Christmas is a time for giving. On Friday night, inside the Scottish Rite Cathedral‘s breathtaking theater, the Indianapolis School of Ballet gave the Circle City the gift of joy. Presenting their third annual production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, the cast comprised mostly of ISB’s students ensured no one left downtown Indianapolis without a smile on their face.
The evening was made possible by the Indianapolis School of Ballet’s founding artistic director Victoria Lyras. In just three short years, Victoria has taken lessons from her own professional dance career and made a huge contribution to the Indianapolis performing arts.
By no stretch of the imagination was last night’s Nutcracker the most technically sound performance Indy residents can find. However, these young dancers provided the audience with two hours of happiness as only children can. Unlike professionals who sometimes appear to be going through the motions, this is not a job for these kids, it is their passion.
It was delightful to see the young performers enjoying the show while participating. Too often, children look as though they have just seen a ghost while on stage and terrified they will forget their next step. This was not the case last night. While their technical ability has not reached its full potential, each dancer gave the appearance of a seasoned veteran.
The beauty of the Scottish Rite’s theater was matched by the show’s masterfully designed sets. Using Indianapolis’ history as an inspiration for setting the stage, designer C. David Huggins choose both the exterior and parlor of the Morris-Butler House as backdrops for ISB’s adaptation of the classic Christmas tale. Costume designer Loukia Finale, attired the cast in designs that would have made George Balanchine proud.
The real star of the Indianapolis School of Ballet’s Nutcracker last night was Michelle Meltzer. Meltzer, a senior at North Central High School, was cast as both the Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy. Her command of both these roles highlighted a performer dancing at a level well beyond her age.
Often overshadowed during the Christmas season is the true spirit of giving, so thank you for the reminder ISB.
The Indianapolis School of Ballet is a nonprofit organization that was established in 2006. As an Indianapolis nonprofit, ISB depends on the money raised during their holiday performances to ensure they can continue enriching the lives of their students. ISB dedicates themselves to offering training of the highest artistic standards in classical ballet and other forms of dance to students of any level or age.
ISB will be back at the Scottish Rite Cathedral next May when they perform William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Indianapolis School of Ballet also offers Master classes in February and throughout the summer. To learn more about these and other ISB classes visit the Indianapolis School of Ballet Web site today.