"...Her features conform to some traditional ideal of human attractiveness; his are in some way inhuman, feral, grotesque. And that much applied to Ballet Austin's Belle Redux: A Tale of Beauty & the Beast, just remounted by the company for the first time since its 2015 premiere..."
"...Whereas teenagers once flocked to cattle-call auditions to compete for full company positions, now most of those young dancers are vying for positions with apprentice companies, spots in trainee programs, and even acceptance into college dance programs. While opinions vary on this shift, Ballet Austin's own paid apprentice company, Ballet Austin II, and its 2-year-old tuition-free trainee program, the Butler Fellowship program, seem to be win-win-win: dancer, company, audience...."
"...Which leaves people on the near side of 40 headed into retirement. So it is with four of Ballet Austin's dancers this year..."
"...Who will be the winner of Ballet Austin's fourth New American Talent/Dance competition in February? Well, this much is certain: It will be someone from New York City. That's because all three finalists hail from the City That Never Sleeps...."
"...The watchword for Ballet Austin as it kicks off its 2005-06 season is "big." It starts this weekend with a big new production from Artistic Director Stephen Mills: Carmina Burana, which teams the dance company with the Austin Symphony and the choral ensemble Conspirare. That's followed next week by the Big Apple debut of Ballet Austin in a four-day stand at New York's esteemed Joyce Theater..."
"...Ballet Austin has once again turned on the Light, but this time it's even brighter – 50 times brighter. When it first produced Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project in 2005, the company made the work as much a community conversation on tolerance as the premiere of Stephen Mills' ballet..."
"...Aspiring professional choreographers aren't the only ones getting to strut their stuff for Ballet Austin during its biennial New American Talent/Dance this week. A handful of younger dance makers also got their own opportunity to shine, thanks to a keen little videographic competition set up on www.balletaustin.org..."
"...That revving of jackhammers you hear is another cultural construction project kicking into high gear. This one is Ballet Austin's new Dance Education Center at Third and San Antonio..."
"...In a video introduction to Pontus Lidberg's Stream (2013), the opening work on Ballet Austin's Director's Choice program, the Swedish choreographer said he was inspired by the Buddhist idea of relinquishing oneself to the whole. To a lush, string-based composition by Ryan Francis, and wearing flowing pants and bodices in watercolor periwinkles and teals (designed by Reid Bartelme), 10 dancers wove among one another as though propelled by currents..."
"...That the vitality of Austin's cultural scene is owed to its leaders – those artists, educators, patrons, and arts advocates who made the work and founded the institutions and provided the support that allowed theatre, dance, classical music, and the visual arts to take root and flourish here – may go without saying, but leadership takes many forms. At times, it looks like Shakespeare's Henry V, vigorous and magnetic, rallying the troops with words of inspiration..."
"...This season, Ballet Austin and the College of Education at UT-Austin are adding their voices to the cause. On Tuesday, Jan..."
"...There's no quick fix for the arduous grind of Austin's music industry, where the pay's low, the rent's high, and only the most faithful believe their hard work will one day amount to anything more than eking out a living. And yet, there are big ideas and people behind them willing to invest millions into our ragtag scene in hopes that it'll grow into something sustainable, whether it's a new Music Row (Nashville) or simply a viable DIY culture...."
"...It was four for Thr3e at the Austin Critics Table Awards on Monday night, with Salvage Vanguard Theater's Thr3e Zisters receiving four prizes from the group of area arts writers...."
"...But Feb. 13, we get to the heart of it all: Downtown Austin...."
"...Meanwhile, Ballet Austin artistic director Stephen Mills spent the week of June 12-17 teaching ballet in the Berkshires. Mills was asked by Anna-Marie Holmes, who directs the ballet program at Jacob's Pillow, to teach at the historic summer festival..."
"...For the 12th time, local critics have put their heads and pens together to recognize the year's most exceptional work in theatre, dance, classical music, and visual art. On Saturday, May 1, nominations for the 2003-2004 Austin Critics Table Awards, covering the period from May 1, 2003, to April 30, 2004, were assembled by an informal affiliation of arts writers, consisting of the Austin American-Statesman's Michael Barnes (arts), Jamie Smith Cantara (theatre), Randy Harriman (music), Sondra Lomax (dance), David Mead (music), and Jeanne Claire van Ryzin (arts); and the Chronicle's Molly Beth Brenner (theatre, visual art), Madeline Irvine (visual art), Rachel Koper (visual art), Jacqueline May (visual art), Barry Pineo (theatre), Robi Polgar (music, dance, and theatre), and yours truly, Robert Faires (arts)..."
"...One minute, you and a half-dozen arts writers are handing out honors to local theatre artists in the Continental Club, and the next, a couple of decades have zoomed by, and your casual little awards party has become an institution – lauding exceptional achievements in dance, classical music, and the visual arts as well as drama. I don't know how the city's loose affiliation of arts writers – i.e., we get together for happy hour once a month – has managed it for this long, but the Austin Critics Table is marking its 20th year of commending outstanding work on the local arts scene..."
