Indianapolis Ballet’s “Balancing Acts” program is a play on George Balanchine’s philosophy of dance seamlessly connecting with the space/world in which we live. IB’s September 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m. and 25 at 3:00 p.m. at The Toby at Newfields, 4000 North Michigan Road 46208, coincide with the National Public Lands Days September 24 and 25 [free admission], a celebration of our natural resources “by getting outside and enjoying your favorite outdoor activity at one of the many DNR destinations throughout Indiana.”
“The entire weekend serves as a reminder that public lands are places for outdoor recreation, conservation, and making memories with families and friends with events including hikes, pioneer activities, crafts, live bird shows, and more. Many DNR properties are hosting volunteer events, but every act of kindness counts. Whether you pick up trash on a walk on your own or volunteer at an event, you will be leaving the place better than you found it.”
‘Leaving a space better than you found it’ is a concept integral to Balanchine’s vision of the power of dance to show us how to find our place in the larger world, and particularly the natural world, of which we humans are an integral part.
Tchaikovsky’s music drives two of the three segments of this IB program. ‘Serenade’ grew integrally from how Balanchine and his young dancers related to each other and, since 1934, has taken on fuller implications about who we are as part of a community and the space where that community works, lives, and plays. The Pas de Deux was created by dancer Jacques d’ Amboise in 1969 and reflects Balanchine’s [and equally IB’s founder Victoria Lyras’] determination to grow a full spectrum of creative capacity for dancers. The Four Temperaments, based on music by Paul Hindemith, at this very moment, shares layers upon layers of timeliness and timelessness.
Dance critic Anna Kisselgoff’s review in the New Times on May 26, 1979, points out, “Created in 1946 by George Balanchine to a commissioned score by Paul Hindemith, ‘The Four Temperaments’ became the ancestor of all the Balanchine ballets that now give the City Ballet its signature style. Whereas other companies have looked upon ballet's academic vocabulary as a base for ornate virtuosity or direct emotional expression, the Balanchine vision has frequently turned the idiom upon itself, relying on spareness and concentration.
“And yet ‘The Four Temperaments’ is a ballet with a theme overtly related to the emotions, both musically and choreographically.”
Both Balanchine and Hindemith were recent immigrants to the United States, coming here for shelter in the wake of tumultuous world conditions and finding a way to grow the better parts of our collective humanity through the arts. Each temperament in this collective work was associated with one of the four classical: elements, earth, air, water, and fire, and each depended on the others to co-exist within respectful balance. We are our environment, and our environment becomes how we relate to it—how we treat our finite resources.
The earliest exponent, to whom I find myself turning more and more for his wisdom-philosophy, is Galen, identified as a Greek physician, surgeon and philosopher in the Roman Empire, “Considered to be one of the most accomplished of all medical researchers of antiquity, Galen influenced the development of various scientific disciplines, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, and neurology, as well as philosophy and logic,” according to Wikipedia.
Galen compared age stages with the seasons: the child (παῖς) corresponds to spring, the young man (νεανίσκος) to summer, the mature man (παρακµάζων) to autumn, and the old man (γέρων) to winter, and linked emotions with the seasons, and with our relationships to the natural world.
An archival photograph of the 1959 production of ‘The Four Temperaments’ with Arthur Mitchell can be found here: https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/b8369c60-1e87-0133-568e-58d385a7bbd0.
Just when I typed this, a notice came to my box, announcing a change in leadership:
“Dance Theatre of Harlem is one of New York City’s legendary Ballet companies. The first Black Classical Ballet company was founded by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook (Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo, New York City Ballet) in 1971. Mitchell, a George Balanchine protégé, was New York City Ballet’s first African American principal dancer. The two seemed to inspire each other. Dance Theatre of Harlem is the home of Balanchine Technique, New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Washington Ballet, and Miami City Ballet. That’s some good company.
Today, Artistic Director Virginia Johnson and Executive Director Anna Glass lead the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Resident Choreographer Robert Garland will become Artistic Director on July 1, 2023, when Johnson retires.
Then came a Washington Post message on the death in combat of a Ukrainian “Dancer and teacher Oleksandr Shapoval, a father of two who volunteered for the army, is remembered as “a pure and bright soul.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/theater-dance/2022/09/16/dancer-killed-ukraine-war/
“It means one less artist participating in the vital, hands-on chain of transmission upon which ballet depends — a chain of human contact, through which the secrets of interpretation and technique are physically passed from teacher to student through time. And from the veteran artist to a new member of the corps de ballet,” wrote dance critic Sarah L. Kaufman.
