Fort Wayne Ballet
Academy of Ballet
Fort Wayne Ballet feeds the spirit and sparks the imagination through the highest caliber dance education, performance experiences and community engagement.
Closed • Friday 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
Monday 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
Tickets are available thru ArtsTix, located in front of the Arts United Center at 303 E. Main St.
Box Office Hours:
Monday 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Thursday 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Friday 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Saturday Call for Hours
Beer & Barre BQ — Fort Wayne Ballet hosts an evening of craft beer tasting, delectable BBQ, sweet treats and vegetarian alternative fare from award-winning local chefs, plus Fort Wayne Ballet performances and live music from Unlikely Alibi, 7 p.m., Women's Club Ballroom, University of St. Francis, Downtown Fort Wayne, $50 ($35 for designated drivers), 484-9646
Progressions — Intimate performances of progressive dance movements, Fort Wayne Ballet Studios, Auer Center for Arts & Culture, Fort Wayne, $20, 422-4226
Progressions — Intimate performances of progressive dance movements, Fort Wayne Ballet Studios, Auer Center for Arts & Culture, Fort Wayne, $20, 422-4226
Ballet Tackles a Classic / Swan LakeRead Story
Ballet Tackles a Classic
by Michele DeVinney
When planning for their current season, Fort Wayne Ballet wanted to present something very special to honor its 60-year history in our community. Each season there are a couple of absolutes about their performance schedule.
In the fall the ballet demonstrates the eclectic talents of their company dancers, featuring not only classical ballet but other dance forms as well. And of course in December, their annual contribution to our holiday traditions, The Nutcracker, is set in stone before any other performances are considered. It was with their spring production, in which they feature story ballets, that they were able to do something very special to commemorate their anniversary season. For the first time, Swan Lake will be performed in its entirety in Fort Wayne.
The history of Swan Lake is an interesting one, especially given how popular it has become over the years.
"When it first debuted it was not very successful," says Karen Gibbons-Brown, executive and artistic director for Fort Wayne Ballet. "But when Tchaikovsky passed away, they included Act II of Swan Lake at his funeral, and it had been re-choreographed. People decided that it wasn't so bad after all, and it has eventually become iconic."
Much of its popularity can be attributed to the work of Marius Petipa, the Russian dancer and choreographer who provides the choreography which has established it as one of the premier ballets in the world.
"Petipa traveled the world and learned folk dances from all of the countries he visited," says Gibbons-Brown. "That can be seen very clearly in the character dancing in Swan Lake. Petipa was very much interested in pieces that were 'of the earth' and gave the ballet its second life."
While she's very excited to finally bring this famous ballet to a Fort Wayne stage, there are some significant challenges. Costumes for the ballet, which are not exactly inexpensive, are always a consideration. With shows which have been performed multiple times over the years - classics like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty - the ballet has been able to go into the vault and pull out previously worn pieces. For The Nutcracker, casting decisions are often made with available costume sizes in mind. There was no vault from which to borrow for Swan Lake.
"Everything has had to be created since we have never produced this ballet before. Fortunately, we have two talented people, Nan Possemato and Blaise Moore, who are doing a wonderful job and creating these costumes for us."
There are some new staging issues which are unique to Swan Lake, and Gibbons-Brown says she has had to rely on her production team to help navigate those technological issues.
"There's a scene where there is just a heap of smoke, and I've had to explain this to the production crew without actually having seen how it's done. I've always been behind the stage when this is going on, so I don't know how to describe what's going on from the crew's perspective. So I'm very grateful that they've been able to find a way to accomplish these special effects. I can tell you that there is a crumbling castle among the scenery."
There is more to her plan for Swan Lake than just the three performances with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. There will also be opportunities to celebrate the ballet's history with an adult-themed Black Swan Ball following Friday evening's performance, as well as a White Swan Tea aimed at the younger attendees following the Saturday matinee. Both of those are ticketed events. She also promises a decorated Russian carnival setting as the audiences enter the Arts United Center, before they take their seats. With activities for children and an atmosphere to set the mood for Swan Lake, there will be an especially festive atmosphere for the ballet's main stage finale.
There will be a few more performances for Fort Wayne Ballet before they drop the curtain on their 2016-17 season. The ballet's Youth Theatre will perform The Lorax in honor of Dr. Seuss at their last Family Series performance of the year on April 22, and they will once again blend their annual Fort Wayne Ballet, Too performance (an outdoor free performance) with their final production in the Auer Center ArtsLab (an indoor ticketed event) in May. But while those are far more intimate performances, Swan Lake promises to be the more lavish production which classical dance fans have come to love.
