Stephen Mills, Artistic Director
Known for his innovative and collaborative choreographic projects, Stephen Mills has works in the repertoires of companies across the United States and around the world. From his inaugural season as Artistic Director in 2000, Mills attracted attention from around the United States with his world-premiere production of Hamlet, hailed by Dance Magazine as "...sleek and sophisticated." The Washington Post recognized Ballet Austin as "one of the nation’s best-kept ballet secrets" in 2004 after Ballet Austin performed Mills' world premiere of The Taming of the Shrew, commissioned by and performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The Company was first invited to perform at the Kennedy Center in January of 2002 with the Mills production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and at The Joyce Theater (NYC) in 2004. In 2005 after two years of extensive research, Mills led a community-wide human rights collaboration that culminated in the world premiere work Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project. In 2006 Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project was awarded the Audrey & Raymond Maislin Humanitarian Award by the Anti Defamation League. In September of 2013, the work made its international debut with a tour in three cities across Israel. Read More
Michelle Martin, Associate Artistic Director
Michelle Martin had her early dance training at the Alberta Ballet School and danced with the Alberta Ballet Company for four years before joining the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre (IBT) in 1982. While with IBT and, subsequently, the Hartford Ballet in Connecticut, she performed leading and soloist roles in Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty and The Moor's Pavane as well as creating roles in many original works. Martin's teaching credits include guest-teaching engagements at schools and universities in Canada, South Carolina, Michigan, and throughout Indiana and Texas. She was on faculty at Butler University in Indianapolis for five years. Martin began her tenure with Ballet Austin in 1991 as a dancer with the Company and in 1992 she was appointed ballet mistress and curriculum director of the Academy. In 1999 she founded Ballet Austin II, Ballet Austin's apprentice program, providing professional development for the 10-member second company and designing educational programming for presentation in schools. Martin has served on the Texas Commission on the Arts advisory panel for Arts Education and is a recipient of the Austin Under Forty award for contributions in the area of the Arts and Entertainment. Martin was appointed associate artistic director of Ballet Austin in 2000.
Eugene Alvarez, Company Manager
With a business degree and a professional dance background Eugene Alvarez has found his perfect niche at Ballet Austin. While studying at the University of Texas, Austin he took a recreational ballet class with teacher and, at the time, artistic director of Austin Ballet Theater, Stanley Hall. Soon Eugene was supplementing his college studies and UT ballet classes with classes, rehearsals and performances at Austin Ballet Theater. After graduation, degree in hand and only a couple of years into his auditor job at UT, Eugene left the business world for a chance to dance professionally with Ballet Austin. He danced for seven seasons and rose through the ranks to dance principal roles with fellow company members at the time, Stephen Mills and Michelle Martin. Retired from ballet he held administrative positions with The Texas HIV Connection and Jackson/Ruiz Salon before being invited back to Ballet Austin by current Artistic Director Stephen Mills. He's been the company manager position since the fall of 2002 and feels fortunate to be able to use his business background to support his love for the arts.
Paul Michael Bloodgood, Creative Brand Producer and Licensing Manager
Before joining Ballet Austin as creative brand producer and licensing manager, filmmaker Paul Michael Bloodgood enjoyed a 19-year career as a professional ballet dancer with Ballet Austin and Ballet Pacifica, performing in a myriad of principal roles including Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Giselle, Swan Lake, La Sylphide, The Sleeping Beauty, The Firebird, Coppélia, Agon, Allegro Brillante, Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project, and he originated the Beast in Stephen Mills’ Belle REDUX / A Tale of Beauty & the Beast. Paul Michael earned his Bachelor of Arts in Dance and the Humanities from St. Edward’s University and has appeared in major feature films such as Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS and Forest Whitaker’s FIRST DAUGHTER, as well as over 25 independent feature-length and short films around the country. Executive produced by James Moll (FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH), Paul Michael’s feature film, TRENCHES OF ROCK had its world premiere at the Atlanta Film Festival, garnering the attention of festivals worldwide, receiving 12 accolades including multiple "Best Feature Documentary" and "Best Director" awards. A union member of SAG-AFTRA since 2003 and a four-time Austin Critics Table Award recipient, Paul Michael credits his extensive background in music and dance for his approach to brand recognition and storytelling.