Corresponding to arts events in Indianapolis came more messages to connect with the larger world:
Virginia Public Radio is sharing an on-air essay by Estefania Mitre, “My familia of dancers, a legacy of love for the craft”; find the print version here:
A note came from New York City to attend on September 21, at 1:00 p.m., EDT: “Kathak dance performing artist, educator, and advocate, Rachna Nivas, curates a riveting video journey, highlighting a world-renowned legacy of North Indian classical dance.”
Even though the live event is at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts -Bruno Walter Auditorium in New York City, I was advised, “if you register, a streaming link will be emailed to everyone on the morning of the event for those wishing to attend virtually.” Register here:
Rachna Nivas is a Co-founder of the nationally-based Leela Dance Collective and Academy and Director of Leela’s New York chapter; Nivas is a senior lineage-bearer of legendary kathak master Pandit Chitresh Das.
“In this presentation, Nivas will share highlights of the Chitresh Das Dance Company’s 35-year history, from experimental contemporary works to traditional large-scale dance dramas to cross-genre collaborations. The presentation will conclude with glimpses of current works of Leela Dance Collective, showcasing how its artistic directors are thoughtfully carrying forward this rich legacy, embodying Pandit Das’ rootedness in tradition and innovative spirit while elevating new women’s voices to the legacy.”
Attend in person at our own Central Library, INconversation with author Aimee Nezhukumatathil on September 21, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Indianapolis Central Library, 40 East Saint Clair Street, 46204; doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Register to attend here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/inconversation-with-aimee-nezhukumatathil-tickets-401283578987
Offered as part of Indiana Humanities’ Unearthed programming, a multiyear initiative encouraging Hoosiers to discover and discuss their relationships with the natural world, this special INconversation with Aimee Nezhukumatathil will feature a moderated conversation with Indiana’s own Adrian Matejka, former Poet Laureate of the state of Indiana and current editor of Poetry Magazine. The evening will wrap up with an audience Q&A followed by book sales and signing.
World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments has been described by a reader as “Part memoir, part social commentary, part science/nature.”
“Taste” by playwright Benjamin Brand, a joint production between Theatre Unchained and Monument Theatre Company, is on stage at Arts for Lawrence from September 23-October 1. Go here for tickets: https://www.artsforlawrence.org/events-1/taste-by-benjamin-brand-2022-09-23-19-30 and learn more here: https://www.theatreunchained.org/inagural-season.
The notice from artistic director Meghan Jacobs informs, “Based on a shocking true story, two men meet online and make a unique arrangement: one will kill, cook, and eat the other. Taste imagines their first and only meeting, told in real-time, in a working kitchen.
“Content Warnings: 18+ cannibalism, adult language, strong sexual acts, themes, and imagery.
If you would like to find out more about the actual situation, you can find more information here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armin_Meiwes.
September 24, Storytelling Arts is celebrating their 35th anniversary year with Carolina Quiroga and Lyn Ford “sharing their stories from their heritage and hearts. These are the ‘family’ stories of their communities and cultures.” 7:00 p.m. at the Indiana History Center. More & tickets: www.StorytellingArts.org
September 30-October 30, the Phoenix Theatre is presenting “tick, tick…BOOM!” Jonathan Larson’s “intimate pop/rock musical story of Jon, a struggling composer…” If you’ve seen the musical “RENT,” you know you’re up for finding a key to “What are we meant to do with the time we have?” Tickets at PhoenixTheatre.org or 317-635-PLAY.
Coincidentally, Civic Theatre is opening its 2022-23 season with Jonathan Larsen’s “RENT,” Oct. 7-22. Tickets at CivicTheatre.org or 317-843-3800.
September 30-October 9, Buck Creek Players, at their Theatre at 11150 Southeastern Avenue 46259, is presenting “Over My Dead Body”. More at: www.BuckCreekPlayers.com or 317-862-2270
Bloomington’s historic Buskirk-Chumley Theater is screening a new film,“So Cold the River,” on September 30, from 6:00-9:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.
Based on Michael Koryta’s New York Times bestselling novel, the screening is followed by a Q/A session with the film’s crew and production company, Bloomington-based Pigasus Pictures,
directed by IU alum Paul Shoulberg and features Bethany Joy Lenz (“One Tree Hill”) and Merrillville, Indiana-native Andrew West (“The Walking Dead”), .
