Tapestry Dance Company

Acia Gray takes medical leave, but the shows go on

Acia Gray in <i>April Fools</i>
Acia Gray in April Fools
Courtesy of Stephen Pruitt

Anyone who knows Acia Gray knows it takes a helluva lot to keep that tenacious hoofer off her feet. In her 30-plus years of dancing professionally, you can probably count the times that something's kept her out of her tap shoes on one set of toes. So when Tapestry Dance Company announced this week that Gray has taken temporary leave of her duties as producing artistic director, the cause was bound to be serious. And it is: a flare-up of ulcerative colitis. Gray has fought the condition for well over a decade, and longtime Tapestry fans may recall that an outbreak nine years ago hospitalized Gray for more than two weeks and kept her from dancing for three months ("Finding a New Rhythm," Feb. 27, 2004).

This time, though, Gray, partner Deirdre Strand – with whom she co-founded Tapestry – and the company are working to see that history doesn't repeat itself. Gray is retreating from her daily duties at Tapestry and having Assistant Artistic Director Matt Shields restage its two upcoming shows: April Fools, a reprise of the charming tribute to vaudeville that premiered this spring ("April Fools," April 6), and Of Mice & Music, the company's jazzy riff on The Nutcracker that's becoming Tapestry's annual contribution to yuletide entertainment ("Of Mice & Music – A Jazz Nutcracker," Dec. 16, 2011).

Obviously, seeing these shows will show your support for Gray, but you'll also be supporting others who share Gray's condition: Some proceeds from both productions will benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America.

April Fools runs Nov. 30-Dec. 2, Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2 & 8pm; Sunday, 2pm, at the Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center, 701 W. Riverside.

Of Mice & Music – A Jazz Nutcracker runs Dec. 7-16, Thursday-Friday, 7pm; Saturday, 2 & 7pm; Sunday, 2pm, at the Boyd Vance Theatre in the Carver Museum and Cultural Center, 1165 Angelina. For more information, visit www.tapestry.org.

More Tapestry Dance Company
Tapestry Dance Company's <i>In Your Shoes</i>
Tapestry Dance Company's In Your Shoes
The rhythm tap troupe explores homelessness with a common sense of the form's capacity for complexity, subtlety, and risk

Jonelle Seitz, Oct. 9, 2015

Soul / Sole Connections
Soul / Sole Connections
This Tapestry concert saw each dancer create a deeply personal solo from the past, then riff on it in the present

Jonelle Seitz, Nov. 7, 2014

More Austin dance
Magdalena Jarkowiec's <i>Us Kids Are Alone in the House</i>
Magdalena Jarkowiec's Us Kids Are Alone in the House
The Austin-based choreographer is home alone with her soft-sculpture mutants

Jonelle Seitz, March 4, 2016

2016 Austin Festival of Dance
2016 Austin Festival of Dance
The second round of Kathy Dunn Hamrick's streamlined contemporary dance festival is as carefully curated as the first

Jonelle Seitz, March 4, 2016

More by Robert Faires
Guide to Austin Improv
Guide to Austin Improv
The venues, events, troupes, and individuals who have transformed Austin into a "Yes, and" boomtown

Aug. 26, 2016

Gale Theatre Company's <i>Salomé</i>
Gale Theatre Company's Salomé
This original drama reworks the familiar tale to give us a new perspective on the Judean princess

Aug. 19, 2016


Tapestry Dance Company, Austin dance, Acia Gray, Deirdre Strand, Matt Shields, April Fools, Of Mice and Music

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)