Ballet Tucson hosting Pop Up Performances across town

click to enlarge Ballet Tucson hosting Pop Up Performances across town
Courtesy photo

It’s Ballet Tucson’s 35th anniversary and the company is hitting the town to celebrate with social distancing performances at several local hotspots.

The 2020 Pop Up Performances kick-off Saturday at the Tucson Botanical Gardens with a Día de los Muertos-themed recital taking place alongside the garden’s La Calavera Catrina exhibit featuring 9-foot-tall skeletal depictions of figures of Mexican culture.

"I am so happy to be performing in these pop ups . . . art is so vital to our community, and during these times particularly so,” said Ballet Tucson company dancer Casey Myrick in a recent email. “Ballet has always famously brought magic to life for children and adults alike. The setting of the first pop up this weekend in the Tucson Botanical Gardens lends itself exquisitely to this show and couldn't be a more fitting venue."

However, before you attend be aware you need to purchase time-specific tickets at The Botanical Gardens is limiting guest capacity and requiring face masks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Upcoming performances:

  • Nov. 7 – 6:30 p.m. & 8 p.m. at the Tucson Botanical Gardens
  • Nov. 15 – 11:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. the Tucson Museum of Art
  • Dec. 5 – 6:30 p.m. & 8 p.m. Holiday theme at Reid Park Zoo
  • Dec. 12 – 6:30 p.m. & 8 p.m. Holiday theme at the Tucson Botanical Gardens
  • Dec. 20 – 11:30 a.m. & noon Holiday theme at St. Philip’s Plaza, free performance

"These performances are much more intimate and informal than what our audience normally sees when they attend the ballet, but we think they will still be very uplifting and inspiring,” said Ballet Tucson spokesperson Margaret Mullin. “We're trying to create choreography that will be complementary to the venue and safe for our dancers to perform while still being exciting for the community."

Elegant dance moves on the stage are only part of the story, because the pandemic has shuttered the company’s ability to collect ticket sales. However, Ballet Tucson had a successful fundraising campaign during the summer and sees the Pop Up Performances as a means to assist local attractions during the pandemic.   

The performances are included in the cost of admission to the venue and it’s a way to support these local institutions.

“We just wanted to make sure that we were partnering with organizations that have deep roots within the community,” Mullin said.

Uplifting others is a common refrain from Tucson Ballet this fall with Mullin expressing her gratitude to Tucson Weekly readers for naming the troupe the Best Dance Company in Best of Tucson 2020.

“It makes it so much easier knowing that the community has confidence in us and values us, because we know that no matter what steps we have to take going forward, they will be there to support us,” she said. 

For those unable to attend in person, the company has online offerings including its bi-weekly series “Ballet Tucson 101” on YouTube and previews on Facebook at @ballettucson.

Tickets are only accepted at your preregistered time in order to comply with social distancing and COVID-19 precaution measures, restrictions vary by location. For more information visit