Beer & Ballet III set for Feb. 10-11

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Stirling Matheson performing in the 2016 Beer & Ballet. From left in background, Cheyanne Elam and Annie Mushrush. (Submitted photo by Mark Abarca)

Stirling Matheson performing in the 2016 Beer & Ballet. From left in background, Cheyanne Elam and Annie Mushrush. (Submitted photo by Mark Abarca)

By Mark Ambrogi

For Ballet Theatre of Indiana Artistic Director Stirling Matheson, presenting Beer & Ballet is both fun and challenging.

“People loved it the first year, so we brought it back as one of our mainstays the second year,” Matheson said. “It’s always an eclectic show and fun to work on. The audience really enjoys it. Everybody gets to stretch their creative muscles a bit. We have a few of our dancers choreographing.”

Beer & Ballet III will be held at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10 and 11 at the Basile Theatre at the Atheneum, 407 E. Michigan St., Indianapolis. Sun King Brewery will provide the featured beers.

“Every year we’ve done a variety of contemporary pieces and excerpts from classical ballet,” Matheson said. “The first year we did ‘Le Corsaire.’ Last year we did some of the first act of ‘Don Quixote.’ This year it’s going to be from the Wedding Scene and the Kingdom of the Shades from ‘La Bayadere.’ We’re messing with the format a bit. We’re opening with bits of ‘Bayadere’ and closing with bits of ‘Bayadere.’ In between, we’ll be doing the more contemporary pieces.”

The company of 14 women and two men will appear in the show.

“Because there are so many different pieces, organizing rehearsals are difficult for myself, Sabrina (Matheson), Cole (Companion) and Annie (Mushrush),” Matheson said.

Matheson’s wife, Sabrina, shares the role of artistic director. Companion is the ballet master and technical director, and Mushrush is the ballet mistress.

“Kingdom of the Shades is one of the most beautiful openings and one of the most iconic moments in all of ballet,” Matheson said. “It is very difficult and will really stress all of our dancers’ endurance. I’m looking forward to setting that part, rehearsing it and making them sweat. It’s difficult, it’s gorgeous and it’s an iconic moment in ballet history. It will be fun to put it on stage for the first time in our ballet’s history.”

Tickets are $25. For more, visit btindiana.org.


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