Photo provided by Beth Pack for En Pointe Indiana Ballet
Noblesville dancer Clark Rulon portrays Gamash, who wants to marry Kitri, played by Amelia Courtney, in their principal roles in En Pointe Indiana Ballet’s “Don Quixote” at 2 p.m. Saturday at Noblesville High School. Two other principal dancers, including Jillian Schene of Carmel and Josiah Kauffman of Montana, will perform at 7 p.m. Friday.
Photo provided by Beth Pack for En Pointe Indiana Ballet Noblesville dancer Clark Rulon portrays Gamash, who wants to marry Kitri, played by Amelia Courtney, in their principal roles in En Pointe Indiana Ballet’s “Don Quixote” at 2 p.m. Saturday at Noblesville High School. Two other principal dancers, including Jillian Schene of Carmel and Josiah Kauffman of Montana, will perform at 7 p.m. Friday.
Noblesville’s Robert Moore said his ballet school’s costumes “are as high of quality as the bigger schools like Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre,” where he made a name for himself in the ballet world as a professional dancer.
Back home, teaching dance for the past three years at his own studio, En Pointe Indiana Ballet, the now 41-year-old -- a York, Pa., native who at age 3 moved to Noblesville with his family for his dad’s job and who grew up here studying ballet but at age 14 left home and moved to Florida to train as a dancer -- is very pleased with the costumes for the school’s next production.
“Don Quixote,” a romantic comedy ballet will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at Noblesville High School. Based on the book by Cervantes, this classic ballet follows Don Quixote, featuring Robert Moore, and his squire, Sancho Panza, performed by Jonathan Guise, as they travel to save his imaginary lady, the lovely Dulcinea. The colorful duo follows a journey that leads them to meet young lovers, Kitri and Basilio. Along the way, they meet villagers, toreadors, gypsies, cupids, dryads and a treacherous windmill.
Moore retired from the stage and moved back to Noblesville three years ago with his wife, Brazilian Pollyana Ribeiro, a former principal dancer of Boston Ballet. They have worked with some of the best in the industry and have the training and contacts to take their students, who want to pursue a career, all the way.
Our students are extremely dedicated, which is why all of our performances are designed to give the dancers a full professional company experience rather than a dance school recital,” Robert Moore said.
And the costumes are very important pieces of the experience.
With a sneak peek at some of the show’s elaborate costumes, I couldn’t help but want to share just how these costumes come about for the show.
There are more than 700 yards of lace that went into the “Don Quixote” costumes.
And each dress required 10 yards of fabric.
Ballet dancer Clark Rulon’s mom, Tamara Rulon, and Peggy Brackett, both of Noblesville, volunteered to take the lead, making the costumes, with other volunteer help.
Tamara Rulon, who is formally trained as a seamstress for making tutus, made 13 bodices and 13 tutus. She started in April.
Five volunteers put on nine appliques per tutu, or 117 appliques, which each took 20 minutes per applique to apply.
One bodice took Tamara Rulon eight hours to make, start to finish.
That might seem like a good day’s work.
But then Anne Moore of Noblesville -- whose son, Joey, 12, is a ballet dancer in the show and who portrays a village boy and gypsy -- spent 12 hours cutting out material for eight of the 13 bodices.
Anne Moore’s mother, Peggy Brackett, who is “very crafty” and known in the family for making Halloween costumes, started in April, She made a skirt pattern and constructed 20 skirts in different colors -- blue, yellow, purple, green, red and pink. She also upcycled Goodwill finds for the ballet’s village children, all 22 of them.
“My mom calls herself a Halloween hack, but wait until you see what she has done,” her daughter said.
Heather Geon of Carmel made all of the village children’s peasant vests, plus a gypsy tent.
Miriam Posluszny of Carmel organized all of the headpieces for the show.
Ballet student Sage Grimpe’s mom, Gretchen Grimpe of Fishers, helped alter and sew pieces together to make it easier for the dancers to dance without costume issues. Gretchen’s mother, Linda Frownfelter, who lives next door and who makes wedding dresses, made all of the toreador (bullfighter) suits for the show. (By the way, Sage Grimpe dances Cupid on Saturday)
Then there is painting of the shoes.
And add in set designers Matthew Reed of Fishers and his dad, David Reed, who made Don Quixote’s horse and built the ballet’s entire set. Matt’s daughters, Hannah, a street dancer and dryad, and Hailey, a fisherman, are both ballet students in the show.
Pollyanna Ribeiro said the school has been working hard since its opening, going from zero students to more than 150 dancers,
“After patiently waiting to present a full-length story ballet, we believe the time is right to present ‘Don Quixote’ to you with 102 talented students participating in this production,” Ribeiro said.
Parents are not required to help. But Tamara Rulon, whose son has been a ballet student since the school opened, is happy to volunteer. (Her son, Clark Rulon, portrays Gamash, who wants to marry Kitri, played by Amelia Courtney of Fort Wayne in their principal roles at 2 p.m. Saturday. Two other principal dancers, including Jillian Schene of Carmel and Josiah Kauffman of Montana, will perform at 7 p.m. Friday.)
Many of the dancers’ families just wanted to help out with this ambitious project.
“Parents just show up and ask what they can do,” said Anne Moore. “It’s inspiring.”
She has an extreme amount of gratitude for the team of volunteers. “It truly is amazing to see the love and support everyone at En Pointe has for the dancers. We want to be the best we can possibly be,” she said.
Moore and husband, Chris Moore, co-own En Pointe with Chris’ brother and wife, Robert Moore and Pollyana Ribeiro, who was a full-time faculty member at San Francisco Ballet School when the pair decided to move here and open a ballet school. The two couples are businesses partners who own and operate the studio, which is tucked away in the industrial park on Stony Creek Way in Noblesville. Anne and Chris Moore manage the business.
Robert Moore said, “In 2016, we opened our doors with the philosophy that if you want to be here, we want you here. We meet dancers where they are at in the learning process and will do all we can to help them achieve their goals.”
Dancers in the productions pay a performance fee, ranging from $75 to $200, youngest to oldest dancer, to participate and rehearse outside of regular class times, five hours every Saturday, and sometimes before or after class, since February. The ballet includes dancers at all levels and heavily features pre-professional and upper-level students that train up to six days a week, Anne Moore said.
The school is always seeking scholarship sponsors, for youth students who can’t afford the performance fee, which doesn’t cover the cost of the entire show.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.