Christopher Swaim, Rehearsal Director
Christopher Swaim is originally from Bryant, Ark., where he began his training with Kirt and Linda Hathaway at the Academy of Ballet Arkansas. He then went on to graduate with distinction from the University of Oklahoma with a B.F.A. in Ballet Pedagogy. Swaim has danced a variety of soloist and principal roles across classical, contemporary, and modern repertory, including works by Stephen Mills, George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Justin Peck, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Nicolo Fonte, Amy Seiwert, Ben Stevenson, Miguel Terekhov, Pam Tanowitz, Sidra Bell, and Septime Webre. While at Ballet Austin he had the pleasure of touring the globe, performing at the Kennedy Center in our nation’s capital with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet and again with Ballet Across America III, and guesting with Ballet Arkansas and Amy Seiwert’s company, Imagery. In May of 2019, he retired from the stage after 15 years with Ballet Austin as Albrecht in Giselle. Swaim teaches in the Ballet Austin Academy and has guest taught across the country.
Allisyn Paino-Martin, Rehearsal Assistant
Allisyn Paino-Martin started her dance training in New York with Ali Pourfarrokh and Kaleria Fedicheva. She has performed principal roles with the Fedicheva Ballet Company, the Indianapolis Opera and Butler Ballet. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Butler University. After joining Ballet Austin in 1996, Paino-Martin performed works by choreographers, including Stephen Mills, George Balanchine, Dwight Rhoden, Thaddeus Davis, Twyla Tharp, David Parsons, and Agnes DeMille. She danced The Chosen One in Mills’ The Rite of Spring, Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Painter in Cult of Color: Call to Color. In 2005, Paino-Martin debuted the role of The Survivor award-winning Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project. In May of 2009, she retired from the stage dancing the lead role in Stephen Mills’ Cinderella. Her teaching credits include being on the faculty of the Ballet Austin Academy and working as guest faculty at Butler University and Austin Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble. In 2015, she co-created Dancing Into Science, an interactive workshop that teaches physics to elementary school students through dance.
Alexa Capareda, Ballet Master - Ballet Austin II and Butler Fellows
Alexa Capareda received her early training in classical ballet and
contemporary dance at the Philippine High School for the Arts in her native Philippines. After moving to Texas, she trained professionally at Ballet Austin. She continued her studies in Canada at Ecole Superieure de Ballet Contemporain de Montreal before joining Mario Radacovsky’s
Balet Bratislava in Slovakia, where she had the privilege of performing
Jiri Kylian’s Falling Angels
and Six Dances. She began exploring her own choreography before leaving Europe, winning 3rd prize at the 2013 Festival of Choreographic Miniatures in Serbia. Capareda became a Ballet Austin Academy instructor in 2015, has since assisted in restaging ballets by Stephen Mills, Nelly van Bommel, Nick Kepley, Thang Dao, and Jimmy Orrante for Ballet Austin II, and has created original pieces for the Butler Fellowship Program. Capareda also works as a dance artist with Jennifer Hart’s Performa/Dance, ARCOS, BLiPSWiTCH, Jennifer Sherburn, and Magdalena Jarkowiec. She is co-producer and performing artist with Frank Wo/Men Collective, and her solo work has been featured in collaborations with sound artists/musicians Steve Parker, Brent Baldwin, Lynn Lane’s Houston- based Transitory Sound and Movement Collective, Austin Camerata, and LOLA Austin. In 2017, Capareda received an Austin Critics Table Award for Excellence as a Dancer. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and a minor in Theater and Dance from the University of Texas at Austin.