Returning Ballet Austin II dancer, Sarah Hicks, performing in Quiet Imprint. Photo by Tony Spielberg.
Five new dancers are leaping into Ballet Austin II this fall! Sara Hays, Kody Jauron, Nicole Voris, Mandy Wenk and Benjamin Wetzel will all be a part of the apprenticeship program for the 2011/12 Season. They will be joining the ranks of Ballet Austin II veteran members Sarah Britton (Hicks), Whitley Saffron and Daniella Zlatarev who are all returning for their second season. To learn more about the second company, read their bios here.
These dancers have a lot to look forward to this season, and so does their audience. They will first be taking their talents on tour as they travel to Orange County, California to debut Quiet Imprint, a work by New America Talent/Dance winner (2006) Thang Dao. This production is critically acclaimed, earning nominations for Best Ensemble and Best Choreographer from the Austin Critic’s Table. The performances of Quiet Imprint will be held at the Rose Center Theater in Westminster, California on October 8-9. The dancers will then be back in Austin to perform Peter and the Wolf. This whimsical spin on the classic Russian fairytale, which includes participation from the children in the audience, takes place October 29-30, and November 5-6 at Ballet Austin’s Austin-Ventures Studio Theater.
Ballet Austin II dancers are hard at work already preparing for both of these productions. And, if it is any indication of what is to come, this season is sure to be a great one for all of the new apprentices!
Due in great part to the overwhelming response to Ballet Austin II’s world premiere of Thang Dao’s Quiet Imprint last spring, we’ve brought the production back this fall with four shows, October 15-17, 2010.
Quiet Imprint explores the narrative of Vietnamese men and women displaced by the Vietnam War. In particular, New York-based choreographer and New American Talent / Dance winner Thang Dao looked to members of the Central Texas Vietnamese community, listening to their stories and drawing on their experiences as inspiration for the work.
For Quiet Imprint, Dao chose the music of Trinh Cong Son, an iconic figure in Vietnamese music, particularly to the generation that suffered through the war. His muse, Khanh Ly, sang all of the beautiful original recordings of his songs in Vietnam. But insisting on more than just the recordings for his piece, Dao contacted Ly to see if she might be interested in performing the music for the ballet live. Thankfully, she obliged.
I can say from experiencing the show last spring, that Dao’s movement set to her vocals is a stunning combination, and Ly will be returning to accompany the upcoming performances.
Watch the video above to see excerpts from the world premiere of Quiet Imprint, and watch the video below to see an interview with choreographer Thang Dao about creating the piece, as well as studio rehearsal footage.
And join us in the AustinVentures StudioTheater for Quiet Imprint, October 15-17!