Ballet dancers Robert Moore and his wife, Pollyana Ribeiro, don’t like to take the spotlight away from their dance students. But they wanted to share this “rare occasion” with our Times readers.
The professional dancers and co-owners of En Pointe Indiana Ballet in Noblesville will come out of retirement next weekend, marking the first time that they will take the stage together in 13 years.
It also marks the first time in all of those years that Pollyana has performed live.
“It’s been a long time, 13 years since Pollyana and I have graced the stage,” said Moore, 40, Noblesville, who with his wife opened the Noblesville ballet school two years ago. “She is extremely happy with the way the school is going. She is very inspired by the children and all the dancers and all the work they’ve done. I’ve been trying to convince her, since we opened the school, to dance with me.”
They will perform a dance during their school’s “En Pointe Christmas” show at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 8. Tickets are still available at https://enpointeindiana.com.
Moore found the perfect dance piece for the couple.
“Because of our height differences, I always got paired with taller girls,” said Moore, who is much taller than his wife. They performed together a few times during their careers, but “having the opportunity to dance with my wife is rare.”
He chuckled about finally getting her to say “yes.” “She’s made me rehearse five days a week to make sure that she’s ready,” Moore said.
Moore, a York, Pa., native, who at age 3 moved to Noblesville with his family for his dad’s job with AT&T, moved back to Noblesville with his wife a year ago. He has fond memories of Noblesville, where he as a youth acted in The Belfry Theatre’s “Bye Bye Birdie” musical, and first fell in love with ballet, studying under White River Ballet Co.’s Shannon Jenkins, who became best friends with Moore’s mother.
“She found out that I was kind of interested in gymnastics and dabbling in a little bit of ballet. She got wind of that and scooped me up and took me under her wing,” Robert Moore told me during a previous interview. When Jenkins could teach him no more, she pushed him to get advanced training.
With Jenkins’ encouragement, Moore left home at age 14 to audition and study ballet in a pre-professional program at Harid Ballet Conservatory in Boca Raton, Fla., to study ballet. He started his dance career at age 18 with Boston Ballet where he met his wife, who was a soloist, and he had just gotten accepted as part of the corps de ballet. Her sister, when she came to visit, pointed out Moore in the ballet company. Shortly after they began dating, she was promoted to principal, they got engaged, and were married in 2002 in Brazil. They danced with Boston Ballet for 14 years, moved onto Pittsburgh Ballet for eight years and finished their careers in San Francisco. Pollyana was a full-time teacher for the San Francisco Ballet School, and Robert retired from his stage career with the Smuin Ballet.
The couple’s upcoming performance started out as a secret. But once Pollyana started rehearsing and felt comfortable, “and really enjoying it and loving it,” they made the reveal to their students.
“Now we’re ready to let everyone know, ‘Yes,’ we’re going to dance together,” Robert Moore said. “We’ve learned all of the steps, and she (Pollyana) is inspired and ready to go.”
Their five-minute performance to “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” will only be a small part of En Pointe’s Christmas show, which will feature 24 dance numbers, including many favorite classic Christmas songs, in two acts.
En Pointe has 72 dancers performing in this show. They began rehearsing in September, and in addition to regular classes, students spend about 15-20 hours per week on rehearsals. This performance includes dancers at all levels and features the school’s pre-professional and upper-level students who train six days a week.
Over the past year, the school has brought in several professional dancers, choreographers and world-famous artists to help students refine their ballet technique.
“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,” said Anne Moore, who with husband, Chris Moore, co-own the ballet school with Chris’ brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Pollyana.
She said there’s no wonder that Pollyana said “yes” to performing for this 2018 Noblesville holiday show. The Christmas ballet is “inspiring,” a “happy show,” she said. “This format is the main reason our Christmas performance is rapidly becoming a Noblesville tradition.”
En Pointe dancers are performing “Twelve Days of Christmas” and are actually dancing through the 12 days of Christmas in a nine-minute finale, set by the Boston Pops.
“That includes every single person in the cast,” Robert Moore said. So they have Nine Ladies Dancing, 10 Lords a Leaping, Seven Swans a Swimming…. “Just scheduling all of that and putting it all together has been a little bit of a challenge with a cast this size,” Robert Moore said.
His sister-in-law chimed in, “It’s something spectacular to see. The audience is going to be mesmerized and wowed.”
The show includes classical ballet, jazz, tap, swing and more. Each year, the school creates new pieces and keeps some of the crowd favorites.
Some of their dances are inspired by professional ballets that Pollyana and Robert have performed over the years, especially from Smuin Ballet in San Franciso. In particular, this show’s inspiration comes from Smuin Ballet’s “Christmas Ballet,” Anne Moore said. “And we can’t wait to share our own interpretation.”