It's been more than a decade since Ib Andersen, artistic director for Ballet Arizona, wowed us with his choreography and set design for Mosaik, which premièred here in Phoenix in 2004, and was performed again in 2006. It featured not only Andersen's choreography, but also sculptural set pieces of his own design and creation.
Though best known for his ballet roots with the Royal Danish Ballet and years spent as a principal dancer with New York City Ballet during famed choreographer George Balanchine's tenure, Andersen is more than a one-time wunderkind in the world of ballet. He's also an accomplished visual artist, who told Jackalope Ranch last year that he came to Phoenix with his painting supplies "because of Arizona's remarkable clear light." Andersen started working with Ballet Arizona in 2000.
Andersen describes his first passion as classical dance, but says his "secondary artistic passion" is creating visual art -- which explains why his creativity is most apparent in mash-ups of visual with performance art. It's evidenced by his newest dance piece, Pines of Rome, which premièred during Today's Masters on Thursday, March 26, at the Orpheum Theatre.