Coming in at No.1 in this writer’s top 10 performing-arts events in 2010 was Indianapolis City Ballet’s “Evening with the Stars.” With a theme of “International Dancers of the American Ballet,” the ICB will once again present its annual gala at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Murat Theatre in downtown Indianapolis.
“This performance will once again showcase the cutting-edge contemporary works and classical favorites our audience demands while it recognizes the truly international sense of ballet,” says Kevin Hesse, the ICB’s executive director. “It promises to be another wonderful evening.”
Featuring dancers who live and work here in America but who were born, grew up and trained in places around the world, the “Evening with the Stars cast includes those from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Russia, Spain and the United States.
These world-class artists are also members of some of America’s finest dance companies. They include:
Isabella Bolyston soloist with American Ballet Theatre.
Fabrice Calmels, principal dancer with Joffrey Ballet.
Joaquin De Luz, principal dancer with New York City Ballet.
Thomas Forster, corps de ballet with American Ballet Theatre.
Marcelo Gomes, principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre.
Alexandre Hammoudi, corps de ballet with American Ballet Theatre.
Paloma Herrera, principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre.
Victoria Jaiani, principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet.
Maria Kochetkova, principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet.
Tiler Peck, principal dancer with New York City Ballet.
Daniil Simkin, soloist with American Ballet Theatre.
Damian Smith, principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet.
Yuan Yuan Tan, principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet.
Daniel Ulbricht, principal dancer with New York City Ballet.
Guillaume Coté, guest artist in residence with National Ballet of Canada.
The performance will feature works from classical and contemporary choreographers, including recent contemporary works by Jorma Elo, Marcelo Gomes, Edwaard Liang, Benjamin Millepied and Yuri Possokhov, as well as classics by George Balanchine, Kenneth MacMillan and Marius Petipa.
A new work has been commissioned from choreographer Margo Sappington for the gala performance, which will feature prodigy Veronika Verterich, a student at the Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory of New York, and Alex Anderson, a student at the Juilliard School of Dance. At last year’s gala, Sappington’s tribute to Indiana’s own Cole Porter was an audience favorite.
The presentation of “Evening of The Stars” is an ongoing effort of the Indianapolis City Ballet to reconnect the city, which has not had its own company since Ballet Internationale went bankrupt and closed in 2005, with top-notch professional ballet. Hoping to develop a wide and diverse audience, the organization plans to establish its own residency company in 2012.
The night before “Evening of the Stars,” ICB will feature emerging artists in a gala-style performance called “Young Stars of Ballet,” also at the Murat Theatre, on Friday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
The performance will showcase more than 30 dancers. It features the combination of stars such as New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Charles Askegard; former American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Michelle Wiles; American Ballet Theatre Soloists Yuriko Kajiya, Jared Matthews and Daniil Simkin dancing alongside prodigies as young as 11.
“Young Stars of Ballet” also includes fast-rising young professionals, including Boston Ballet Corps de Ballet Dancer Keenan Kampa, who is the first American student and graduate of the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, along with her school dance partner, now at the Mariinsky Ballet (formerly the Kirov Ballet), Corps de Ballet Member Alexey Popov. Other young pros include new National Ballet of Canada Corps members Emma Hawes and Jackson Dwyer – all considered stars in the making.
Featured in the program are three Indianapolis dancers. Chris Lingner is a dance student in Indianapolis and guest artist with Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre and the Indianapolis School of Ballet. He is in his second year studying ballet in the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
Hannah Sink is a 15-year-old dance student of Suzann DeLay’s Central Indiana Academy of Dance in Carmel who has performed in numerous productions by the Central Indiana Dance Ensemble. She trains during her summers at the School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Demitra Bereveskos is a 12-year-old dancer from Indianapolis who trains with Tatiana Pali, Alyona Yakovleva and Sergey Sergiev at the Indiana Ballet Conservatory and is also trained and coached at Valentina Kozlova’s Dance Conservatory of New York.
Another of the evening’s attractions will be the “Indianapolis City Ballet Grand Defile,” a 6½-minute ballet created by Carlos dos Santos for more than 100 area dancers. The Grand Defile is historically a procession or showcase of ballet students that dos Santos has previously created around the world. Featuring precise choreography, quick transitions, humor and virtuosity, such a spectacle is rarely witnessed in the ballet world.
According to Hesse: “This entire program is not only a wonderful opportunity for the audience to see the incredible talent that is out there and to glimpse the stars of tomorrow, but it fits into the development of Indianapolis City Ballet, further networking in the top levels of the ballet world as we prepare to launch our own company.”
For tickets and information about Indianapolis City Ballet’s “Evening with the Stars” and “Young Stars of Ballet,” visit www.indianapoliscityballet.org.