Live music returns to Ballet Arizona’s ‘The Nutcracker’

Ballet Arizona will feature live music from The Phoenix Symphony during “The Nutcracker.” (submitted photo)

Following a one-year hiatus, Ballet Arizona has announced that the Phoenix Symphony will once again perform “The Nutcracker,” restoring live music to the holiday favorite.

Residents and visitors will one again have the opportunity to experience two of the Valley’s leading performing arts organizations in grand performance, presented Dec. 8-24 at Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second Street.

“Ballet performed to live music is the art in its greatest form for both the audience and the dancers,” said Samantha Turner, Ballet Arizona’s executive director, in a press release.

“’The Nutcracker’ is often the first experience of the performing arts for many, so it is especially meaningful to have live music as part of this production. We are grateful to The Phoenix Symphony for its collaborative efforts, and to our subscribers, patrons, donors and board who supported its return.”

Ballet Arizona is the only professional ballet company in the Valley, and its presentation of Ib Andersen’s “The Nutcracker” was named one of the top three productions in the United States by The New York Times’ chief dance critic, Alastair Macaulay, the press release stated.

The $1.8 million production was created in 2006 by Ballet Arizona Artistic Director Ib Andersen, and features the company’s 30 professional dancers, more than 100 youth performers, 100,000 Swarovski crystals, and 260 costumes created with 6,500 yards of tulle.

“The Phoenix Symphony celebrates and shares the artistic vision of Ib Anderson and Ballet Arizona and is happy to be providing, once again, the critical element of live music for ‘The Nutcracker,’” said Jim Ward, president and CEO of The Phoenix Symphony, in the press release.

“It is always our honor and privilege to perform with and support the world class artistry that Ib Anderson brings to the Phoenix community and we hope, through the community’s support, that this marriage of the Phoenix Symphony’s live music with Ballet Arizona’s innovative work will continue for years to come.”

Single tickets for Ib Andersen’s “The Nutcracker” go on sale July 10 and are available immediately for subscribers. Visit to purchase tickets.

Ballet Arizona’s 2017-18 seasons opens with “Swan Lake,” a dramatic tale of good versus evil set to Tchaikovsky’s immediately-recognizable score, performed by The Phoenix Symphony, Oct. 26-29.

After the holidays, families and lovers alike can enjoy fairy tales and love stories at “Cinderella,” Feb. 15-18, featuring live music by The Phoenix Symphony. Spring features three contemporary performances: ‘Today’s Masters’ at the Orpheum Theatre in March, ‘All Balanchine’ at Symphony Hall in May, and an all new ballet at Desert Botanical Garden in May and June to close the Ballet Arizona season.

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