Creating vibrant, innovative dance is one talent. Guiding a growing arts institution is another. Stephen Mills is gifted in both, as he proved repeatedly throughout the 1999-2000 season as interim artistic director of Ballet Austin. As the company moved out of the era of former artistic director Lambros Lambrou and through a yearlong search for his successor, Mills took what could have been a directionless, drifting corps of dancers and bound them together in a series of energetic, inventive, and frequently witty ballets of his original choreography. There was something fresh onstage, and by the time he was named Ballet Austin's permanent artistic director, it was clear that in any dance, he will take the lead.
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