Home & + | Search
Featured Categories: Special Focus | Performance Reviews | Previews | DanceSpots | Arts and Education | Press Releases
Join ExploreDance.com's email list | Mission Statement | Copyright notice | The Store | Calendar | User survey | Advertise
Click here to take the ExploreDance.com user survey.
Your anonymous feedback will help us continue to bring you coverage of more dance.
SPOTLIGHT:
SPECIAL FOCUS
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
ExploreDance.com iPad Edition

New!
Read ExploreDance.com on your iPad!
Only $0.99 per issue! No ads!
www.exploredance.com/subscribe.htm
ExploreDance.com (Magazine)
Web
Other Search Options
Rita Kohn
Calendar
Dance Events
Performance Programs
Previews
Special Focus
Ballet
Modern/Contemporary
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ** **
exploredance.com
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
ExploreDance.com Kickstarter Campaign

The ExploreDance.com Kickstarter campaign is live! Please consider backing our campaign to help us expand our coverage of dance.
www.kickstarter.com/projects/1306220552/exploredancecom

Indianapolis Ballet: In-Studio Observations of their Inaugural Season - Part 1

by Rita Kohn
May 6, 2018
It's the dancers being empowered to grow that's at the heart, mind and soul of this new company.

Observing a rehearsal of a debut ballet is seeing and feeling space come alive with meaningfulness.

Founding Artistic Director Victoria Lyras is setting new choreography on the strengths of twelve dancers.

That's a feat unto itself.

What is exciting, however, is the way Lyras approaches each segment.
She demonstrates movement to the music.
The dancers put it on their bodies; absorb it into their bones.

They mark…move full-out with music.
Music stops.

Lyras asks what's working, not working…
Dancers weigh in. Discussion, trying this and that for any perceived problem…

Trickiest is the duet breaking off with swirls from the corps into upward lifts and a swirl of re-entry to the grouping.
Ballet Master Paul Vitali is enlisted to demonstrate with Lyras; strip away what’s impeding a lift into turn into swirl… there’s a dynamic Lyras wants; it’s not the usual partnering.

On the fifth try almost there…we applaud…
Pull back..take a break…
Come back and…yes, on the music…on the concept…

So it goes, beat by beat, making alterations to Lyras’ overarching conceptualization until everything feels seamless; movement flows body to body, idea to idea, always with musicality at the soul, ultimately to flow from studio to stage, from stage to seats.

At the end of five hours "Éclat!" emerges as a 10-minute new work set to the Third Movement of Sergei Prokofiev's energetic Piano Concerto No. 3.

I’ve witnessed what led to a successful first-time non-stop run-through; polishing will happen over the next 15 days.

Dancers are sweating, tired, hungry.
"Thank you all for working so hard."
Lyras applauds the dancers; they applaud her, and each other.

The customary bow and thank you to a visitor. The niceties of Ballet are alive with these young dancers.

Rehearsal is over.

Dancers walk out in 2s and 3s, hugging, laughing, joyful.

I've been in midst of a process of shared ego, purposeful energy, valued input.
Not merely being happy, but doing happily.

Tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that it's on to developing and perfecting the full program; Act 1: the debut of "Éclat!" and the Don Quixote Grand Pas de Deux; Act 2: Victoria Lyras’ new choreography for "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," set to music by Felix Mendelssohn.

And then, at home, when I mull over what it was that most struck me, I realize it is that every dancer has a special moment to shine in Éclat!. Everyone at some point is part of the corps, part of an impeccably balanced and exciting evolving kaleidoscope merging with the colors and textures of the music, and yet everyone at some point has a break away, matching the heated conversation between piano and orchestra. It’s choreography and dancing animating Prokofiev’s experiences throughout the years of starting and finally completing the Concerto. It’s twelve bodies transcending two distinct languages with everyone expressing his and her own point of reference towards consensus. The lengthy coda, described universally as brilliant, exemplifies the dynamism of civil discourse.

"Éclat!," aesthetically delightful, nevertheless is a work growing from this moment in time, in the way in which Prokofiev’s music is a reflection of the years 1917 to 1921 being divisive in the wash of World War I. Underscoring the joyfulness the ballet
projects is a feeling of what is possible —unity can evolve from breaking apart; delight can derive from differences; beauty is the inherent right of humanity.

