Ballet Theatre of Indiana makes Tarkington debut


The Ballet Theatre of Indiana is bringing back an Edgar Allen Poe-inspired production that is dear to BTI Artistic Director Stirling Matheson’s heart.

“At the beginning of our second season was the first time we did ‘Macabre’ (in 2015),” said Matheson, a Carmel resident. “That was our first sold-out show. We actually sold more tickets to this than we did to our whole opening season. In the first year, we were still settling on our identity and developing our processes. This show was our coming of age. We create something dramatic and full of artistic depth. Because of the success of that we started doing a Halloween ballet every year.”

ND MACABRE 1030 pic
Michelle Quenon and Stirling Matheson perform in “The Mask of the Red Death” ballet. (Photo provided by Crowe’s Eye Photography)

BTI, now in its fifth season, will present an updated “Macabre” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2-3 at The Tarkington, the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. It is BTI’s first appearance inside the Center for the Performing Arts.

“It’s an amazing facility and it’s somewhere I’ve wanted to perform at for some time,” Matheson said. “We haven’t had the right opportunity yet, so we’re trying it out and see how it goes.”

Matheson said some pieces, such as “The Mask of the Red Death” and “The Cask of Amontillado,” are returning.

“Cole (Companion) has choreographed a ton of new material,” Matheson said. “It’s based on concepts that existed previously but hadn’t been fully explored, so we have a new ballet inspired by ‘The Tell-Tale Heart,’ but it has more depth and tries to create more motivation than Poe actually did in that story. It still touches on all of the same themes.”

Matheson choreographed “The Mask of the Red Death” and “The Oval Portrait.” Company dancer and scenic designer Emma Beigel choreographed “Annabel Lee,” and the rest was choreographed by Companion.

Others pieces include “The Pit and Pendulum,” “To My Mother” and “Liegia.”

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