Enter the exotic world beloved author Lewis Carroll created through his time-tested story, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Our heroine, Alice, and all of the eccentric characters she encounters, jump from page to stage in this wacky, whimsical ballet, featuring fanciful sets, outlandish costumes and movement styles that fuse classical ballet with contemporary ballroom, modern and hip-hop choreography. You can't miss this giddy conclusion to a storybook season! Featuring live accompaniment by musicians from Austin Symphony Orchestra.
CHOREOGRAPHY: Septime Webre | MUSIC: Matthew Pierce | LIVE ACCOMPANIMENT: Austin Symphony Orchestra
Underwriter: Moreland Properties
Corporate Sponsors: Documation & Maxwell, Locke & Ritter
Individual Sponsors: Paula & Bob Boldt, Edie Rogat & Cotter Cunningham, Ann & James Downing, Georgia & Don Henrich, E.D. & Joe Hill, Aileen Hooks & Ray Donley, Jennene & K. Ray Mashburn, Marc & Carolyn Seriff, Cathy & Dwight Thompson
This production is recommended for all ages and runs approximately two hours with one, 20-minute intermissions between Acts I and II.
Music: Matthew Pierce
Choreography: Septime Webre
Concept and Costume Design: Liz Vandal
Set Design: James Kronzer
Puppet Design: Eric Van Wyk
Lighting Design: Clifton Taylor
Staging by: Jared Nelson, Johanna Wilt, CeCe Farha
Flying by Foy
SYNOPSIS AND CAST
Alice daydreams as her family swirls around her chaotically. She is mesmerized by the mysterious and quirky Lewis Carroll, a family friend, who takes Alice on a boat ride and picnic in the country.
Alice Jaime Lynn Witts
Mother Aara Krumpe
Father Paul Michael Bloodgood
Twin Sisters Elise Pekarek, Brittany Strickland
Butler Ian J. Bethany
Grandfather Jordan Moser
Grandmother Chelsea Marie Renner
Lewis Carroll Christopher Swaim
Guys in White Orlando Julius Canova, Edward Carr, Matthew Gattozzi, Julian Goodwin-Ferris, Oliver Greene-Cramer, Jake Howard, Paul Martin, Leo McGrath, Preston Andrew Patterson
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
During their picnic, Lewis Carroll begins telling Alice an astounding story of a little girl’s adventures in a wonderland. As Alice drifts to sleep, a White Rabbit hops by. The nervous Rabbit checks his pocket watch because he’s late. He quickly leaps into a rabbit hole; Alice follows. She falls for what seems like miles. Alice lands with a thud in a hallway filled with closed doors. She drinks a potion and grows quite tall; she fans herself and shrinks quite small. Through a keyhole, the tiny Alice catches her first glimpse of the evil Queen of Hearts. When Alice eats a bit of cake and returns to normal size she can no longer fit through the tiny door that leads to the wondrous world.
White Rabbit Ian J. Bethany
Large Doors James Fuller, Matthew Gattozzi, Julian Goodwin-Ferris, Jake Howard, Paul Martin, Leo McGrath, Preston Andrew Patterson
Small Doors Kathryn Archacki, Moira Barta, Jazlyn de la Rosa Creasey, Hadley Norris, Henry Schaefer, Jessica Tan, Katie Tarin
Key Emma Malouf
Queen of Hearts Aara Krumpe
POOL OF TEARS AND THE CAUCUS RACE
Frightened and confused, Alice cries a pool of tears. The Dormouse swims by and befriends Alice. Then a Dodo Bird, an Eaglet and a flock of Flamingos plop into the pool. The Dodo Bird decides the best way to get everyone dry is to dance a Caucus Race.
Dormouse Chelsea Marie Renner
Dodo Bird Kevin Murdock-Waters
Eaglet Oren Porterfield
Flamingos Amanda Black, Abby Chen, Nicole Del Bene, Katherine Deuitch, Constance Doyle, Hailey Dupont, Courtney Holland, Rebecca Johnson, Madeline Mass, Grace Morton, Brittany Strickland, Cassia Wilson
Baby Flamingos Shakti Anthony, Aleksandra Belov, Lauren Buerger, Caroline Marie Carper, Parmida Jamali, Katelyn Merritt, Willow Mueller, Liliana Romriell
Four Flamingos Rebecca Johnson, Grace Morton, Brittany Strickland, Cassia Wilson
PIG AND PEPPER
Alice comes upon a Fish footman who is delivering an invitation to the Queen of Hearts’ croquet game to the Frog footman who works for the Duchess. Inside the Duchess’s cottage, bedlam reigns. The Duchess is agitated because the Cook has put too much pepper into the soup.
Fish James Fuller
Frog Jordan Moser
Duchess Mickey Erickson
Cook Leo McGrath
Piglets Sophie Lee, Chloe Moyer, Sage Murphy, Lara Murray Palma, Maya Prow-Nemerhoff, Ava DeLa Torre
THE CHESHIRE CAT/ADVICE FROM A CATERPILLAR/ THE MAD HATTER’S TEA PARTY
While walking along, Alice comes upon a Cheshire Cat, who appears and disappears on a whim. Later, when Alice looks up to the sky she finds he has become the moon. She then meets a peculiar Caterpillar who smokes a hookah pipe before metamorphosing into a butterfly before her eyes. Next, Alice stumbles into a puzzling tea party with the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the Dormouse.
