Ballet Arizona Gala 2019

images by Darrylee Cohen of Haute Photography

Above top: Ballet Arizona’s Gala, Dance With Me, was held at Phoenix Art Museum. Bottom left: Billie Jo and Judd Herberger were honored for their longtime support of Ballet Arizona. Bottom right: Artistic Director Ib Andersen presents the Hazel Hare Award for Artistic Excellence to dancers Rochelle Anvik and Helio Lima.

On January 25, Ballet Arizona hosted its annual Gala, Dance With Me. Held at Phoenix Art Museum, the lavish fundraiser drew over 300 supporters. After mingling over cocktails in the lobby, guests were treated to a display of costumes designed by Fabio Toblini for the upcoming production of  The Firebird which opens on February 14 at Symphony Hall. A behind-the-scenes documentary titled Creating The Firebird was viewed, giving attendees an intimate look into the process of creating the world premiere.

Above, top left: Barbara and Don Ottosen. Top right: Jacquie Dorrance and Ib Andersen. Bottom: Ballet Arizona dancers with Barbara Ottosen, Adrienne Schiffner and Daryl Weil.

The committee, led by Adrienne Schiffner and Co-Chairs, Barbara Ottosen and Daryl Weil raised more than $420,000 to support the ballet’s artistic and community programming. The Gala Committee included Ellen Andres-Schneider, Joan Berry, Salvador Bretts-Jamison, Carol Clemmensen, Jacquie Dorrance, Mary Ehret, Barbara Fenzl, Susie Fowls, Stephanie Goodman, Molly Greene, Kate Groves, Linda Harold, Gwen Hillis, Keryl Koffler, Jan Lewis, Sharron Lewis, Linda Lindgren, Miranda Lumer, Betty McRae, Janet Melamed, Richard Monast, Doris Ong, Camerone Parker McCulloch, Carol Schilling, Leslie Smith, Colleen Steinberg, Ellen Stiteler, Vicki Vaughn, Ruth and John Waddell and Nancy White.

Above top: Left to right; Dancer Ricardo Santos, Susan Palmer-Hunter, dancer Nayon Iovino and Joan Berry. Bottom left: Left to right; Daryl Weil, Anne and Czerwinski, and Hana and Don Callaghan. Bottom right: Left to right; Charlie Ray, Scott Burdick, Juliette Yares, William Lykins, David Michael Miller and Grant Almquist.

Continuing on with the festivities, guests were escorted to Cummings Hall for  award presentations, dinner and dancing. As always, George Abrams, the event planner, worked his magic. Paying homage to the traditional characteristics of The Firebird, the room décor was aglow in red and gold, accented with bold floral arrangements on each table. The theme was repeated with a traditional Russian-inspired dinner menu.

This year’s Gala honored Valley philanthropists, Billie Jo & Judd Herberger. Known in the community as staunch supporters of many local nonprofit organizations, their longtime commitment to Ballet Arizona has been unwavering.

Above, top left: Dancer Amber Lewis and Chip Weill. Top right: Carol and Randy Schilling. Bottom left: Dancers Arianni Martin and Alejandro Mendez. Bottom right: Natalie Salvione and George Abrams.

In addition, Andersen awarded the Hazel Hare Award for Artistic Excellence, to dancers Rochelle Anvik and Helio Lima. In its second year, this award honors Hazel Hare for her transformational $4 million endowment gift.

Then the fun really began as guests took to the dance floor partnered with Ballet Arizona dancers. Accompanied by live music, this traditional match-up is how the annual Gala received the name Dance With Me. For more information, visit