At the Ballet

Season Opener

Carmina Burana & Kai

Inspired by the forbidden desires of 13th century monks, Carmina Burana is a tale revealed through their found poetry of lust and passion. With iconic music performed live by more than 100 singers from the Grammy®-nominated choir Conspirare and The Austin Symphony, Stephen Mills' interpretation is a textured experience set to the haunting rhythms of artistic repression and the spirit of liberation that comes from breaking free.

Set to the exotic and experimental music of John Cage, Kai (meaning water) is a sensual celebration and a mysterious journey.

Carmina Burana
Choreography by Stephen Mills
Music by Carl Orff
Musical Accompaniment by Conspirare and The Austin Symphony Orchestra

Kai
Choreography by Stephen Mills
Music by John Cage

Learn more at Studio Spotlight and Footlights!

Get TicketsThe Long Center
8pm | Sep 24, 25 (SOLD OUT)
3pm | Sep 26

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Sponsored by:
   
  Gloria & Harvey Evans Terry & Nikki Bryant Irion
Pamela & Scott Reichardt Anne & Cord Shiflet

Interactives

Carmina Burana Interactive
Inspired by the forbidden desires of 13th century monks, Carmina Burana is a tale revealed through their found poetry of lust and passion. Stephen Mills' interpretation is a textured experience set to the haunting rhythms of artistic repression and the spirit of liberation that comes from breaking free.
Launch interactive micro-site.

Kai Interactive
Kai is a visually stunning contemporary work choreographed in 2007 by Ballet Austin's Artistic Director Stephen Mills. It evokes a sensual celebration and a mysterious journey inspired by the blue undulating waters of the South Pacific and rhythmically exotic music by John Cage.
Launch interactive micro-site.


Images

 

Video

 

History

Carmina Burana

In 1803, a collection of 200 poems compiled during the 13th century was discovered in an old monastery near Munich, Germany. In 1935, Carl Orff learned about these poems and chose 25 to compose into a secular cantata titled Carmina Burana. The haunting rhythms and sounds of Carmina Burana’s texts and music were the driving forces behind Artistic Director Stephen Mills' choreography.

In Carmina Burana, Mr. Mills contemplates what life would have been like for the 13th century monks who wrote the taboo texts of Carmina. In the middle ages, monks caught creating these poems full of liquor, love, and lust would have been imprisoned. While not a literal interpretation of the texts, the movements and energy of this ballet are drawn from themes inherent in the poetry. While behind bars, the monks’ poetry might have come to life in their dreams and imaginations. In their fantasies, they would experience all of the things that they had expressed in their poetry but been denied during their monastic lives. Mr. Mills' signature contemporary style of choreography provides a clear and powerful reflection of the passionate men who first penned these words.

Balelt Austin’s Carmina Burana, with choreography by Stephen Mills, musical accompaniment by the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and vocal accompaniment by Grammy®-nominated Conspirare, premiered on September 30, 2005 at the Bass Concert Hall in Austin, Texas.


Kai

Kai, with choreography by Stephen Mills and music by John Cage, premiered on May 10, 2007 at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas.

Inspired by images of the undulating waters of the South Pacific and accompanied by Cage’s rhythmically exotic music, this work follows a mysterious couple and a tribe of people during a celebration.

Cage was well-known for collaborating with Merce Cunningham and for his compositions for the “prepared piano” – a piano with apparatuses attached to the strings to create percussive sounds instead of notes when the hammers strike.

   
 
 
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