"...In the Nineties, Austin's cultural scene could afford to dream big. The city was riding high on high tech, and so much money was flowing that even arts groups were seeing the green..."
"...A toast, please, to the 170-plus artists and creative projects recognized in the nominations for the 2013 Austin Critics Table Awards. Earlier this month, a batch of the ink-stained wretches who cover the city's cultural scene devoted our monthly meeting of the minds (i.e., happy hour) to reviewing the work we'd seen between May 1, 2012, and April 30, 2013 (give or take a few days), and came up with what we considered the most exceptional achievements in dance, classical music, visual arts, and theatre...."
"...For the 11th time, Austin Critics Table has found a whole lot to like on the local arts scene. The informal affiliation of arts writers has gathered its nominations for the 2002-2003 Austin Critics Table Awards, recognizing exceptional work in local theatre, dance, classical music, and visual art from May 1, 2002 to April 30, 2003..."
"...The reason: TBT was showcasing five performances of the ballet Cleopatra using a prerecorded orchestral soundtrack it obtained in China for $30,000. Quite aside from robbing Dallas musicians of their jobs, this amounts to artistic lunacy. In the last months I've been privileged to attend stunning productions by Austin Lyric Opera and Ballet Austin here at the Long Center..."
"...Ballet East goes "Tribal" this weekend, which means that company choreographers Melissa Villareal, Ananda Moss, and Marlo Wanielista-Berg, along with Tapestry Dance Academy's Sharon Marroquin and Ballet Austin's Eric Midgley, will use movement to explore issues of belonging, of the ties that bind, and of the groups we're bound into and how they can lower us to barbarism or lift us to redemption. Four performances: March 25-28, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 8pm, and Sunday, 2pm, at the Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd..."
"...It's the task of nearly 500 members of the national organization Dance/USA – choreographers, company directors, arts administrators, marketing professionals, fundraisers, and others who work to create, fund, present, and advocate for dance – to consider these questions when they convene in Austin for the organization's eighth annual conference. Why Austin? For starters, the organization is bestowing its Champion Award on local philanthropists Sarah and Ernest Butler, whose Butler Family Fund has been a key supporter of Austin's dance, music, and opera organizations for nearly two decades..."
"...As sure as the showers that fall from on high, April in Austin abounds in dance. The month's first half saw Ballet Austin debut The Graham Reynolds Project, Aztlan Dance offer On the Rocks, and the University of Texas' Dance Repertory Theatre present Bodies & Souls..."
"...The idea that you get slower as you get older seemed in full force as the Austin Critics Table marked its 20th year of presenting annual awards for outstanding achievements in the arts on Monday, June 4. The ceremony at Cap City Comedy Club crept along like a senior citizen in the passing lane, taking more than three hours to hand out honors in 47 categories and welcome five new members into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame; all this despite the best efforts of the arts writers at the mic and house band the Invincible Czars to move things along – and even the introduction of a drinking game to keep spirits high...."
"...The Austin Critics Table has decided on the third group of individuals to be inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. As with the previous honorees, these eight Austinites have made significant contributions to the community over many years, some as artists, some as educators, some as patrons, some as administrators, some as a combination of these, but all as friends of and advocates for the arts..."
"...On Monday, June 3, the Austin Critics Table handed out its annual awards for outstanding achievements in the Austin arts in a ceremony at the Capitol City Comedy Club. It was the 10th anniversary for these honors presented by this informal association of local arts writers who gather regularly for lunch, and to mark the occasion the Table inaugurated the Austin Arts Hall of Fame, recognizing local individuals who have made remarkable contributions to the community through the arts over the past few decades..."
"...The Austin Theatre Critics Table have announced the nominations for their ninth annual awards for achievement in the arts. The group recognized artistry in the theatre and beyond for the period from May 2000 through April 2001..."
"...The Austin Critics Table has named the 12th group of individuals to be inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. As with the previous honorees, these five Austinites have made significant contributions to the community over many years – some as artists, some as educators, some as patrons, some as administrators, some as a combination of these, but all as friends of and advocates for the arts..."
"...It's nice to see so many five-figure grants and to see the city's Cultural Arts Division get $35,000 to build up its very useful Take It to the Next Level workshop series. And congratulations to Vortex Repertory Company on getting its first-ever show of support from the NEA and to Austin Lyric Opera and the Austin Chamber Music Center for teaming up to present the opera based on Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat..."
"...Conspirare is rolling out the powerful Verdi Requiem. Austin Lyric Opera is leading off with opera's bad girl, Carmen, then following up with an adaptation of Die Fledermaus set in Austin and scripted by the cutups at Esther's Follies..."
"...On Monday, May 29, the Austin Theatre Critics Table presented its eighth annual awards for achievement in the Austin arts in a lively ceremony at the Continental Club, 1315 S. Congress..."
"...Despite being one of the most progressive cities in the U.S., Austin has a long and dirty history of segregation, the results of which are still visible today. It’s shocking to see clear racial lines in a city that considers itself ahead of the pack..."
