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Ballet Austin's Belle Redux: A Tale of Beauty & the Beast
In its striking concept and execution, Stephen Mills' take on the fairy tale was his most fully realized story ballet since Hamlet
Arts Review  February 16, 2017, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Ballet Austin II and Butler Fellowship Program's Spring Performance
The program's mix of classical and contemporary work challenged its young dancers and left you wanting to see what's next for them
Arts Review  March 9, 2017, by Jonelle Seitz
"...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...."

Ballet Austin: Save the last dance for me
Four of the company's most gifted dancers are taking their leaves after this season's finale
Arts Story  May 9, 2008, by Robert Faires
"...Which leaves people on the near side of 40 headed into retirement. So it is with four of Ballet Austin's dancers this year..."

Ballet Austin
Big Apple scores big with 'NAT/D' 4
Arts Story  December 23, 2011, by Robert Faires
"...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...."

Ballet Austin: The Start of Something BIG
A big new production, a Big Apple debut, and big gifts to support its big new dance center downtown may make this the biggest season yet for Ballet Austin
Arts Story  September 30, 2005, by Robert Faires
"...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’s Alice (In Wonderland)
In which the young heroine grabs those wild wonderland reins
Arts Review  May 18, 2017, by Jonelle Seitz
"...It's clear why the second part of the title of this ballet, choreographed in 2012 by Septime Webre and a new addition to Ballet Austin's repertoire, is in parentheses. Wonderland is colorful and thrilling, but in truth, this adaptation of Lewis Carroll's 1865 book is all about Alice..."

Ballet Austin
Ballet Austin shines a light on human rights and the Holocaust in reviving its 2005 work
Arts Story  January 27, 2012, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Ballet Austin: Youth moves
Choreographers ages 7-17 won their own chance to shine during this week's search for New American Talent
Arts Story  February 15, 2008, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Ballet Austin
Before revving up the jackhammers to renovate its downtown dance center, Ballet Austin is inviting the public to go Dancin' in the District
Arts Story  March 3, 2006, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Ballet Austin's Director's Choice
In four ballets, three ways of collective being and one irrelevant romance
Arts Review  February 18, 2016, by Jonelle Seitz
"...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..."

The Austin Arts Hall of Fame Class of 2016
These inductees – Ballet Austin's Cookie Ruiz and Stephen Mills, and the Austin Symphony Orchestra's Peter Bay – are cultural heroes who lead by example
Arts Story  May 5, 2016, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

'Light' Dawns in Austin
A new ballet leads the way in an ambitious community project promoting tolerance
Arts Story  February 11, 2005, by Robert Faires
"...This season, Ballet Austin and the College of Education at UT-Austin are adding their voices to the cause. On Tuesday, Jan..."

2017 Austin Dance Festival
This year's showcase of two dozen dances proved how Austin's dancing has risen to the level of its dance making
Arts Review  April 6, 2017, by Jonelle Seitz
"...When I was still new to Austin, in 2008, I interviewed Ellen Bartel about the dance festival she directed, Big Range Austin. Austin was a choreographer's town, not a dancer's town, she told me..."

Playback: Austin Music's Cooperative Future
Could music collectives make Austin the next Music Row?
Music Column  August 20, 2015, by Kevin Curtin
"...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...."

The 2014-15 Austin Critics Table Awards
Top honors to Salvage Vanguard's Thr3e Zisters, LOLA Austin's Femme Bohème, and Texas State's Kiss Me, Kate
Arts Story  June 4, 2015, by Robert Faires
"...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...."

PBS Zooms In on Austin
'One Square Mile: Austin' premieres next week
DAILY Screens  February 5, 2014, by Monica Riese
"...But Feb. 13, we get to the heart of it all: Downtown Austin...."

Austin Dance
Some Austin dance artists will be getting out of town this summer – way out of town: Innsbruck, Jacob's Pillow, and Hong Kong – thanks to special invitations
Arts Story  June 23, 2006, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Austin Critics Table Nominations, 2003-2004
The full list of nominations for the 2003-2004 Austin Critics Table Awards, recognizing outstanding achievements in local theatre, dance, classical music, and visual art
Arts Story  May 14, 2004, by Robert Faires
"...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)..."

2012 Austin Critics Table Awards
For the 20th time, a big hand for the nominees if you please
Arts Story  May 25, 2012, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Austin's Cultural Makeover: The Next Stage
How much closer we are to getting the cultural wonderland we imagined 10 years ago
Arts Story  September 7, 2007, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Austin Critics Table Awards 2013
Arts writers raise their glasses to outstanding art in list of nominees
Arts Story  May 24, 2013, by Robert Faires
"...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...."

