A World of Dance Comes to Carmel's Center for the Performing Arts

An intimate performance of Swan Lake, an athletic dance company, and a lot of international flair is on the way.

The Center for the Performing Arts is bringing the world’s talent to you this year.

Its newly added Coca-Cola World Stage Series is an effort brought about by president and CEO Tania Castroverde Moskalenko.

“She is a trained dancer who looked at the dance series as an opportunity to make local connections,” says John Hughey, director of external relations for the Center. In the recent show by a New York-based company, Rioult Modern Dance, one of the 10 dancers was a 2010 Butler graduate, Holt Walborn.

That show was one of few to have a live orchestra performing the music in sequence, that by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. “it is very unique for any kind of dance,” says David Hochoy, artistic director of local modern company Dance Kaleidoscope.

“We were thrilled that we could offer that partnership,” says Hughey. “From an artistic standpoint, [dancers] were very happy for the experience.”

Live music changes the set with each performance. Dancers have to be on their toes and flexible enough to keep the performance flowing smooth.

“The great thing about live music is that the dancers never know what could happen,” says Hochoy. “The musicians could make a mistake, they could decide to take it a little bit fast or slower that night. … It gives a heightened awareness to their performance.”

Hochoy hosted a Q&A after Rioult’s Nov. 15 in which a number of assembled Butler students and more audience members could ask questions even of the performers.

While the insights were thought provoking, the most captivating part of the evening was indeed the dancing itself. Slow movements, taking even a full four counts beween positions, is not as easy as one might think. Rioult dancers showed control and grace with each movement.

“The physicality was astonishing,” says Hochoy. “It took a lot of grace and strength and control to do what they did, and to do it beautifully.”

One of the best dances of the night featured two duets, partnering two males and two females. More often than chorographers would like to admit, it is difficult to pair two similarly built male partners without having one take a more dominant role. Rioult was able to pair and choreograph a seemless and beautiful set where each partner alternately took the lead and followed throughout the piece.  

The entire evening was set to Bach. “It was wonderful to see the human movement to this music,” says Hochoy. “Some of it was very sensual.”

The Center’s impending performance by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will also feature the music of Bach.

The Philharmonic is not the only point of interest incoming for ticketholders. While international performances have always been a part of the Center’s schedule, this year such stagings will debut through the World Stage Series.

“It is really a theme that you can see throughout our season,” says Hughey about the newly added World Stage Series, Moskalenko’s pet project of sorts.

“As a curator, she wanted to have that variety that brings people in,” says Hughey. “The series this year is the most international in flavor, looking for opportunities to bring in viewpoints that are not strictly American. It is part of our mission to bring artists that are not simply from the States or here in Indiana so you can grow as an artist.”

The Center breaks up its season into different series such as Jazz & Blues, Classical, and Dance, thus giving ticketholders a chance to buy themed packages. Subscribers also receive perks such as discounts on single-ticket pricing and priority-seat selection.

Coming up, the Moscow Fesival Ballet will be performing Swan Lake in January, a show never before seen at the Center.

“The familiar theme of Swan Lake is something that is well loved,” says Hughey. “It will draw a lot of people in. It is in a 500-seat theater, so it is a very intimate opportunity to see something like Swan Lake.”

Also in the Dance Series, the Koresh Dance Company will show off blends of jazz, ballet, and modern, all choregraphed by Isreali-born artistic director Ronen Koresh. The series not only has an international flair, it will also “connect the dots between different styles of dance,” says Hughey.

Koresh will certainly be a must-see for dance lovers: “Their stuff is a lot more athletic,” says Hochoy. “They move around a lot more, they jump a lot more.” This will make for an interesting change in tempo from the Rioult Dance Company. Hochoy notes that Rioult did show extraordinary strength: “It almost looked like living sculpture. But it all happened in one place.” While the Rioult audience enjoyed a live orchestra, those in the seats for Koresh will relish a livelier stage.

“We know that world music is growing in popularity, so we wanted to tap into that,” says Hughey. “Central Indiana is more diverse than it has ever been before. We want to make sure that we are reflecting the community that we are in. It is an opportunity to explore the world—not only the music but the cultures.”