Ballet Austin Takes Center Stage at Kennedy Center
By Christi Cuellar, Develpment Director
I had the pleasure of making the trip to Washington, D.C. with a group of our Ballet Austin Premiere Partners to see our Company perform with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this past weekend. What a fantastic experience! The beginnings of fall weather provided a great setting for an exciting trip. For someone relatively new to the Ballet Austin family, I was not exactly sure what to expect when the curtain came up on Episodes, the Balanchine piece in which the Ballet Austin dancers were cast with company members of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet. Four movements of music by Anton Wébern plus one by J.S. Bach (arranged by Wébern) put the dancers in odd-meter, angularly-focused movement that seems to rely heavily on muscle memory. The challenging piece was both beautifully executed and fun to watch, with Ballet Austin dancers integrated throughout. The first movement presented our own Ashley Lynn and Paul Michael Bloodgood in the principal roles, and we were excited to see a beautiful color photograph of them on the front page of the Washington Post “Style” section on Friday morning with Chris Swaim! (Click here to read article) Not only did the 14 Ballet Austin dancers do a fantastic job of seamlessly integrating their performances with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet throughout the remaining four movements, they looked very at-home on the stage of the newly renovated Eisenhower Theater.
The members of our artistic and administrative teams in attendance, along with the supportive donors who made the trip were treated to a post-performance reception at the historic D.C. offices of Lt. Governor Ben Barnes in honor of our dancers. Melanie (Ballet Austin Board member) and Ben graciously provided this wonderful opportunity to toast our dancers following the Saturday night performance in this beautiful site that was once a home to President Theodore Roosevelt. In visiting with several of the dancers that evening, they told me how much they enjoyed the experience of working with Ms. Farrell and her Company and that they were excited to welcome these new friends in Austin in just two weeks, giving the Austin audience the opportunity to see what they’ve been up to over the past few weeks. For more information on how to join us for Episodes and the other pieces in our Inaugural Season Opener program at the Long Center the weekend of October 24th, click here.