Best New Dance Theater

Stevie Eller Dance Theatre

A star is born. The UA premiered the $9 million Eller last fall, opening a jewelry-box 300-seat theater colored in the copper and greens of its home state. Architects Donna Barry and José Pombo of Gould Evans, in Phoenix, used the idea of movement throughout. A wavy, rust-colored stage scrim undulates along the theater walls inside and out, mimicking the gestures of dance. The indoor-outdoor lobby echoes the opening movement of George Balanchine's 1934 "Serenade": Standing in for Balanchine's long-ago dancers are columns that tilt forward from a vertical axis. And every seat has an unobstructed view. The theater has allowed the dance division to ramp up its concert schedule, and given local dance companies one more place to tread the boards.