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    Posted June 11, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

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    Beau: backstage at the ballet


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     APizm received permission from Ballet Arizona to follow and photograph dancer Beau Campbell. "The ballet 'backstage' culture is really interesting and a huge part of the production that most people never get to see," he said, adding that it's "nothing like Black Swan."
    - rachel8, CNN iReport producer

    With another dancer in her company injured, Beau is asked just hours before she is to go on stage, she would need to learn the injured dancers part in the 1st Movement of the Ballet Arizona’s Topia performance.

    Like any professional sports team, a good dance company is forged from the combined efforts of all of its members, each giving all of their passion, dedication and sweat. Dozens of the world’ best dancers compete with each other for sometimes, only one spot in a renowned dance company-only the finest and most disciplined will be considered. Dancing in just one company is rare. Dancing since age nine, Beau is a member of not one, but two companies: Ballet Arizona and Post:Ballet of San Francisco.

    Tonight’s Topia show takes place an enormous eighty-foot stage in Arizona’s famous Desert Botanical Gardens, with panoramic views of Papago Buttes as a natural backdrop. Created specifically to be performed outdoors during sunset and infused with nature, dance and music, Topia is an original creation by Ib Anderson, Artist Director of Ballet Arizona.

    Just as the sun begins to mark the end of its day, Beau arrives to prepare for the night’s show. For Beau,
    dancing is her full time job and she understands the need for proper warm up and a comprehensive stretching regimen before each performance.

    The sun’s light slowly fades from its brilliant and bright yellows to vivid oranges and reds and soon will yield to the bright stage lights, which illuminate both dancer and desert. Beau is now intently focused on perfecting her routine as the final minutes of the sun and rehearsal count down.

    Eager audience members arrive in an attempt to catch a glimpse of Beau before she rushes off to her dressing room for final make up and a quick wardrobe change.

    Rushing back to the main stage, Beau has only enough time for a small panic attack and one deep breath before entering stage right. Like many seasoned performers, her nervousness quickly fades as training and instincts take over. Elegantly controlling her graceful movements, she performs the intricate dance she learned only hours ago flawlessly; it is a standard she and her fans have grown accustomed to.

    After one hour of perfectly choreographed dancing and music, Beau now bows to a sold out standing
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