Ballet Arizona takes free annual event online amid COVID-19 pandemic

Ballet Arizona continues to pirouette through the pandemic, pivoting to virtual performances since dancers cannot take to the stage in front of a live audience.

The co-professional ballet company's beloved and popular performance, Under The Stars, has been a tradition for 20 years, and 2021 is no different.

"This is a virtual take on what we have been doing, in person, in the community for a little over 20 years," said one official with the ballet company. "We have had to figure out how we still bring ballet to the community and we have been doing that virtually which has been a fun challenge for us but really a great opportunity to get into more homes than we normally are able to in person 

The new digital format of Ballet under the Virtual Stars allows for some fun, behind-the-scenes extras that are not normally possible at an in-person show. Viewers will not only see incredible classical and contemporary ballet, but also dancer interviews and other bonus content.

"We will have four pieces presented, ranging from classical to contemporary, so things you're used to seeing with ballet point shoes and tights, and then more contemporary music and costumes," said the official. "Before each piece, we will have an introductory section that shows a little bit behind the scenes explains the piece, so there's an educational aspect that we were able to add in this digital format which is something that is pretty cool since we can't be in person

The show has always been free, and will be again this year. Ballet Under the Virtual Stars was pre-recorded, and can be viewed on Jan. 23. The livestream will be available on-demand on Ballet Arizona's YouTube page, starting at 5:00 p.m. A live online chat with dancers is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Ballet Under the Stars