Cheers to the Chair: Adrienne Schiffner
Friday, January 11, 2019
Posted by: Andrea Tyler Evans
2019 Dance with Me Gala Chair benefiting Ballet Arizona, balletaz.org
How long have you been involved with the organization? I’ve been involved with Ballet Arizona in some capacity for the past 20 years: as a Board member, a “ballet mom,” a season subscriber and supporter. I’ve served on the present board for the past five years.
Why do you support the organization? Two reasons: The first is personal; I’ve always loved the ballet. It has a fascinating history going back to the court of Louis XIV; beautiful music, sets and costumes; and of course, the dancing. I’m inspired by the discipline and dedication of the dancers. Years of hard, grueling work go into the creation of a fairly short career. The second reason is because in Phoenix we are blessed to have a nationally recognized, world-class ballet. Artistic director Ib Anderson was a protégé of the great George Balanchine and his career as both a dancer and director is well documented. His productions have raised the bar for the arts in Phoenix and the prestige the company brings to our city is worthy of our support.
Describe this year’s event: The gala will take place on Jan. 25 at the Phoenix Art Museum and include cocktails, dinner and dancing. As in past years, guests will have the opportunity to meet and chat with the dancers. After dinner, members of the company ask the guests to dance with them, hence the gala’s name “Dance With Me.” This year’s guests will be treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Anderson’s Firebird which opens on Feb. 14 at Symphony Hall. We are also honoring Valley philanthropists Judd and Billie Jo Herberger, who have been very generous supporters of Ballet Arizona, following in the footsteps of Judd’s parents, Bob and Katherine “Kax” Herberger.
Favorite movie: “The Milagro Beanfield War,” directed by Robert Redford
Favorite restaurant: The Capital Grille for its cuisine and ambiance, and Vincent’s on Camelback, always wonderful in every way.
Proudest accomplishment: I was a member of the Taliesin Fellowship between 1973 and 1983, where among other things, I worked in the archives of Frank Lloyd Wright. I had the privilege of knowing Mrs. Frank Lloyd Wright and interacting with scholars and museum curators throughout the world.
Secret talent: Needlepoint
Talent I wish I had: To play the cello
Fun fact about you: I grew up in Panama where my father was a ship’s pilot on the Panama Canal. He sometimes took me along on his transits and consequently I’ve been through the Panama Canal on almost every kind of sailing vessel, from the RMS Queen Elizabeth to a nuclear submarine to a cayuca (a dug-out palm tree)
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