The Indiana Ballet Company and its offshoot, the Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana have called it quits. The IBC, founded by former Ballet Internationale artist Alyona Yakovleva and her husband, Russ Smith, following the dissolution of BI in 2005, enjoyed some success with audiences here, most notably their productions of "Phantom of the Opera." Their last production was a reprise of "Shakespeare in Love."
But the organization was unable to attract substantial or longterm funding from the community's most influential ballet patrons. "It is with great regret and deep sorrow that due to the determination that our organization is no longer financially viable, the Board of Directors has elected to close the Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana and the Indiana Ballet Company, effective immediately," wrote Board President Denise Holder.
The small but intense (and affluent) constituency of local arts patrons who believe the city cannot be considered a legitimate arts destination without a professional ballet company may now focus their attention on the fledgling Indianapolis City Ballet project, which was greeted with great enthusiasm at a gala performance of guest artists at the Murat last Fall.