Austin Critics Table Nominations, 2002-2003
The full list of nominations for the 2002-2003 Austin Critics Table Awards, recognizing outstanding achievements in local theatre, dance, classical music, and visual art
Arts Story  May 9, 2003, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Live Music for Opera and Ballet
Postmarks  May 15, 2009
"...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: 'Tribal'
Ballet East goes "Tribal" this weekend, using movement to explore issues of belonging, the ties that bind, and how tribes can lower us to barbarism or lift us to redemption
Arts Story  March 26, 2004
"...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..."

Dance/USA Convenes in Austin
The national arts organization brings honors for the Butlers and big questions about the form's future
Arts Story  June 9, 2016, by Jonelle Seitz
"...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..."

Austin's April Dancers
A month flooded with movement closes with Jennifer Sherburn's Arena and Tapestry's Passing It Forward
Arts Story  April 28, 2016, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

2012 Austin Critics Table Awards
Giving a lot of sweet bouquets (and taking their sweet time doing it)
Arts Story  June 8, 2012, by Robert Faires
"...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...."

Austin Arts Hall of Fame
Class of 2004
Arts Story  May 14, 2004, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

The 2002 Austin Critics Table Awards
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.
Arts Story  June 7, 2002, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Austin Theatre Critics Table 2000-2001 Nominations
The Austin Theatre Critics Table have announced the nominations for their ninth annual awards for achievement in the arts.
Arts Story  May 18, 2001
"...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..."

Austin Arts Hall of Fame: Class of 2013
The Austin Critics Table has honored five more pioneers in the Austin arts community
Arts Story  May 3, 2013, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Austin Arts Groups
A dozen culture providers have been very nice, according to the NEA
Arts Story  December 25, 2009, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Austin Symphony Orchestra: Commission fever
ASO has commissioned a new orchestral work from composer Christopher Theofanidis
Arts Story  October 26, 2007, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Austin Theatre Critics Table 1999-2000 Winners
The Austin Theatre Critics Table presented its eighth annual awards for achievement in the Austin arts in a lively ceremony at the Continental Club
Arts Story  June 2, 2000, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Austin Critics Table Awards 2014-2015
PHOTO GALLERY  June 2, 2015
"...Artist of the Year Margo Sawyer at the 2014-15 Austin Critics Table Awards on June 1, 2015..."

Black History Month and Austin's Dirty Laundry
KLRU launches online series featuring ATX civil rights leaders
DAILY Screens  February 5, 2014, by Sarah Marloff
"...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..."

April in Austin (Part 2)
Austin is still buzzing with events for this Spring.
DAILY Chrontourage  April 10, 2013, by Alayna Alvarez
"...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...."

Austin Arts Hall of Fame
The Austin Critics Table has honored seven more pioneers in the Austin arts community
Arts Story  May 1, 2009, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Big Range Austin Dance Festival
Choreographer Ellen Bartel is stirring up the local dance scene again with a bigger, more sophisticated dance fest
Arts Story  June 6, 2008, by Jonelle Seitz
"...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..."

Austin Arts Hall of Fame: Class of 2008
The seventh group of inductees includes individuals from the fields of architecture, comedy, music, and patronage
Arts Story  April 25, 2008, by Robert Faires
"...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 Visual Arts Association: Thrilled to be hitting the big 3-0
The Austin Visual Arts Association is celebrating its 30th anniversary in high style, with a pair of exhibitions and a big reunion party for local artists
Arts Story  June 15, 2007, by Barry Pineo
"...Austin has its share of venerable arts organizations. The Austin Symphony has been delighting our ears for close to 100 years..."

Austin Arts Hall of Fame: Class of 2007
The Austin Critics Table has named the sixth group of individuals to be inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame
Arts Story  April 19, 2007, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Austin's Cultural Makeover
Which arts facilities from the boom years were built, which weren't built, and why
Arts Story  February 20, 2004, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Austin Critics Table Winners 2000-01
Arts Story  June 15, 2001, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Ballet East
The company establishes its first dance academy for students at Eastside Memorial
Arts Story  December 4, 2009, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Ballet East Dance Company: Reclaiming the modern in a pomo world
Rodolfo Mendez wants us to remember that before there was postmodern, modern dance ruled
Arts Story  November 30, 2007, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

Big Range Austin
The festival that packs a year of contemporary dance into two weekends
Arts Story  June 25, 2010, by Robert Faires
"...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...."

Austin Arts Hall of Fame
The Austin Critics Table has named the fifth group of individuals to be inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame
Arts Story  April 21, 2006, by Robert Faires
"...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..."

The Real Austin?
The capital of Texas ... a great place to hook up and throw up
News Story  July 8, 2005, by Kevin Brass
"...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...."

Austin @ Large: Austin at Large
Can a super-sized Long Center fit in Austin's Happy Meal box of civic dreams?
News Column  February 14, 2003, by Mike Clark-Madison
"...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..."

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