Two Ballet Arizona dancers and North Central Phoenix residents, who are partners on stage and in life, are taking the spotlight.
Arizona PBS recently aired a show about Jillian Barrell and her husband, Nayon Iovino, both seasoned dancers. Barrell has danced with Ballet Arizona since 2007 and Iovino has performed with the company since 2012. The show filmed the couple at home, where they have cats and chickens, and dancing in rehearsals. They talked about how they met, what it is like to work with each other, how they grow food on their property and the hard work that goes into dancing professionally.
Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Barrell is in her 13th year dancing professionally, having previously danced with Boston Ballet for a year. Iovino is originally from Goiânia, Brazil and is in his 11th season dancing professionally. He danced previously with Washington Ballet and with Houston Ballet’s second company. They have been married since 2017.
“We love the North Central area!” Barrell said. “When we were looking for a house we knew we wanted to be in this area even though we knew we would probably end up spending a bit more. We loved the special that PBS produced about us! We thought they did a great job telling our story and capturing professional ballet in an accurate way. We have lots of friends and family who live far away and who may not really know what our job is like. It was a treat to be able to share that with them.”
Iovino agreed, saying “It was so much fun to share a little bit of our lives and our art.”
To watch the show on Barrell and Iovino, visit azpbs.org. The couple will perform with Ballet Arizona in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Feb. 13-16 with The Phoenix Symphony at Symphony Hall at 75 N. 2nd St. For tickets, visit balletaz.org.