‘Filmed on-location at West Baden Springs Hotel, “So Cold the River” follows the region’s supernatural history, incorporating ghost trains, haunting violins scores, a mysterious evil presence, and Pluto Water, the famed mineral elixir that bubbled up from southern Indiana’s hot springs in the early 20th century,” informs Franqlin Gatson in an email to nuvo.net.
The pre-show cocktail hour features a taste-testing [and launch] of “So Cold the Vodka, the chillingly blue spirit born from a collaboration between West Baden Springs Hotel, Cardinal Spirits, and So Cold the River/Pigasus Pictures.
October 1-2, Celebrating more than 20 years as innovators in the Indianapolis arts and culture scene, the annual Indy Jazz Fest, the premier event of the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation, returns as a two-day outdoor festival at Garfield Park MacAllister Amphitheater at 2425 Conservatory Drive 46203. “With a continued focus on celebrating the legacy of jazz, modern masters, and new jazz stars, Indy Jazz Fest will feature a wide variety of shows under the jazz umbrella with headliners including Robert Glasper, Tank and the Bangas, Lalah Hathaway, Norman Brown, and more,” reads the news release. Learn more and get tickets here: https://indyjazzfest.net/?mc_cid=0a09cbe968&mc_eid=cbffc57089
October 7-8, Jack Everly opens the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra season with “Leading Men of Broadway,” featuring “Broadway’s greatest hits from Les Miserale, The Phantom of the Opera, Guys and Dolls, etc., featuring vocalist Ben Crawford and the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus. Check out the full roster for October and get tickets here: IndianapolisSymphonyOrchestra.or org; 317-639-4300.
October 14-30, the Fonseca Theatre [also known as RiverWest Theatre] is presenting “boo-la-la: An Indianapolis Spook-tacular”
Go here to learn more: https://fonsecatheatre.org/buy-tickets/ or call 317-653-1519
October 15, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra presents “Epic Playlist with 2020 APA winner Kenny Broberg” at 7:30 p.m. at The Schrott on the Butler campus.
Learn more and get tickets: www.icomusic.org; 317-940-9607
October 20-23, Dance Kaleidoscope opens their 50th Anniversary Season with a return to their iconic “Carmina Burana” at The Indiana Repertory Theatre. More at: dancekal.org or call 317-419-2380
On October 26, Ensemble Music Society of Indianapolis opens their 78h season with The Ensemble 4.1, presenting a rarely heard work by N.H. Rice, along with Mozart’s well-known Quintet in E-flat Major, K 452, and their new setting of Gershwin’s An American in Paris. 7:30 p.m. at the Glick Indiana History Center. Tickets: ensemblemusic.org
Oct. 28-29 at 7:00 p.m., Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, at The Center for the Performing Arts, at 3 Center Green, Carmel, 46032. presents “There’s No Place Like Home, an emotional and truth-seeking story about a boy from Kansas who sets on a journey down the Golden Path to India, looking for meaning and purpose in life after devastating losses and challenges. He encounters deities from the Hindu pantheon who imparts wisdom, compassion, and courage, …ultimately [to discover] that home is really a place in the heart,” cites the news release.
Tickets: thecenterpresents.org or call 317-843-3800.
Storefront Theatre of Indianapolis is opening its 2022-2023 season at its new location at 2416 E. 55th Place, 46220. Find information about tickets and auditions here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Founder and director Ronan Marra report, “The inaugural group of Storefront Labs playwrights, started new plays a year ago. They have been workshopped multiple times, and now their first public readings will be presented at Storefront during a three-day event:
November 10, 7pm, RESKILLING by Christine Kruze
November 11, 7 pm, DADS WITH DEAD KIDS by Zack Neiditch
November 12, 2 pm, BLACK HAT DUNCAN by Paige Scott
November 12, 7 pm, I HOPE OF ALL THINGS by Andrew Kramer
November 18 - 27, Ankh Productions Continues Their Storefront Residency, presenting SO, YOUR SOULLESS (Well, I’ll Be Damned); Written and Directed by Jamaal McCray.
"Amina has been violated and cast into a reality where torment and madness are the order. She was left with no reason, no light, no fear. We watch her on her quest for vengeance and restoring her humanity before she succumbs to the delightful taste of pain and confusion.
Regular exhibitions will continue in the new gallery space." We will be hosting quarterly, weekend-long arts marketplaces where Indianapolis artists will set up in our gallery and performance space to show, talk about and sell their work," said Company Manager Molly Dykstra [email@example.com]