IndyFringe: Ballet INitiative – A Social Media Experience

This is part of IndyFringe 2022, Aug. 18-Sept. 4 (individual performance times vary) in downtown Indianapolis. Details and tickets at IndyFringe.org.

By Wendy Carson

This is Ballet INitiative’s first presentation at IndyFringe and hopefully the beginning of a long string of performances for years to come. The troupe in dedicated to inclusion, inspiration, and innovation through multi-genre dance as well as traditional ballet.

The show consists of six offerings, of which, two are unique to each week’s schedule (the other four are on a rotation where each will play twice but in varying order). Taking to social media to have fans chose the set list for each week, they have managed to curate a very solid line-up to highlight all of their troupe’s talents and skills.

Prior to each number, the audience is given some information about what the intention behind the choreography is meaning to portray. There is also a pause afterwards for you to ruminate as well as allowing the dancers to change costumes.

Highlights of the show I saw were their jazzy rendition of Bobby Darin’s “Mack the Knife,” (originally a part of a past tribute to Darin); their more traditional ballet dance, “A Far off Spring” (being the only one performed “on pointe”); and the weekend exclusive number “Icarus” (showing the passion of flight and striving to be more than you are now).

My personal favorite dance was their delightful tribute to the musical, “Chicago” with the number, “All That Jazz.” While being sheer, sexy fun, it also highlights the physical talents of each dancer beautifully.

Choreography is by Anneka Bellman, Cheyanne Claerbout, Amanda Hickey, Trudy Martin, Lauren Nasci, Michelle Quenon, Candace Reiner, Shannon Stone, and Ola Tarnowski. Company members also include Lexie Carlson, Sarah Farnsely, Brynn Roudebush, and Lauren Smith.

With their talented cast and such a diverse number of offerings, this is the perfect show to see for anyone who is a novice to dance. Performances this weekend are 7:15 p.m. Friday and 1:45 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2&4, in the Basile Auditorium at the Athenaeum.

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