As a precursor to this weekend’s Ballet Austin II performance of Red Roses, I was asked to give insight on the production and preparation process. As a dancer in this production, I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to dance in a ballet that is so highly praised by audiences and to be in a piece that has had such an impact to the history of Ballet Austin.
Red Roses is one of Ballet Austin’s most beloved and highly acclaimed pieces of choreography in their repertoire. Being the very first ballet set on the company by Artistic Director Stephen Mills, this ballet also has a strong and prevailing history with the company.
Red Roses features the music of the internationally renowned French star, Edith Piaf. Her timeless music is prized for its transcendent qualities and ability to inspire heart-wrenching, powerful emotions despite being written in her native French. Both Mills’ choreography and Piaf’s voice work in tandem to create a strong relationship between the dancers. Through the dancing and the music, the audience is surrounded by an endearing love that is alive and everlasting.
The ballet also touches other emotions and stages of relationships, however, by pairing blissful couples with the quarreling. Stephen Mills explained to us that by doing this, the ballet is exploring the yin and yang quality to love.
I am very excited to be dancing as the fighting couple alongside my good friend, Sarah Hicks. Though our offstage relationship is far from violent, it has been especially enjoyable flipping, twisting, kicking and pushing each other in rehearsals for the past few weeks! It is also incredibly helpful that our rehearsal director, Allisyn Paino, previously danced in this role. With her experience in this part, she’s given numerous suggestions to help make the partnering happen more smoothly and to refine the theatricality of the fight scene. She has also been especially focused on making sure the violent looking choreography is actually safe for Sarah and myself.
Outside of this particular scene, I find myself also wrapped up in the powerful music and choreography that flows throughout Red Roses. The charisma of each individual couple charms audiences as many facets of love and romance are presented to them. Lovers and dreamers of all ages will be able to relate to the characters in this ballet. Whether you are deeply in love, searching for true love or even at odds with a significant other, I know that Red Roses will leave an excellent, everlasting impression.
The AustinVentures StudioTheater
8 PM | April 9
3 PM | April 10
For more information and tickets to the show, please visit the Ballet Austin website.
— Kody Jauron