"...Where can you find Grammy-winning American music, arts and crafts, camping, good eats, acoustic jazz and blues, bluegrass, local favorites, and international award-winning artists all in one place? At Central Texas’ signature music festival, of course! Located just outside of Austin, join us for four straight days of finger pickin'—done the good ol’ Texas-friendly way...."
"...The Austin Critics Table has named the eighth group of individuals to be inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. As with the previous honorees, these seven Austinites have made significant contributions to the community over many years – some as artists, some as educators, some as patrons, some as administrators, some as a combination of these, but all as friends of and advocates for the arts..."
"...Three years after pulling Austin's contemporary-dance scene out of the gutter with the Hot September Flurries festival, which was commended by both critics and the local dance community, Austin choreographer Ellen Bartel is stirring things up again. This year's festival has a strapping new name, a streamlined schedule, new venues, and a more sophisticated – but still indie – sensibility..."
"...The Austin Critics Table has named the seventh group of individuals to be inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. As with the previous honorees, these seven Austinites have made significant contributions to the community over many years – some as artists, some as educators, some as patrons, some as administrators, some as a combination of these, but all as friends of and advocates for the arts..."
"...Austin has its share of venerable arts organizations. The Austin Symphony has been delighting our ears for close to 100 years..."
"...The Austin Critics Table has named the sixth group of individuals to be inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. As with the previous honorees, these seven Austinites have made significant contributions to the community over many years: some as artists, some as educators, some as patrons, some as administrators, some as a combination of these, but all as friends of and advocates for the arts..."
"...Now, most of the time when arts groups in Austin talk about buildings, they mean old storefronts and warehouses abandoned spaces that are cheap to get and can be turned into serviceable theatres and galleries with a little cash and a lot of sweat equity. And indeed, the boom saw a fresh crop of just such venues: the Vortex, the Off Center, Flatbed World Headquarters, the Blue Theater, the Hideout, and Texas Folklife Resources, to name a handful..."
"...On Sunday, June 10, the Austin Critics Table presented its annual awards for outstanding achievements in the Austin arts in a brisk ceremony at the Bad Dog Comedy Theater, 113 E. Riverside..."
"...Quick on the heels of IN under & Through, its new fall production at the Dougherty Arts Center, Ballet East will host the debut performance of the Eastside Dance Academy, a program for students at Eastside Memorial High School (formerly Johnston) that offers training in movement across the spectrum from the fine-art end (classical and contemporary) to folklorico to pop styles, including hip-hop and Broadway. While the company has been providing afterschool dance instruction for elementary and middle school students in East Austin for 20 years, it hasn't had the resources to extend its program to older teens..."
"...And in getting his charges to "get" modern, he occasionally calls in his old friend Regina Larkin, another student of Trisler's who went on to become artistic director of the Joyce Trisler Danscompany. Larkin has been back in Austin this fall to help prepare Ballet East's current production, The Sameness of Change..."
"...Most of the year, Austin's contemporary dancemakers are pretty far-flung, across the calendar and across the city: a midwinter show at the Off Center here, a late spring show at the Dougherty Arts Center there, a couple of autumn showcases at the Boyd Vance Theatre and Austin Community College, and so on. So if you were of a mind to take the pulse of the city's choreographic community, you'd pretty much have to devote a year to the task and count on touring a dozen different performance venues scattered around town...."
"...The Austin Critics Table has named the fifth group of individuals to be inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. As with the previous honorees, these seven Austinites have made significant contributions to the community over many years: some as artists, some as educators, some as patrons, some as administrators, some as a combination of these, but all as friends of and advocates for the arts..."
"...Within two days of arriving in town, The Real World: Austin cast member Danny aka the hunky one was lying in the middle of Sixth Street, held down by a man in a black jacket who punched him so hard it shattered his eye socket...."
"...Last year around this time, I was writing a chin-pulling think piece on the decline of Austin's dot-com dreams, supersized as they were back in 2000, when the NASDAQ stood at 5,000. As I write this, the NASDAQ stands at 1,296.68, and Austin's civic dreams are now Happy Meal sized..."
"...In case you hadn't heard, The Austin Chronicle is celebrating 20 years in Austin. We've seen our town in boom, bust, überboom, and near bust again..."
"...Despite the ebb and flow of its yearly attendance figures (and profit margin), Austin's Aqua Festival is still afloat, and celebrates year 34 with a bevy of local and regional acts spread over eight stages and nine nights (Monday 31 is an off night) at Auditorium Shores. Activities start at 6:30pm each night, ending at 11:30pm on weekdays, and at 12:30am on weekends. Admission is $4 nightly, $2 with a Skipper Pin or student ID, and children under 12 are free..."
"...Holding it all together is wonderful music, delightfully performed by the Austin Opera orchestra under the baton of Richard Buckley and robustly sung by all. Donizetti set some particular challenges to his tenor, and René Barbera in the role of Tonio delivers brilliantly..."