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True Story Inspires Magic
By Bill Piner, Director of Schools

Ballet Austin Academy students Camille and Armand Perry have a very full schedule this fall. Besides their usual schedule of classes, they’re rehearsing for The Nutcracker and participating in the Butler Community School’s, Magic in Manhattan. They also commute from Temple…and if that isn’t enough, dad, Thom, is stationed in Iraq and mom, Minouche, is a full-time school teacher. They take it all in stride, as most military families do, and manage by staying organized. “When dad isn’t here, you have to be prepared all the time to make sure everything gets done,” says twelve-year-old, Armand.

Thom is nearing the end of a 15-month deployment. This will be the second holiday he will miss with his family.  It was during a brief visit this summer that workshop directors, Danny Herman and Rocker Verastique got the inspiration for this year’s story. “He was here for one week while the kids were taking classes in the Summer Intensive. He would watch them dance through the window all day. They would run out between classes and all hug until time to come back in. We thought, what a great family!”

Just like the Perrys, Magic in Manhattan is the story of a family who is separated for the holidays. In Magic, the father makes a surprise visit home for Christmas. This is where the story differs from the Perry’s, but we hope to broadcast a live feed to Staff Sergeant Perry in Iraq. When asked how it feels to have the plotline of a performance inspired by her family, nine-year-old Camille smiled shyly. “It’s unique…an honor”, was her simple reply.

For more information on Magic in Manhattan, call 512.476.9051.
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