The Long View
By Eugene Alvarez, Company Manager
I danced for Ballet Austin for 7 years before returning to the administrative offices as Company Manager, a position I’ve enjoyed for 7 years. It has been so interesting to see the evolution of the company during my history here. I feel very fortunate to have had the experiences as a dancer to use in my current job. I have worked with three of our company’s Artistic Directors and have witnessed many changes over time. It's a bit like changing presidents. There is a palpable shift in mood, style, and culture, from the studios to the administrative offices. This is expected since each artist has their own vision for what they want to achieve and how.
The most eye-opening experience for me, so far anyway, was my realization that as a dancer I knew so very little about what happens on the other side of the curtain. As a dancer I was totally unaware of how much detail and effort the administrative staff puts forth to prepare for each performance. While the methods of preparation are different, I was really surprised to learn that the same intensity was present both behind and in front of that curtain rising on every performance. And all in an effort to engage the audience with the art. I think Artistic Director, Stephen Mills, and Executive Director, Cookie Ruiz, have done a great deal to create a culture at Ballet Austin based on a mutual respect for each person’s place in the organization. I am so proud to be part of such a warm and supportive company.