Magazine article Dance Magazine

Lone Star Dreams. (News)

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Lone Star Dreams. (News)

Article excerpt

The time is 2005. The place is downtown Austin, Texas. Pedestrians conducting the business of the day encounter an element unfamiliar to this urban landscape: ballet. At the intersection of San Antonio and West Third Streets, floor-to-ceiling windows offer passersby a glimpse into dance's creative process by exposing the rehearsal studios of its hometown ballet company's new digs, the Ballet Austin Dance Education Center.

In October 2002, Stephen Mills, artistic director of Ballet Austin, announced the purchase of a 28,000-square-foot building that will house the company's studios (an increase in number from two to seven), administrative offices, technical storage space, gift shop and box office, and, not least, its academy. After more than forty years of rehearsing and conducting classes throughout the city in different locations, including an ice rink, a strip mall, a fitness center, and a historic firehouse, Ballet Austin will conduct all its activities under one roof. The activities include rehearsing and administering the twenty-three-member professional company, which is employed thirty-four weeks a year, to dance in five different mainstage productions under Mills's direction and to tour. (They performed at New York's Joyce Theater in January.)

Ballet Austin also boasts a paid apprentice company, Ballet Austin II; outreach programming for youth and adults (including community benefits and lectures on dance appreciation, history, and the choreographic process); several summer ballet intensives for dancers of all levels; and fitness training and Pilates classes. …

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