Ballet Theatre of Carmel Academy graduates return in ‘The Firebird’


As a former Ballet Theatre of Carmel Academy student, Emmanuelle Hendrickson views her return as a guest artist as special.

ND BALLET THEATRE OF CARMEL 0507 Hendrickson head shot

Hendrickson and Erica Lohman share the title role of “The Firebird” as part of BTCA’s production of “Enchanted Tales” May 24-25 at the STAR Bank Performing Arts Center in Zionsville. “Enchanted Tales” includes “The Firebird,” a one-act ballet, and “Les Sylphides” and an “Anna Pavlova Tribute.”

Lohman, a Mt. Vernon High School graduate, will perform in the 7:30 p.m. May 24 presentation, and Hendrickson, a former Indianapolis resident, will be in the 2 p.m. May 25 show.

Hendrickson was in the performance as a background dancer in BTCA’s “The Firebird” in 2016.

“I watched Erica dance as The Firebird and I was really inspired by her,” said Hendrickson, a 2023 Indiana University graduate who performs with the Colorado School of Ballet. “It feels like a full-circle moment because I get to watch her perform as The Firebird again and I also get to do it myself. It’s so amazing to dance alongside her this time. My parents are so excited because it’s hard to come to watch me dance in Colorado.”

ND BALLET THEATRE OF CARMEL 0507 Lohman head shot

BTCA Director Jane Hachiya-Weiner said this is the fourth time BTCA has presented “The Firebird.”

“It is special to me because of Igor Stravinsky’s moving and exciting score and the dramatic imagery of the darkness of Kachei’s Kingdom in direct contrast to the bright light of the savior, The Phoenix — The Firebird,” she said. “The wedding scene for Prince Igor and Princess Vasilisa at the end is one of the brightest in ballet repertory, both in musical scoring but also in the imagery that many ballet companies are able to present to match the grandeur of the music.”

As a pre-professional ballet academy, Hachiya-Weiner said the goal is to train its dancers to be become successful professional dancers if that is their goal.

“Erica and Emmanuelle are two of several such BTCA graduates who have become professionals,” she said. “We are so happy that they had time in their busy schedules to revisit their alma mater and to be an encouragement and an inspiration for our current talented young dancers as they all perform together with our academy dancers.”

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