"It is a big ballet with a tremendous number of dancers," says Gibbons-Brown. "There are 50 people performing in this, and it includes our professional dancers, our trainees, our apprentices, along with our upper-level performing students in the Auer Academy. We're happy to be providing our community with the opportunity to see Swan Lake, but we're also happy to provide our dancers with the opportunity to add to their repertoire. Dancers are always training, and this is a wonderful piece to be able to offer to our dancers. There are some very special movements involved in this choreography, and just the way the arms move is very precise. We have arm rehearsals for this because it's tricky."
Gibbons-Brown says that there have been enough variations on Tchaikovsky's score that the Philharmonic has worked carefully to create the exact score that Fort Wayne Ballet is using. Being able to experience classical ballet with a professional company and live performance from an orchestra is an especially gratifying part of the spring ballet, one which Gibbons-Brown is enthusiastic about sharing with Fort Wayne. She says that despite - or perhaps because of - the inherent challenges of presenting such a beloved ballet has been worth it and has made this anniversary season that much more special.
"It's thrilling to be doing this for our community and to have been part of the community in such a viable way for all these years. When we started planning our 60th season, we started researching to see what businesses and organizations stood alongside of us 60 years ago, and there aren't many. It's just very special to have had that kind of presence in this area for so long."
- By Michele DeVinney
Friday, April 28
Click on the headings below for full calendars
Click header for complete Things To Do calendar
Concordia Comedy Festival — Concordia Lutheran High School presents a showing of comedy films from middle and high school students, 7 p.m. Friday, April 28, Room 101, Neff Hall, IPFW, Fort Wayne, free, 483-1102
Tapestry: A Day for You — Day of inspiration, renewal and education for women in all stages of life with keynote speaker Ann Curry, 7:30 a.m. Friday, April 28, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, $75, 483-1111
Click header for complete On the Road calendar
Click header for complete Music & Comedy calendar
Blooze Faktor — Blues at Dupont Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., cover, 483-1311
Chris Worth & Company — Variety at Arena Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., no cover, 557-1563
Classic Voice — Variety at The Venice Restaurant, Fort Wayne, 7-10 p.m., no cover, (260) 482-1618
Cougar Hunter — 80s glam rock at The Venue, Angola, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., $5, 665-3922
Expanding Man — Variety at Club Soda, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 426-3442
G-Money Band — Blues at Nick's Martini & Wine Bar, Fort Wayne, 8:30 p.m., no cover, 482-6425
Hubie Ashcraft & Travis Gow — Country at Billy's Downtown Zulu, Monroeville, 7-11 p.m., no cover, 623-3583
The Illegals — Rock at Latch String Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., no cover, 483-5526
IPFW Bands & Choirs w/Fort Wayne Children's Choir — Classical at Auer Performance Hall, Rhinehart Music Center, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 7:30 p.m., $4-$7, 481-6555
Joe Stabelli — Jazz at Don Hall's Gas House, Fort Wayne, 5:45-9 p.m., no cover, 426-3411
John Curran & Renegade — Country at American Legion Post 241, Waynedale, 8:30-11:30 p.m., no cover, 747-7851
Kat Bowser — Variety at Don Hall's Guesthouse, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 489-2524
Rebecca Rego — Americana/country at Two-EE's Winery, Huntington, 7:30-9:30 p.m., no cover, 672-2000
Secret Mezzanine — Variety at Deer Park Irish Pub, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 432-8966
String Theory — Acoustic variety at Friendly Fox, Fort Wayne, 6:30-8:30 p.m., no cover, 260-745-3369
Todd Harrold & Nick Bobay Duo — R&B/blues/variety at O'Sullivan's Italian Irish Pub, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 422-5896
Trichotomous Hippopotamus w/Trackless, John Fishell — Rock at Brass Rail, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., cover, 267-5303
The Why Store — Rock at Mitchell's Sports Bar & Neighborhood Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., $5, (260) 387-5063
Click header for complete Karaoke & DJs calendar
Big Dawg Karaoke w/Brian — Variety at Wrigley Field Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 7-11 p.m., no cover, 485-1038
Bucca Karaoke w/Ashley — Variety at Tower Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 436-6310
Classic City Karaoke w/Bryan Lee — Karaoke at Pine Valley Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 9:30 p.m., no cover, 490-9464
Dance Party w/DJ Rich — Variety at Columbia Street West, Fort Wayne, 10:30 p.m., cover, 422-5055
DJ dance party — at Rum Runners, Fort Wayne, 8:30 p.m., ,
DJ Shawn — Karaoke/variety at Club Paradise, Angola, 10 p.m., no cover, 833-7082
Fort Wayne Karaoke — Variety at Tap Haus, New Haven, 9 p.m., no cover, 493-6622
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/Jay — Variety at Coconutz @ Crazy Pinz, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., no cover, 490-2695
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/Scott — Variety at JR's Pub, Leo, 9 p.m., no cover, 627-2500
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/TJ — at Chevvy's, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., ,
House DJ — Variety at Early Bird's Ultra Lounge, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., cover, 483-1979
