Indiana Ballet Conservatory Proudly Presents: The Phantom of the Opera

5/5 - (1 vote)

The Tarkington // Saturday, May 25, 4 p.m. & 7 p.m.

April 2024

Get ready for the triumphant return of “PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” to Indiana! Mark your calendars for May 25 at The Tarkington in charming Carmel. Prepare to be swept away by this electrifying full-length story ballet, a brilliant creation by Alyona Yakovleva, the founder and artistic director of Indiana Ballet Conservatory.

Purchase your tickets at thecenterpresents.org.

Delve beyond the surface of a simple love story as “Phantom” explores the depths of the human heart, delving into tender vulnerabilities, exquisite desires and searing scars that love compels each character to confront.

In this contemporary adaptation of the 1912 novel, Alyona Yakovleva, the founding artistic director of IBC, transcends clichés with original and electrifying choreography. From classical ballet to contemporary and character styles, Yakovleva’s vision brings a fresh perspective to the timeless tale.

In 2009, Yakovleva debuted her interpretation of “The Phantom of the Opera” as a contemporary ballet at the Madam Walker Theatre in Indianapolis. Now, she’s thrilled to showcase it again, featuring three lead roles, all of whom have trained with IBC.

“I decided to do it again this year,” Yakovleva said. “I have such mature, intelligent and talented students, and I thought this would be fantastic for them to experience contemporary and completely different choreography.”

Christine – Morgan Rust

Morgan’s journey with Indiana Ballet Conservatory began at age eight. With a string of impressive achievements, including medals at international ballet competitions and representing IBC at the Youth America Grand Prix World Finals, Morgan’s talent has taken her to renowned schools like American Ballet Theater and The Paris Opera Ballet. Graduating from IBC at just 15, Morgan garnered multiple trainee positions and eventually joined The Washington Ballet on full scholarship. There, she danced in iconic productions alongside esteemed choreographers. In 2021, Morgan became a company artist with The Sarasota Ballet, later joining Boulder Ballet in 2023. At 22, Morgan is not only a seasoned performer but also an accomplished coach, faculty member at pre-professional ballet schools, and a certified personal trainer. We eagerly anticipate Morgan’s return “home” as a guest artist at Indiana Ballet Conservatory, where her dance journey began.

IBC Phantom of the Opera

“‘The Phantom of the Opera’ was the first IBC ballet that I saw. It was my first introduction, so it’s a full circle moment [for me] now,” Morgan shared. “I wouldn’t have the career that I have without IBC and their training. No matter where I go, they say my technique is so strong. I’m excited about being back for ‘Phantom’ because I am not only working on my technique but am able to expand my artistry even more and work with the same teachers who built my technique. I think the most important part [of developing this role] is being able to have a connection with my partner, whether it’s Raoul or Phantom, and being able to feel where the connection is coming from in how we’re touching and the eye contact. It’s building layers upon each other, and we’re able to get deeper, artistically, into our roles too.”

Phantom – Justin Hamilton

Justin’s ballet journey began at age six as a jaguar at The Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago. After early training at Salt Creek Ballet and Joffrey, Justin pursued pre-professional training at Indiana Ballet Conservatory (IBC) from age nine. At 12, he ventured to Canada’s National Ballet School but faced setbacks due to injuries, leading to a hiatus. Determined to reignite his passion, Justin returned to IBC, dedicating himself to rigorous training for the past two years. We’re thrilled to witness Justin’s graduation this spring and celebrate his new role as a trainee at The Joffrey Academy of Dance.

IBC Phantom of the Opera

“I’m coming from a point where Sergey Sergiev, who was IBC’s original Phantom, is my teacher, and so it’s nice to work with him and study how he did it,” Justin said. “I’m kind of looking at what he thought would work and interpret it in my own way because we’re obviously different. I’m finding ways that work best for me, even with emotions, because it’s a pretty intense role to do. I’m not used to doing intense characters. So, this is the first one where I can really go outside of the box and almost create a new character.”

Raoul – Luke Derksen

Luke’s dance journey began at age five in Georgia, leading him to Indiana Ballet Conservatory in 2018. Initially considering leaving dance, Luke rediscovered his passion at IBC, excelling technically and artistically in the past six years. He has tackled diverse roles, including Spanish Chocolate, Russian Nougat, and the Wolf, in performances like “The Nutcracker” and “Cippolino,” as well as partnering roles at community events and collaborations. Luke has achieved notable success at competitions like Youth America Grand Prix, winning multiple awards. As a soon-to-be graduate, Luke is exploring his options, whether as a professional dancer or pursuing dance at Indiana University.

IBC Phantom of the Opera

“I moved from Georgia to Indiana when I was 13, and IBC was the second place I tried out,” Luke shared. “I’ve really liked it, and I’ve been here for the last six years. IBC has helped improve my technique, flexibility, memory and discipline. It has helped me so much. I like the role of Raoul because of how supportive he is of Christine. He’s there to support and encourage her in the way he feels he needs to be in order for her to grow and learn and become who she’s supposed to be.”