The Spring Ballet Austin at the Long Center for the Performing Arts consists of a mix of comedy, contemporary and canonical ballets that range from artistic director Stephen Mills. Midsummer night’s dream (11-13 February), until Her stories (1-3.) With unique works by three choreographers, traditional Swan Lake (May 6-8).
Mills decided to bring Shakespeare’s playful comedy of prenuptial plots to the ballet scene more than 20 years ago because, as he said, “There is so little humor in ballet.”
“I think we’ve all been given a task [A Midsummer Night’s Dream] at high school. The story resonated with my personal sense of humor. Personally, I enjoy working on more grotesque scenes. “
Her stories gives the stage to three sought-after choreographers – Jennifer Hart, Amy Seiwert and Jennifer Archibald – each bringing their current view of classical ballet to the Long Center. Three ballets Her stories They were supposed to close the 2019-2020 Ballet Austin season, but then … well, you know what happened.
“COVID was my twentieth anniversary [as artistic director of] Austin Ballet, “said Mills. “It simply came to our notice then. I thought that if I extracted my own works and classical ballet repertoire as Nutcracker and Swan LakeThe choreography we performed over the last 20 years has been evenly divided between male and female choreographers. ”
This is important because the choreographic world has historically been dominated by men, especially classical ballet.
Jennifer Hart is no stranger to Ballet Austin or Austin in general. She is an employee of Ballet Austin Academy, has previously choreographed at Ballet Austin, and is the artistic director and co-founder of her own local company, Performa / Dance. Mills asked her to create a new ballet Her stories because: “She is so talented and considerate of the work she does. I thought it was time for her to do a new job for the company. ” Dream songsHart’s article is about “conscious and dream-thinking and the way these two things intersect.” Done in point with the music of the Italian composer, arranger and instrumentalist Lucy D’Albert Mills, he calls the work “really fresh and beautiful”.
He also danced in point, Traveling alone emphasizes a series of solos, duos and trios dominated by sweeping arm movements – seemingly large enough to hit the world – while slit costumes attract the eye vertically.
Jennifer Archibald will finally premiere a hitherto unnamed new work in her distinctive style, a mix of ballet and hip hop: “It’s a different voice,” Mills said. Archibald is the artistic director and founder of the Arch Dance Company and the first resident choreographer in the 40-year history of the Cincinnati Ballet. Although Mills saw her work, he asked her to create a choreography for Ballet Austin because he had never met her in person.
The spring season ends with Mother’s Day weekend Swan Lake, the first ballet Mills had ever seen as a student. It is an extensive classic full of feather tutu, royal intrigues and dramatic scores, and requires, in addition to the main ensemble, the ballet dancers Austin II and the Butler Fellowship Program to revive it – a total of 45 dancers. It is one of the most famous ballets in the canon with “the most beautiful music ever written,” said Mills of Tchaikovsky’s score. With live accompaniment by the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Swan Lake is the one to scratch that purely classic itch. Mills said, “It’s a famous, famous classic.”
CLAIRE CHRISTINE SPERA