House DJ — Variety at Flashback on the Landing, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., cover, 422-5292
Karaoke w/DJ Chuck — Variety at DW Bar & Grill, Churubusco, 10 p.m., no cover, 693-8172
Karaoke with Rooster — Variety at Portside Pizza, Columbia City, 9 p.m., no cover, 691-3333
Karaoke — Variety at Coconutz @ Crazy Pinz, Fort Wayne, 9-11 p.m., no cover, 490-2695
Karaoke — Variety at Hamilton House, Hamilton, 9 p.m., no cover, 488-3344
Karaoke — Variety at Beamer's Sports Grill, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 625-1002
Karaoke — Karaoke at Wrigley Field Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 7-11 p.m., no cover, 485-1038
Karaoke — Variety at Crooner's Karaoke Bar, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m.-3 a.m., no cover, 486-1979
Rockstar Karaoke & DJ w/Scotty — Karaoke at Backway Lounge, Angola, 10 p.m., no cover, 665-5081
Shooting Star Prod. w/Barbie — Variety at Uncle Lou's Steel Mill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 436-5787
Sidecar Gary's Karaoke & DJ — Karaoke at 4 Crowns, Auburn, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., no cover, 925-9805
Sidecar Gary's Karaoke & DJ w/Kevin — Variety at Danny's Italian Grill, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 484-4444
SureShot Karaoke w/David — Variety at The Green Frog Inn, Fort Wayne, 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m., no cover, 426-1088
Three Rivers Karaoke — at Bottle and Bottega, Fort Wayne, 8:30-10:30 p.m., no cover, 494-1020
Click header for complete Stage & Dance calendar
Funny Little Thing Called Love — Romantic comedy by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Home and Jamie Wooten, 7 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. curtain, Friday-Saturday, April 28-29 and May 5-6 and May 12-13, Arena Dinner Theatre, Fort Wayne, $40 (includes dinner & show), 424-5622
The Little Mermaid — Fort Wayne Civic Theatre musical based on the Disney movie, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, April 28-29; 2 p.m. Sunday, April 30; 8 p.m. Friday, May 5; 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. Saturday, May 6; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7, Arts United Center, Fort Wayne, $17-$29, 424-5220
Little Shop of Horrors — IPFW Department of Theatre performance of Alan Menken-Howard Ashman musical comedy, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, April 28-29, Williams Theatre, IPFW, Fort Wayne, $5-$18, 481-6555
Next to Normal — Tony Award- and Pulitzer-winning musical about coping with mental illness, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, April 28-29; 2 p.m. Sunday, April 30; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, May 4-6; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7, Three Rivers Music Theatre, Fort Wayne, $10-$20, 498-2270
The Taming of the Shrew — William Shakespeare’s now somewhat controversial comedy about the battle between the sexes, 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, April 28-29 and Friday-Saturday, May 5-6; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7; 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, May 12-13, First Presbyterian Theater, Fort Wayne, $12-$20, 426-7421 ext. 121
A Wrinkle in Time — all for One productions’ adaptation of Madeline L’Engle’s young adult science fiction novel, 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, April 28-29; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 30; 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, May 5-6; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 7, PPG ArtsLab, Auer Center for Arts & Culture, Fort Wayne, $11-20, 422-4226
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Click header for complete Art calendar
37th National Print Exhibition — Juried exhibition featuring contemporary printmakers from around the nation, Tuesday-Sunday thru May 5, Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, Fort Wayne, 424-7195
41st SOCA Student Exhibition — Works from students currently enrolled at USF’s School of Creative Arts, daily thru April 30, Weatherhead Gallery, USF Rolland Art Center, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Diane Allen Groenert — Exhibition of local artist’s Downtown Series and new works, Monday-Saturday thru June 24, West Central Microcreamery & Cafe, Fort Wayne, 415-9293
Echolilia — Works from Timothy Archibald and his autistic son, Eli, Tuesday-Sunday thru June 11, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $6-$8 (members, free), 422-6467
Expressions of Existence — An exhibition of works by artists through history, including Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Francisco Goya and others whose works have been influenced by disabilities, Tuesday-Sunday thru June 11, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $6-$8 (members, free), 422-6467
Fort Wayne Artist Guild Exhibitions — Works by Alice Siefert at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Jennifer Caudel at Allen County Retinal Surgeons, Anita Trick, Citizens Square (2nd and 3rd floors), Darlene Selzer Miller at The Einhaus Group for Women’s Health, Patricia Weiss at Heritage of Fort Wayne, Emily Jane Butler at Ophthalmology Consultants (Southwest), Linda Binek at Ophthalmology Consultants (North), Carolyn Stachera at Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Wayne, John Kelty at ResCare Inc. Adult Day Service, Wiletta Blevins at Town House Retirement, Karen Bixler at Visiting Nurse Hospice and Barb Yoder and Karen Harvey at Will Jewelers, thru April 30, fortwayneartistguild.org.
