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Butler Ballet Alumni Performance


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I was wondering if anyone saw the Butler Ballet Alumni Performance? I was very excited to hear that they did something like this and knew and studied with some of the performers. I would love to hear what was danced and how it went, but I haven't been able to find any review online.

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i saw the stars of the ballet performance and it was an absolute success and amazing. i am currently a student at butler and the performance was very inspiring. there were pieces by george balanchine, twyla tharp, and thaddeus davis, among others. the pieces were mostly contemporary but still very very beautiful. it honestly made me very proud to be involved with such a wonderful program.


also it was very cool to see the salvador dali set that is part of butler ballet's ballet russe collection!

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Thad Davis was a year behind me when I was at Butler(as was Jim Stein whom I hope performed). I saw him dance several years ago in Detroit when he was with Dance Theatre of Harlem. I did my first two years at Butler and finished my degree at another institution, but I attend a class with a Butler alum 11 years my senior who danced with Indianapolis Ballet Theatre. I am not sure if she was there since we haven't been to class on the same day since the performance, and being a teacher dealing with my own Nutcracker, I don't if I will see her before the holidays. Sounds wonderful though.

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Jim Stein did perform. A lovely contemporary pas.


Thad's piece was interesting, enjoyable, if not more than a tad long.


In toto, the evening was enjoyable, but much more modern-focused than ballet---or even contemporary ballet. Only the opening Balanchine piece and the closing piece were in the 'classical' ballet mode. Rather strange, I (and my companions and other dance buddies) thought given the "Stars of the Ballet" billing and Butler's focus on classical ballet training.

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Guest balletandsynchro



My DD would agree with you! She also felt the program was rather modern focused. She told me she would have preferred to see contemporary ballet over modern.


Also from reading the website prior to the show, I noticed that several of the alums who were in the show are with ballet companies. It wasn't as if only modern dancers were invited to perform. :devil:

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Check the rep of a few of the major ballet companies in the US this year and you're likely to find Twyla Tharp on the performance schedule! Depending upon the piece, her works range from contemporary ballet to modern, but they are all being done by major ballet companies. (ABT recently had a photo from a Tharp piece on their home page.) This seems to be more and more the norm, with ballet companies doing a wide range of pieces, some of which have nothing to do with either contemporary or classical ballet. Based upon this trend, I would guess that these ballet alums have been performing modern pieces within their own ballet company repetoires pretty frequently.

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I may very well be wrong, but it is my understanding that the dancers chose their pieces--not Butler. Twyla Tharp is from Indiana and (I believe) Butler was recently permitted to set a Twyla piece. The piece danced in this particular performance, I would characterize as modern rather than contemporary ballet.


Also, there were a couple of Dance Kaleidescope pieces (four DK dancers/Butler alums) presented. DK is a local modern company. There was a piece from an Ailey dancer---again, very modern, not contemporary ballet. There was a pas by a Butler alum choreographer--set in a water pan---that was what I would characterize as modern (and very boring . . . )


Honestly, for a performance billed as "Stars of the Ballet", everyone I discussed it with found it an odd bill to have so much modern and so little ballet.


Don't get me wrong, it was a nice performance----just not what I had expected.

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I'm not surprised it was more contemporary, since the dancers chose their own works. I know several of the performers and, while they are good classical dancers, were all quite interested in modern. Strangely, though Butler is obviously very classically based, I remember during the senior choreography projects in my senior year, mine was the only one that was classical and on pointe. Everyone else (I believe there were 15 or so other seniors that did pieces) did modern ones. Maybe there's something about college that inspires many people to experiment in modern forms. However, had I performed in this Gala, it would have been in the Corsaire/Don Q pas vein! :shrug:

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The performance was named "Stars of the Ballet" because the alum are rising stars in the ballet world and the ballet world is using more and more modern and contemporary influences. Yes Butler is a classically based school but so is every variation of dance. Ms. Jarvis had a discussion with one of my classes on this subject. Also the works performed showed how variant the alum of Butler are from classical ballet to contemporary to modern. They were all great performances and beautifully showcased works.

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