If you’re in the mood for culture in Indianapolis, several enjoyable activities come to mind. The Broad Ripple Art Fair, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Indianapolis Civic Theatre are just a few of the many outlets for art lovers to get their fix. A somewhat less known but equally entertaining venue is the Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana (RBAI), located on Indianapolis’s North side.
The Russian Ballet Academy is an Indianapolis nonprofit organization, and provides the public with both the opportunity to learn professional ballet and an eye-opening view of the arts in Indianapolis.
The RBAI was born on November 11, 2005, following the collapse of Ballet Intertationale. Under the direction of a determined instructor named Alyona Yakovleva, the ballet internationale students were able to continue classes in a borrowed studio within two days of the demolition. Soon the Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana was formed, and students found themselves hard at work perfecting the standard Russian method of training called the Vaganova method. The Vaganova training has eight levels, with students prepared to graduate at eighteen.
Students as young as three years old can take classes at the Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana. The Academy’s popularity and notoriety increases every year, and in the 2006-2007 school year, enrollment increased by 57%. In 2006, RBAI launched the Indiana Ballet Company, an extension of RBAI, to accomodate Indy’s increased interest in the Academy.
Indianapolis children and parents alike were enchanted with The Indiana Ballet Company’s 2009-2010 season, which included performances of Phantom of the Opera, The Nutcracker, From Shakespeare with Love, and Evolution. Indianapolis residents will also be pleased to note that RBAI and the IBC are committed to keeping ticket prices low. This is a surefire way to keep the theatre seats full in trying economic times.
The RBAI seems to be here in Indianapolis to stay, and is doing its part to contribute to its’ loyal fan base in the community. For the 2008-2009 theater season at Butler University, RBAI’s Alyona Yakovleva loaned her expertise to the students to help them create a magical interpretation of “Balzaminov’s Wedding.” Alyona also strives to ensure her students are community-minded and proud to be Indianapolis patrons.
The students enrolled in RBAI, from age three all the way to eighteen, are extremely active in the Indy community. They participate in guest artistry and community outreach, and draw interest and revenue to the Circle City through competition.
The more press the Ballet generates, the better Indy’s social welfare becomes. Indianapolis sporting events such as the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (Indy 500) and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard are traditionally what Indianapolis is known for, but the RBAI and the Indianapolis Ballet Company are determined to bring some cultural diversity to the city. From the steadily climbing enrollment numbers and the impressive ticket sales (the IBC’s 2006 production of the Nutcracker drew 2200 patrons) the RBAI seems to be accomplishing this goal just fine.
Indianapolis citizens work hard and play hard, and the city strives to ensure residents have plenty of opportunity for play. Indianapolis Colts games, Indiana Pacers games, performances at the Hilbert Circle Theatre and the Indianapolis Civic Theatre all provide outlets to kick back, relax and indulge. But if you’re looking for a little more cultural and intellectual stimulation, take in a ballet at the RBAI or the IBC. Chances are you’ll be in the mood to dance when you leave.
For more information, visit the offical Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana website.
Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana
2432 Lake Circle Dr
Indianapolis, IN 46268