I was not surprised in the slightest to see a line forming almost 30 minutes before seating started for the Sunday matinee performance of “Beyond Ballet” in front of Theatre on the Square on Mass Ave. Three of the festival’s dance shows (including this one) have been named to the IndyStar’s IndyFringe 2016 must-see list, and dance shows usually draw a large crowd. In fact, the festival is an excellent place to experience dance in a new way, and I strongly encourage you to check out at least one of the shows that are running through this Sunday.

“Beyond Ballet” is an eclectic and original program from the Indianapolis School of Ballet. (I learned during the performance that the school is celebrating ten years this year!) The show represents the versatility of the organization beyond just classical ballet. While the program includes works in classical ballet, it also features works of contemporary ballet, modern dance, and tap. The choreography is by ISB Artistic Director Victoria Lyras, Roberta Wong, Andrea Bruce, William Patrick Dunne and Paul Vitali.

The program includes works with a full cast of dancers, as well as works that showcase individual dancers and small groups. The costumes are simple and elegant, which is exactly what you would expect from a ballet performance. I particularly liked the black lace costumes used during the tango number, which was learned by the dancers specifically for the IndyFringe festival! The footwork throughout the entire program is excellent, and I enjoyed seeing dancers of various ages performing together on stage.

The festival offers a unique, up close view of the performance that highlights the subtle strength and grace behind each of the dances. What I liked best about this show, beyond the beautiful dancing, was witnessing how hard the dancers work during each number. They are passionate and driven, and it shows in every movement.

You can learn more about “Beyond Ballet” and buy tickets online here.