Best Ballet Under the Desert Stars (2012)

Topia by Ballet Arizona

Ballet Arizona has had a "ballet under the stars" program for years. We've been, and it's lovely.

But last spring, our resident ballet company and its artistic director, Ib Andersen, teamed up with the Desert Botanical Garden to spoil us rotten — and now we're not sure any ballet will ever live up to Topia. Set on a stage custom-built for the performance (and twice as long as a traditional stage) and (in a ballsy move) placed outside at the far end of the garden, with a perfect backdrop of the Papago Buttes, desert foliage, and a star-spangled sky, Andersen's original choreography teamed with beautiful dancers, gorgeous near-naked costumes, and music by Beethoven to create one of the most breathtaking ballet experiences the Valley has ever witnessed. If you were lucky enough to see it, you know that Topia was magic — and best of all, a celebration of the best of our Valley. Too often we're jealous of other cities' arts experiences; not this time. Eat your heart out, world — we had Topia.


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