Young Stars of Ballet


Young Stars of Ballet

A ballet dancer is a unique combination of athlete and artist - it is a profession that requires a commitment to training as a pre-teenager. In this performance documentary, some of the world's premiere pre-professionals take the stage - not in competition, but in a professional performance with some of the stars of the ballet world in a special presentation by the Indianapolis City Ballet.

AIRED: March 21, 2013 | 0:57:26

>> Narrator: Ballet.

Equal parts athletics and art.

When done well,

both are combined in a beautiful

experience for the audience,

who find themselves transported,

if only for a few moments,

It is an art form

that demands sacrifice,

and great discipline.

From the ballet class that

starts a dancer's every day,

to a regimen of rehearsals where

each movement and gesture

The professional dancer's

training must begin in

childhood, by age 12,

or earlier in most cases.

Many must leave home to study

across the country,

or abroad,

and join a ballet company

before the age of 18.

It all leads to the stage,

where everything a dancer has

learned and invested comes to

life, and is shown to the world.

Tonight, we'll show you some of

the most talented young dancers

from all over the world.

They were brought together for

one wonderful performance here,

on the cusp of amazing careers,

a celebration of the future they

Indianapolis City Ballet

proudly presents

>> Narrator: This program is

made possible through a generous

grant from Ambassador Randall

>> Menendez: These

young dancers come from all

over, the most promising young

They're very focused, young

>> Franco De Vita: Hop, Hop.

[commands in French] Watch your

>> Narrator: Like it or not,

at the core of a dancers life

every day begins with class,

up to 2 hours long,

that warms the body

for the day ahead.

It's where strength, alignment,

and technique is tested and

committed to muscle memory.

Not to mention countless hours

>> De Vita: Because I saw in

class today a lot of talent.

I think it will make a great

>> Narrator: Indianapolis City

Ballet has carved out a unique

niche in the dance world with

this event, giving these young

students their first paying job

and putting them on stage with

professionals from some of the

>> Narrator: The "Young Stars of

Ballet" performance features

dancers from some of the world's

top competitions, medal winners

in Japan, Switzerland, Finland,

Russia, the U.S., and elsewhere.

Though they live great distances

>> Patrick Frenette: Because the

ballet world is so small,

there's never a "I'm never going

to see you again."

'Cause you just meet up,

"Oh hey,

I just saw you two years ago.

Hey, what're you doing?"

You know?

>> Aaron Smyth: I've made so

many great friends,

and connections, and contacts

>> Veronika Verterich: Just an

atmosphere that,

You just want to be here, you

meet a lot of new friends.

And principle dancers that I

don't think a lot of students

have the opportunity to meet

>> Marcelo Gomes: I think that

the most important thing is just

to get out there and be

confident about what you've put

in the rehearsal process right

in the studio.

Because that's really where

And I really feel that's

sometimes lost with a lot of

young dancers.

It's all about the performance

and not about the journey that

>> Kevin Hesse: We are

accustomed to working with the

top dancers

Working with the younger

group, some of them are as young

as 11, but the average

is late teens.

All of a sudden I'm dealing with

parents and teachers,

A different dynamic

>> Young girl: Ow, I just poked

>> Hesse: But when they step

into the theater they are ... I

can't think of a better word for

>> Narrator:

Hannah Bettes is a 15-year-old

dancer from Florida who has in

the last year caught the

attention of major schools

and companies.

>> Narrator: Dancers learn the

classical ballet vocabulary and

prepare for the major classical

standards, but today they must

also seamlessly slip into

contemporary works that all

major companies now include in

>> Narrator: Demitra Bereveskos

is a twelve-year-old student

from Indianapolis who was

discovered at an Indianapolis

City Ballet master class

by Valentina Kozvola.

She now commutes with her mother

from Indianapolis

to New York City to study.

And in 2012, medalled at the

Boston International

>> Suzann De Lay: Hannah started

with me when she was three years

old, and she's now 15.

And we are very honored and

pleased that she's going

She's a beautiful

and talented young lady

>> Narrator: In spite

of their age,

these young dancers hold

themselves to extraordinarily

high standards.

Though to the untrained eye,

Hannah's performance

looked wonderful.

To her, it wasn't her best.

And like many of these dancers,

>> Woman at podium: In

recognition of outstanding


to the ballet world,

the Indianapolis City Ballet ..

>> Narrator: The "Young Stars of

Ballet" event recognized not

only the young emerging talent

in the ballet world,

but also their many teachers,

most notably

the legendary David Howard,

>> David Howard: Well, I would

like to thank all the dancers

for performing here.

I salute them

>> Narrator: A native

of Australia's Gold Coast,

Aaron Smyth recently

accepted a contract with

The Royal Ballet,

and is currently dancing

with the company and

performing as a guest artist

>> Smyth: I started dancing when

I was eight.

I started Jazz, Tap ... then my

teacher said, "Okay, Aaron, if

you want to get more strength,

you should start ballet."

So I started that

when I was about 12.

And I never looked back,

I loved it.

I'm performing a piece called

"Feeling Good" by Nina Simone.

It's a real contemporary,

jazzy sort of routine.

I really love dancing

to the music.

It's really moving, and yeah,

I just love it.