Fort Wayne Photographers Club — Exhibition featuring local photographers, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 30, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Fort Wayne, $3-$5 (2 and under, free), 427-6440
Glass: A Medium in Art and Automobiles — Dale Chihuly blown glass and fiberglass auto, daily thru Sept. 8, Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Auburn, $7.50-$12.50, 925-1444
Jan Krist-Finkbeiner — Exhibition of ceramic reliefs, Tuesday-Sunday thru May 5, Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, Fort Wayne, 424-7195
Juxtapoz Magazine: 25 Years Under the Influence — A chronicle of the iconic magazine’s evolution into one of the most influential magazines of art of the counterculture, Tuesday-Sunday thru July 9, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $6-$8 (members, free), 422-6467
Kathy Funderburg & Diane Schafer-King — Acrylic paintings (Funderburg) and works in marbled paper and fabric (Schaefer-King), Monday-Saturday thru April 29, Orchard Gallery of Fine Art, Fort Wayne, 436-0927
Norman Bradley and Friends — Exhibition of works by friends and colleagues of the late Fort Wayne artist, Tuesday-Saturday thru May 20 , Crestwoods Frame Shop & Gallery, Roanoke, 672-2080
Outdoor Sculpture Invitational — Fifteen outdoor sculptures from regional artists, daily thru April 30, School of Creative Arts campus, University of Saint Francis North Campus, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Perspectives Live Butterfly Display — Up close and personal perspectives of the Conservatory’s newest collection of live butterflies, Tuesday-Sunday thru June 25, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Fort Wayne, $3-$5 (2 and under, free), 427-6440
Rhoda Gerig: The Hope of Eagles — Photographic images of eagles, daily thru June 4, Clark Gallery, Honeywell Center, Wabash, 563-1102
Robert Williams: SLANG Aesthetics! — An exhibition of new work by the artist considered the godfather of the lowbrow, pop surrealist and colloquial realism art movements, Tuesday-Sunday thru July 23, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $6-$8 (members, free), 422-6467
Sharon — An exhibition of Leon Borensztein photographs chronicling the struggles he faced raising his severely disabled daughter, Tuesday-Sunday thru June 11, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $6-$8 (members, free), 422-6467
SOCA Graduate Program: Student Highlights — Juried exhibition of works by students enrolled in USF’s School of Creative Arts graduate program, Monday-Friday thru April 30, Lupke Gallery, University of Saint Francis North Campus, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Spring 2017 BFA Exhibition — Exhibition of works by IPFW graduation seniors, daily thru May 3, Jeffrey R. Krull Gallery, Main Library, Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, 481-6709
Spring 2017 BFA Exhibition — Senior thesis projects from Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates Brenda Drayer (sculpture), Derek Hibbs (printmaking), Ellen Mensch (painting), Nathaniel Morris (sculpture) and Kyle Snodgrass (sculpture), daily thru May 7, Visual Arts Gallery, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 481-6709
Spring Palette — New original works by more than 50 nationally recognized artists, Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment thru May 20 (Cinco de Mayo Fiesta featuring mariachi music by Mark Meussling 6-10 p.m. Friday, May 5), Castle Gallery Fine Art, Fort Wayne, 426-6568