  • Tickets: Available at ticketmaster.com or by calling the Ballet Arizona Box office at 602-381-1096

Ballet Arizona, in its 26th season, is dedicated to preserving and celebrating classical dance while creating and commissioning new, innovative works. Ballet Arizona is under the artistic direction of internationally acclaimed choreographer Ib Andersen, a former principal dancer with The New York City Ballet and The Royal Danish Ballet. Ballet Arizona is committed to educational and outreach programs, reaching more than 25,000 children and families every year.

A “Phoenix Point of Pride,” the Desert Botanical Garden is one of only a few botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. It is a privately funded, non-profit organization and depends on revenues from admissions and gift shop sales, as well as contributions from individuals and businesses to fund its programs of environmental education, plant conservation and research.


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