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The Long View
By Bill Piner, Director of Schools

When I was 17 years old I was cast as Simon of Legree in The King and I. The musical was produced by my high school in Muncie, IN…and it was choreographed by the cheerleading coach! When Danny Herman was 17, he was cast as Mike in A Chorus Line. The musical in which he performed was produced on Broadway and was choreographed by Broadway legend, Michael Bennett. My inauspicious beginning and his more noteworthy one ultimately led us both to Ballet Austin and this spring’s production of Broadway in May. I highlight our very different beginnings to focus on the fact that co-directors Danny, Rocker Verastique and Steve Ochoa all have amazing musical theatre backgrounds with multiple Broadway credits. That is why their professional collaborations with Michael Bennett, Bob Fosse and Jerome Robbins will be on display this May… and why I will be in the audience!

The very fact that Danny worked so closely with Bennett, Rocker with Fosse and Steve with Jerome Robbins is amazing. What is more amazing is that the students in the Butler Community School’s Musical Theatre Workshop and Ballet Austin Academy’s Professional Division get to learn from their experiences by dancing some original choreography from these master choreographers. Best of all, we all have the opportunity to see these dances brought to life again in the AustinVentures StudioTheater next month. I hope all three performances are sold out and enjoyed by as many people as possible!

For more information on Broadway in May, click here.
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