Dance was a huge part of my life growing up and I still love to attend dance performances of all kinds whenever possible. I also love that Terry knows this about me and was thoughtful enough to purchase the tickets as part of our sixth wedding anniversary celebration.
Terry and I attended the performance last year at the Butler Theater and I was pleasantly surprised at how much we both enjoyed it. (He could’ve been faking it for my benefit, but I doubt it.) What a great date night and an awesome value at only $12 for front row seats! Now that we are in Year 2, I dare say it’s becoming something of a Grier tradition.
To me, the best part of these performances is the intimacy of the setting. The Austin Ventures Stage puts you literally a few feet away from the dancers. You get the feeling you are immersed in the performance, almost a part of it. (Don’t worry Ballet Austin, I won’t get so caught up in the moment that I’ll leap onto the stage and attempt a solo. That wouldn’t end well for anyone.)
Another benefit of this format is to be able to experience a variety of dance styles, choreography, costuming, and music in the course of a single event. While I enjoy full-length ballets, I also enjoy having a little sampler platter of different experiences. It’s also a plus that it gives Terry a little gateway into the world of dance.
We were treated to three different pieces on this particular evening—a fairly traditional ensemble piece (Napoli Pas de Six), a Latin-inspired piece that was a bit more contemporary (Luminaria), and a more modern dance piece with futuristic costuming and abstract staging (Wavemakers).
Luminaria was by far my favorite experience of the evening. Choreographed by Ballet Austin Artistic Director Stephen Mills, it invoked a mood of fiery power while still being delicately romantic. I adored the costumes by Jorge Gallardo, which were adorned with blossoms in warm subtle gradients of reds, oranges, and pinks. The effect was entrancing and I actually choked up a bit during the first pas de deux. I literally couldn’t take my eyes off the dancers.
After the performance, Terry mentioned that he planned to write a piece on our evening for WIA. I felt compelled to do so too, so this is our first (maybe our only) “he said, she said: post. I will tell you this, if you are looking for a terrific date night, consider purchasing tickets to one of Ballet Austin II’s performance. There are at least three shows per you and they usually run for a couple of nights. There are plenty of nearby restaurants to grab a bite before the show (Mulberry) or a nightcap after (Trifecta on Third). Don’t worry about parking either because this date night is definitely public transit accessible.
I enjoy the ballet. I particularly enjoy the intimacy of the Austin Ventures Studio Theater and even more when we get to sit on the front row.
The Power of Performance
I am deeply moved when I see another person put themselves out there for a performance. I think this is highlighted even more with ballet. They are on a stark stage, no props and must use their bodies to communicate. It is powerful when it is done well. And this group did not disappoint.
I must warn you if you are uncomfortable with the male human body then you might not want to go. Some of the pants that the men wear are a little difficult to get past. But once I did I noticed several interesting things. Breathing. I am amazed at the dancers ability to control their breathing. Being on the front row I can at times hear them but they control their faces etc with precision.
It is a true value. Inexpensive seats. Evokes Emotion and you are in the downtown area to enjoy our great city either before or after the show. I will be doing this again.