Local ballet company folds

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A professional ballet company that formed in the wake of Ballet Internationale's collapse has closed its own doors.

Indiana Ballet Co. and its affiliated Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana informed its supporters and students in a letter dated March 31 that the combined organization would fold immediately.

"It is with great regret and deep sorrow that due to the determination that our organization is no longer financially viable, the Board of Directors has elected to close the Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana and the Indiana Ballet Company, effective immediately," Board President Denise Holder said in the letter.

The letter was supplied to IBJ by a ballet company supporter. Holder could not reached for comment. The company directed questions to info@indianaballetcompany.com.

Ballet Internationale was the city's professional ballet company until it folded suddenly in late 2005 after 32 years.

Alyona Yakovleva, who had taught for the Clara R. Noyes Academy of Ballet Internationale, and her husband, Russ Smith, started the new company four years ago. Yakovleva was artistic director, and Smith was executive director. Last year, Smith left the ballet to work with a start-up organization.

Indiana Ballet Co. appears to have struggled to overcome financial liabilities dating to its founding. In her own letter to academy students, Yakovleva said, "the Board and I fully admit the seriousness of the mistakes we made in our founding years." She went on to add that she hopes to see a new organization started under new leadership.

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