Indianapolis City Ballet, Murat Theatre at Old National Centre, Sept. 9.
Like a display of individual jewels from cities worldwide, 17 students of dance ages 11 to 20 and 12 young professionals in their 20s sparkled in repeats of their contest-winning entries and cuttings from larger works.
In swift succession the evening offered 27 diverse moments showcasing contemporary choreography, interspersed between ballet's classical repertoires.
Particularly honoring New York City-based David Howard, known as "Master Teacher to the Stars," impresario Kevin Hesse equally brought attention to all teachers in the 65 dance schools in greater Indianapolis, whose students appeared in the concluding "Le Grand Defile," Carlos Dos Santos choreography for 109 dancers set on Anatol Liadov's Polonais. Appearing as soloists in the classical repertoire were Demitra Bereveskos, age 12, who studies at the Indiana Ballet Conservatory and Valetina Kozlova Dance Conservatory of New York, and Hannah Sink, age 15, who studies at Central Indiana Academy of Dance.
Chris Lingner, currently studying ballet in the Jacob's School of Music at Indiana University and whose local appearances include Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre and Indianapolis School of Ballet, with New York city-based Ashlee Dupre reprised their touring company roles in Twyla Tharp's Movin' Out. With Just the Way You Are Linger and Dupre represented the crossover into professional dance that exemplifies the point made by Master of Ceremonies George De La Pena: "Ballet dancers today have to be prepared for all possibilities."
In addition to this nod to Hoosier-born Twyla Tharp, Indianapolis City Ballet commissioned choreographer Margo Sappington to create Black or White set to Michael Jackson's music and danced by New York city-based students Veronika Verterich and Alex Anderson.
As he did last year, American Ballet Theatre soloist Daniil Simkin delighted with his endearing portrayal of "Les Bourgeois" to music by Jacques Brell. Matching this kind of characterization virtuosity was 12-rear-old Italy-based Aran Bell with "La Chauve Souris" set to music by Johann Strauss. For those who missed the dazzling event, watch for its airing on WFYI public television.