Three and a half stars
Indianapolis School of Ballet; Scottish Rite Cathedral; May 18
An engaging, eclectic, enthusiastic program showcasing the work of kindergartners to seniors sparkled with choreography that raised the bar and young dancers who rose to the challenge with precision and attention to full-body movement, body language and mime in classical ballet, soft shoe, tap, folk and modern. Particularly impressive was Victoria Lyras’ “Dance of the Hours” by pre-teens and early teens to constantly layering and undulating choreography matched to Ponchielli’s varied tempo. Corps and solo activity was always surprising. Gregory Hancock’s “Lagaan” was in the style of traditional Indian. Justin Zuschlag’s modern dance “Fly” and Lyras’ “Jupiter” took modern and ballet to different levels literally and figuratively. Balanchine’s “Tranatella” sparkled with humor. Petipa and Ivanov’s “Swan Lake Act 2” was staged with additional choreography by Lyras and danced with attention to nuance of the unfolding drama of ill-stared love and maidens transformed into swans under an evil spell. Evident throughout was how much fun the young dancers were having as they watched each other, smiled encouragement and gave 200 percent in chorus line Fosse hip moves. Costumes were impressive, lighting fine.