Pointe for the Cure to benefit pediatric cancer

From left, Jackson Schene, Mark Pecar and Noah Motter. (Submitted photo)

From left, Jackson Schene, Mark Pecar and Noah Motter. (Submitted photo)

By Mark Ambrogi

It’s only fitting that Indiana Ballet Conservatory holds a fundraising event to benefit pediatric cancer research.

“There is a connection here because of the children,” said Wilmara Manuel, IBC interim executive director. “What we do here is educate children and educate dancers. One of our former board members did work in pediatric cancer and thought it would be a good match. It evoked into the student dance in honor of a child currently fighting cancer. Our mission is not just to educate a dancer but the whole student and to really make them aware of the world around them and how can they contribute. They have a gift to dance and we have a great staff who is creating this piece. So they are using their gifts and talent to bring entertainment to raise awareness. For that one night to help that child smile and forget about what they are fighting.”

The third annual Pointe to the Cure Masquerade Soiree will be held on Oct. 30 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It will begin with a 5:30 p.m. with a VIP reception The Masquerade Soiree, a cocktail and silent auction session, begins at 6 p.m.  The IBC performance begins at 8 p.m. in the Toby Theatre. There will be a special appearance by singer Josh Kaufman, winner of NBC’s “The Voice” during the cocktail session. Kaufman will hold a meet-and-greet during the VIP reception.

Alyona Yakovleva-Randall, a Geist resident who is originally from Russia, is the founding artistic director of the Carmel-based Indiana Ballet Conservatory.

“We want to give back to the community,” Yakovleva-Randall said.

The performance is “Pulse: Dancing to the Beat of Our Own Drummer,” which was created by Yakovleva-Randall. It was first performed in 2012.

“We’ve done selections from it since but this will be the full production,” Yakovleva-Randall said. “We combine percussionists and contemporary dance. Why did I create this production? How could I not create this production? I come into the studio and there is so much talent around me, my students and amazing faculty member, Sergey Serglev, who is an award-winning choreographer.

“Then I come home and here is my amazing husband (Daryl Randall) who is drumming. All this talent around me made me think about something unique and very special. I come up with story about a little boy follows his dream and becomes a musician and little girl following her dream and becomes a ballerina. The message to the audience is never give up and always follow your dream.”

About 30 dancers, ranging in ages from 11 to 17, will perform in the show. Many young cancer patients will be invited.

“We have a child match program so each student meet a child who is fighting cancer and they dance in honor of the child,” Manuel said. “At the end of the evening they each walk across with a picture and they say tonight I dance for and they say the child’s name.”

Manuel said they raised $45,000 for Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health and Team Joey, part of Heroes Foundation. The same three charities will benefit from the fundraiser this year.

The cost is $75 for the evening ($100 includes VIP reception). For tickets, visit indianaballetconservatory.org.