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An Evening with the Stars - Indianapolis City Ballet

by Rita Kohn
September 10, 2011
Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
510 North New Jersey Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204-1517
877-686-5366
4 stars

This review was originally published in NUVO Newsweekly, Indianapolis, IN.

Rita Kohn is a member of the Board of the Dance Critics Association.
Indianapolis City Ballet's third annual "An Evening with the Stars" again was akin to setting the table with finest bone china, crystal goblets and sterling silverware for a buffet representing tastes of ballets representative of American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, National Ballet of Canada, New York City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. And like a lovely meal, there's much to digest and talk about because not everything was familiar, and even that may have been served up in a different way. Experiencing an evening of 26 diverse works by contemporary choreographers and stagings of works by 'greats' naturally has highpoints that will vary from person to person. For this reviewer, seeing "Black or White" two times in two days was a treat. Students Veronika Verterich and Alex Anderson brought youthful verve to Margo Sappington's choreography on music by Michael Jackson and set the tone with contemporary ballets intertwining modern dance, acrobatics, Broadway show and ballroom with what we think of as classical steps. The music for new works equally requires adjusting to a different perception of 'ballet' as does "who is dancing," most notably with Act I's closing piece—Paul Ghiselin's impeccably irreverent "The Dying Swan." Seeing "Age of Innocence- Pas de Deux" apart from the full program presented in a previous season by the Joffrey Ballet at Clowes Memorial Hall highlighted Edwaard Liang's distinctive approach to show layers of internal feelings and external actions in an era known for masking and suppressing emotions. Liang, serving as the evening's Master of Ceremonies did not comment upon his work beyond acknowledging ownership. Virtuosity reined as every dancer delivered full out jumps and spins with both Aaron Smyth and Daniil Simkin particularly taking flight in respective solos. We left filled with coast to coast variety.
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