>> Simone: [sings]

I feel Sun in the sky,

you know how

I feel Breeze driftin' on by,

you know how I feel

It's a new dawn

It's a new day

It's a new life for me

Fish in the sea,

River running free,

you know how I feel.

Blossom on the tree,

You know how I feel.

It's a new dawn

It's a new day

It's a new life

Dragonfly out in the sun,

you know what I mean,

don't you know?

Butterflies all havin' fun,

you know what I mean

Sleep in peace when day is done

That's what I mean

And this old world

is a new world

Stars when you shine,

you know how I feel

Scent of the pine,

you know how I feel.

Oh freedom is mine

And I know how I feel

It's a new dawn

It's a new day

[Simone scatting]

And I'm feeling good

[foreign language folk song

>> Narrator: Contrary to the

norm, Danill Simkin didn't

learn ballet in a school.

His parents, both ballet

dancers themselves,

>> Danill Simkin: I went onstage

when I was six.

And due to my childhood, I was

always behind the stage, and

sometimes I went on the stage

being the cute kid

next to my father.

As a kid, you might expect that

it was not quite enjoyable to do

every day by yourself

with your mother.


>> Narrator: Now a soloist with

the American Ballet Theater, and

due to his amazing jumps and

fun-filled routines, Simkin is

quickly becoming one of the most

recognizable ballet dancers

>> Narrator: Often compared

to Danill Simkin is the

12-year-old dancer Aran Bell,

who is already being courted

with scholarships by many of the

>> Simkin: It's was actually

the dressing rooms, everybody

was coming to me when you were

everybody would told me "Your

>> Narrator: And so, like any

good older brother,

Simkin offered

the young dancer a few tips.

>> Simkin: Try to really go from

front and finish here.

I know it's easier to ... But

>> Narrator: In any

athletic endeavor,

footwear is critical.

Ballet is no different

with its iconic Pointe shoe.

It truly becomes an extension of

the dancer's leg and line.

And they're not cheap; some

dancers go through a pair in a

day or two at a cost that

averages $70 per pair.

Each dancer must adapt and

personalize the shoe by

softening the shank,

sewing on the ribbons

>> Verterich: Once you cut a

And then you burn it

So now it's going

>> Narrator: No matter how much

a dancer has rehearsed, the

preparation continues until that

>> Jackson: [sings] I took my

baby on a Saturday bang

Boy is that girl with you?

Yes we're one and the same

Now I believe in miracles

And a miracle

But, if you're thinkin' about my

baby It don't matter if you're

They print my message

In the Saturday Sun

I had to tell them

I ain't second to none

And I told about equality

And it's true

Either you're wrong

But, if you're thinkin' about my

baby It don't matter if you're

I am tired of this devil

I am tired of this stuff

I am tired of this business

So when the going gets rough

I ain't scared of your brother

I ain't scared of no sheets

I ain't scare of nobody

>> I.T.B.: [raps] Protection For

gangs, clubs And nations Causing

grief in Human relations It's a

turf war On a global scale I'd

rather hear both sides Of the

tale See, it's not about races

Just places Faces Where your

blood Comes from Is where your

space is I've seen the bright

Get duller I'm not going to

>> Jackson: Don't tell me you

agree with me. When I saw you

But, if you're thinkin' about my

baby It don't matter if You're

I said if you're thinkin' of

being my baby It don't matter if

I said if you're thinkin' of

being my brother.

It don't matter

Ooh, ooh Yea, yea, yea now

It's black, it's white

It's tough for you to get by

It's black , it's white, whoo!

It's black, it's white It's

It's tough for you to get by

>> Narrator: The final selection

of the evening

is Le Grand Defile.

A piece choreographed just for

this performance by the renowned

Carlos Dos Santos, Jr. His aim

is to gather the most promising

young ballet dancers from in and

around the host city of

Indianapolis, and present them

[triumphant classical music

>> I can't imagine getting 109

children to dance together

but they do.

It took 6 months of

rehearsals and put on a

real performance.

>>Menendez: And all these

dancers, the maturity that

comes, that doesn't necessarily

These kids are very


in their attitude and in the way

they approach the rehearsals,

that there was

a lot of continuity.

They applied very quickly and

so it was a pleasure

to work with them.

and I think that they enjoyed

the process also because they

got to meet new friends from

different schools and so this

was a different experience

>> Dos Santos, Jr.: I

congratulate all these schools

their students to participate in

this ballet.

It's a wonderful step to the

community together, you know-to

bring together our community of

>> Jane Hachiya-Weiner: The

dance world in general is a

small world, you know,

And we all should feel as a

family as a dancers.

We all have something in common

as dancers.

We have shared experiences.

And to be able to have these

kids dancing together as an

ensemble is probably going to

impact them for the rest of

>> Jane Fortune: It just makes

me so happy to see so many of

participating in this and to be

able to come together from

different schools, and make

friendships that they would not

Which I think is incredibly

>> Simkin: It's such a great

life experience, in my opinion,

>> Simone: [sings] Fish in the

sea, you know how I feel.

>> Verterich: there's just an

atmosphere that I think is

>> Simone: [sings] Blossom on

the tree, you know how I feel.

It's a new dawn, It's a new day,

It's a new life for me ...

>> Smyth: Thanks to the

Indianapolis City Ballet, they

put on this fantastic event.

It's really, really,


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