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‘Ballet at the BCT’ presents new choreography from IU Ballet Department, April 17 & 18

WHAT: "Ballet at the BCT: The Choreography Project"
WHEN: April 17 & 18 at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Buskirk-Chumley Theater
TICKETS: Free, no tickets required.

April 11, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Department of Ballet presents its annual 'Ballet at the BCT: The Choreography Project' at 7:30 p.m. on April 17 and 18 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in downtown Bloomington.

Thirty short ballets will be performed, displaying diversity in style and technique, with an equally diverse set of musical selections.The highly anticipated performances are free and open to the public.

"This project is an important element in the education of the ballet majors for their professional careers," said Shawn Stevens, ballet mistress for the department. "It involves their ability to research music suitable for dance, to use their extensive ballet vocabulary, and to choose the right cast of dancers among their peers. All of these aspects are crucial in creating choreography that expresses their own ideas to an audience."

"The discovery of a dancer who has a natural talent for choreography is one of the missions of the IU Ballet Department," said Michael Vernon, chair. "The project at the BCT is a wonderful vehicle for this side of our activities."

"Creating a ballet requires using math: for musicality, in putting steps together, in working with a number of dancers, and in creating geometric shapes through movement of dancers on the stage space," said Stevens. "It requires preparation and self-discipline for each student to figure things out. Some choreographers may use paper and write out their ideas. Some get inspired by working directly with their dancers. Others choose to improvise on the spot to get ideas. However they approach it, they have to work fast, as they are only allotted a few hours in the studio to put together their respective pieces."

Stevens considers the project to be one of the most important of the year for the students. "The ballet majors have had the experience of performing an amazing repertory here at IU," she said. "They have learned the great classic and neoclassical ballets, as well as seminal modern dance pieces, from renowned repetiteurs, artistic directors, and current professional dancers."

In 'Ballet at the BCT: The Choreography Project', they now get the opportunity to be on the other side of the process as they teach and conduct rehearsals. As a repetiteur and someone who has choreographed, I have enjoyed watching how they mature as artists. I look forward to seeing the performances and sharing the excitement of the dancers with their audiences."

As with major dance companies around the world, IU Ballet Theater uses a smaller venue for works that are more experimental and contemporary in nature. "This makes the evening more personal and intimate," said Michael Vernon, chair of the department. "It's definitely a must-see event."