Indianapolis will soon join New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Nashville, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and other great cities as a home to a professional ballet company. Thirteen years after the curtain came down on Ballet Internationale, Indianapolis has the opportunity once again to support a professional ballet company. Indianapolis Ballet will debut in Indianapolis in early 2018.
Full disclosure: Ballet has always been a passion of mine, a passion that I recognize is not shared by the masses. For many reasons, the addition of professional ballet company to a city does not draw the same level of enthusiasm as the addition of a professional sports team. However, even if you have never been to the ballet or have attended and found it a perfect time to rest your eyes, I encourage you to welcome and support this new professional company to Indianapolis.
A professional classical ballet company is a leap forward for the arts and cultural scene in Indianapolis. Classical ballet will be front and center, but so too will be the music, often live, that accompanies the ballet. Costumes, lighting and makeup will also glide onto the scene. The result will make Indianapolis a more interesting place to live and work, providing the opportunity for a richer date night, field trip or client development outing. Ballet and the profitability of ballet have struggled through the years, and Indianapolis will now have the chance to be part of its revival. Indianapolis Ballet will become its own unique classical ballet company that will reflect the Circle City.
The opening of a ballet company in Indianapolis also means that Indianapolis will be a city where a dancer can fulfill a professional career. Local ballet students can stay in Indianapolis and work professionally. A local ballet company provides opportunities for other non-professional dancers and artists to train and dance with professionals. In our profession, we know well the importance of mentoring and opportunity. As professionals, I encourage you to applaud this opportunity for dancing professionals and non-professionals, both adults and children.
If I have not swayed you yet, then here is my plea (plié if you will) for why ballet is good for you. Ballet is beautiful. The integration of movement with music. Ballet is relaxing (for those of us not on the stage). In our fast-paced, technology-driven lives, ballet allows us to take a deep breath and live in the moment. Ballet is history. Ballet originated in the courts of the Italian Renaissance, but its rise in popularity is owed in large part to Louis XIV, who was quite a dancer himself. Ballet is grace. This most beautiful and vivid example of grace is a good reminder of the importance of grace in our lives and in our profession. Respect, compassion, kindness, poise — a graceful lawyer.
Indianapolis Ballet will open in early 2018. The company will be connected with the Indianapolis School of Ballet, founded in 2006 by Victoria Lyras, who will be the artistic director for the company. Auditions for Indianapolis Ballet took place July 9 for dancers from across the country. Dancers from the Indianapolis School of Ballet will have the opportunity to perform with the company. Indianapolis Ballet has received its licensing from the George Balanchine Trust, the entity responsible for licensing the ballets of George Balanchine, the co-founder and longtime artistic director of the New York City Ballet. Indianapolis Ballet will take the stage at the Tobias Theatre at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The performance schedule has yet to be released.
A ballet class or a ballet performance concludes with something called reverence — a way to say thank you and show respect to the teacher or the audience. Also, an appropriate way to conclude this article. Reverence, my friends, mentors and colleagues.•
Ms. Mallon is a partner in the Indianapolis firm of Cantrell Strenski & Mehringer and is a member of the DTCI Board of Directors. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.