The dancers for "Éclat!" are split between six company members and six apprentices. John Kolouder, Indianapolis Ballet Director of Marketing and Communications, provides this roster:

Camila Ferrera: born in Hoboken, New Jersey, trained at The School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School;former Joffrey company members and toured with Royal Swedish Ballet

Jessica Miller: raised in Carmel, Ind.; training/schooling included Academy of Ballet Internationale, Butler’s Jordan Academy and SUNY Purchase; danced with Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre (G2, second company), American Contemporary Ballet (Los Angeles) and Terra Firma Dance Theatre (NYC)

Katherine Sawicki: schooled at Louisville Academy of Dance, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy; danced with Cincinnati Ballet as a trainee and with Kansas City Ballet II

Mary Ann Schaefer: born in Memphis, moved to Indy at age 12 and studied at Ballet Internationale (Clara R. Noyes Academy); danced with Ballet West and Ballet West II, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and The Suzanne Farrell Ballet

Glenn Kelich: from Indianapolis area, just completed studies at the esteemed Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music Ballet program and has performed with Kansas City Ballet II in 2017-18

Khris Santos: native of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico; trained at Puerto Rican National Ballet School, Ballets de San Juan School and San Francisco Ballet; danced with Cincinnati Ballet for last five seasons

Apprentices:

Rowan Allegra
: daughter of former San Francisco Ballet principal dancers, schooled at Boston Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance; danced at Texas Ballet Theater (Dallas/Fort Worth) and Bay Pointe Ballet

Abigail Bixler: raised in Indianapolis, Bixler trained at the Indianapolis School of Ballet for last seven years and became first dancer in ISB’s new Professional Level Program to graduate to the Apprentice program in January 2018

Abigail Rose Crowell: native of Naples, Fla.; schooling included Gulfshore Ballet, The Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet and Joffrey Ballet Chicago, the latter as a trainee

Siera Levin: native of Doylestown, Penn.; schooled at Metropolitan Ballet (Jenkintown, Penn.); joined Carolina Ballet (Raleigh, N.C.) as a trainee and dancer with the company for two seasons

Sarah Marsoobian: native of Connecticut, trained at Eastern Connecticut Ballet, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Ballet Chicago; danced with City Ballet of San Diego.

Loretta Williams: Born in San Diego and raised in Chicago area; schooled at Irina Makkai Classical Ballet School in Highland Park, Ill. and as a member of Joffrey Chicago’s Trainee Program; danced with Kentucky Ballet Theater (Lexington), Texas Ballet Theater (Dallas/Fort Worth) and Oklahoma City Ballet.

Indianapolis Ballet May Residency, featuring "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," May 18-20, 2018, at The Toby at Newfields
400 North Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN.
Tickets: www.indyballet.org/dream.
Indianapolis Ballet dancers in a rehearsal of 'Éclat!' -Katherine Sawicki (front), Sarah Marsoobian (left), Rowan Allegra (back center), Abigail-Rose Crowell (back right)

Indianapolis Ballet dancers in a rehearsal of "Éclat!" -Katherine Sawicki (front), Sarah Marsoobian (left), Rowan Allegra (back center), Abigail-Rose Crowell (back right)

Photo © & courtesy of John Koluder


Indianapolis Ballet dancers in a rehearsal of 'Éclat!' - (left to right) Abigail Bixler, Rowan Allegra, Khris Santos, Abigail-Rose Crowell, Loretta Williams.

Indianapolis Ballet dancers in a rehearsal of "Éclat!" - (left to right) Abigail Bixler, Rowan Allegra, Khris Santos, Abigail-Rose Crowell, Loretta Williams.

Photo © & courtesy of John Koluder


Indianapolis Ballet dancers in a rehearsal of 'Éclat!' - Khris Santos and Katherine Sawicki.

Indianapolis Ballet dancers in a rehearsal of "Éclat!" - Khris Santos and Katherine Sawicki.

Photo © & courtesy of John Koluder


Indianapolis Ballet dancers in a rehearsal of 'Éclat!' - (left side) Abigail Bixler, Khris Santos, Sarah Marsoobian, Jessica Miller, Katherine Sawicki (leaping, partially blocked), Abigail Rose Crowell<br>(Right side) Elaine Rand, Rowan Allegra, Loretta Williams, Camila Ferrera.

Indianapolis Ballet dancers in a rehearsal of "Éclat!" - (left side) Abigail Bixler, Khris Santos, Sarah Marsoobian, Jessica Miller, Katherine Sawicki (leaping, partially blocked), Abigail Rose Crowell
(Right side) Elaine Rand, Rowan Allegra, Loretta Williams, Camila Ferrera.

Photo © & courtesy of John Koluder

ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
* **** ****


ExploreDance.com
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ******
exploredance.com


home || view our calendar || the store || copyright information || join our mailing list || mission statement
Search for articles by
Performance Reviews, Places to Dance, Fashion, Photography, Auditions, Politics, Health