Choreographers Alexei Ratmansky, Alejandro Cerrudo and Ib Andersen in Ballet Arizona's Director's Choice: March 28 to 31

If we were looking for reasons to show some appreciation for all that Ballet Arizona brings to the Valley arts scene, then we found three more to add to the list: choreographers Alexei Ratmansky and Alejandro Cerrudo and Director's Choice.

The pair of leading choreographers will join Ballet Arizona artistic director Ib Andersen in presenting Director's Choice, a program set to hit the Orpheum stage next week.

See also: - Ballet Arizona's Topia at Desert Botanical Garden Back for a Second Season

Ramantsky serves as Artist in Residence at American Ballet Theatre in NYC and is the former director of the Bolshoi Ballet.

The Director's Choice program will include his Le Carnaval des Animaux, which he created to premier in 2003 for the San Francisco Ballet.

The ballet brings to life a whimsical herd of animals including an elephant, lion and hen as well as all sorts of aquatic creatures. The accompanying 14-movement score comes from composer Camille Saint-Saëns, who wrote piece in 1886.

This will be the award-winning choreographer's Arizona premier; he's best known for the ballets Russian Season and The Bright Stream.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo will unveil a new work as his contribution to the program. The world premier piece was created by the Spanish-born choreographer specifically for the Arizona Ballet company.

Rounding out the performance will be Ib Andersen's "sophisticated and stylish" Diversions, which premiered in 2011 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. winning him and the company national attention.

Diversions features flesh-colored costumes with elaborate and colorful designs hand-painted by Fabio Toblini. By painting the designs directly onto the bodies of the dancers while draped in fabric he was able to create a stunning tattoo-like effect.

Performances of the Director's Choice program begin on March 28 and run until the 31st. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster or by calling 602-381-1096.

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