Cheshire Cat Orlando Julius Canova
Caterpillar Elise Pekarek
Mad Hatter Christopher Swaim
March Hare Jordan Moser
Dormouse Chelsea Marie Renner
Gerber Daisies Victoria Barbieri, Zerleanah Buhrig, Katie Alice Chong, Nya Mitchell, Nadia Saba, Sofi Savarese, Sakura Willingham, Amanda Wolff
QUEEN’S GARDEN PARTY AND CROQUET GAME
Card gardeners have accidentally planted white roses in the Queen’s garden. The Queen of Hearts only wishes to grow red roses. Fearing her wrath, they paint the roses red. The Queen’s court spills by, and Alice sees her friend the White Rabbit and the Queen’s Joker. Alice is invited by the Queen to play a very different game of croquet using Flamingo mallets and Hedgehogs as croquet balls. Blaming the Hedgehogs for losing the match, the Queen proclaims, “off with their heads.” Alice saves the Hedgehogs and the angry Queen chases her into the forest.
Queen of Hearts Aara Krumpe
King of Hearts Paul Michael Bloodgood
Joker Preston Andrew Patterson
Roses Rebecca Johnson, Elise Pekarek, Brittany Strickland
Painting the Roses Red Orlando Julius Canova, James Fuller, Julian Goodwin-Ferris, Jordan Moser
The Cards Abby Chen, Nicole Del Bene, Constance Doyle, Hailey Dupont, Courtney Holland, Grace Morton, Chelsea Marie Renner, Cassia Wilson Orlando Julius Canova, James Fuller, Matthew Gattozzi, Julian Goodwin-Ferris, Jake Howard, Paul Martin, Jordan Moser, Kevin Murdock-Waters
Junior Cards Matthew Vargas
Bella Friedrich, Lilly Grogono, Cate Jesser, Erika Jones, Emma Malouff, Violet Reid, Ava Schultz, Josephine Willman
Card Guards Rachel Cai, Cameron Marie Carper, Elyse Daniels, Emily Ilukevich, Violet Lincoln, Anika Monsivais, Isadora Pirkey, Georgia Seeboth, Madolyn Siela, Kaleigh Stewart, Ella Tovo-Hurt, Mikaela Washlesky
Flamingo Mallets Amanda Black, Katherine Deuitch, Madeline Mass
Hedgehogs Natalia Lule, Qui Li Tovo-Hurt, Ava Wang
TWEEDLE DUM AND TWEEDLE DEE AND THE JABBERWOCK
In the forest Alice happens upon a Rocking-Horse-Fly, a Bread-and-Butterfly and beautiful Snap-Dragon-Flies. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum playfully argue as they pass by. Alice reflects on her amazing journey with the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit and the Tweedle Twins. The languid group is suddenly threatened by the ultimate danger: the Queen’s Jabberwock. To protect her new friends, Alice slays the beast.
Tweedle Dum Edward Carr
Tweedle Dee Oliver Greene-Cramer
THE TRIAL AND HOME AGAIN
Back at the Queen’s palace, Alice is arrested and put on trial for her crime. Utter confusion breaks out in the court while the Queen shouts, “off with her head.” Alice realizes the silliness of the Queen and her court, and they fall like a house of cards. She awakens from her dream and finds herself at home.
Choreography: Septime Webre
Music: Matthew Pierce
Concept and Costume Design: Liz Vandal
Set Design: James Kronzer
Puppet Design: Eric Van Wyk
Staging by: Jared Nelson, Johanna Wilt, CeCe Farha
Flight Sequences: Flying by Foy
Lighting Design: Clifton Taylor
World Premiere in 2012 by The Washington Ballet in Washington, D.C.
Also performed by Colorado Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, and Ballet Hawaii.
ABOUT THE GUEST CHOREOGRAPHER – SEPTIME WEBRE
ABOUT THE WORK
Cast and Choreography
Inspirations for the work
Septime Webre serves as artistic director of Halcyon Stage, now in its inaugural season, presenting a fusion of innovative performances, transformative conversations and immersive experiences that challenge how creativity is defined. From 1999 to 2016, Webre served as artistic director of The Washington Ballet, after six years as artistic director of American Repertory Ballet in New Jersey. Much in demand as a choreographer, he has created works that appear in the repertoires of many companies in North America, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Ballet Austin, Atlanta Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Hawaii, and Colorado Ballet, among others. As a dancer Webre was featured in works by George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Antony Tudor, Alvin Ailey, and Merce Cunningham, as well as in principal and solo roles from the classical repertoire. Webre graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts in history/pre-law.
Matthew Pierce was born into a family rich in artistic talent and started in the world of music in 1976 with formal violin training. After completing his masters of music at The Peabody Conservatory, he moved to New York, abandoned classical violin performance and became a prominent member of the downtown Off-Broadway theater scene. As resident composer of HERE Theater, he won a “Meet the Composer” grant, wrote many incidental and dance scores and performed a selection from his opera, The Cry Pitch Carrolls at the 1999 Village Voice Obie Awards. Because of his early exposure to the ballet world (his brother Benjamin is a former principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet), Pierce developed a special passion for the music of dance. He has written ballet scores for Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Atlanta Ballet, Ohio Ballet, Ballet Met, Cincinnati Ballet, Miami Ballet, New York City Ballet, Houston Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Night, a full orchestra score set to a Chagall-inspired dreamscape ballet, has been seen at the Opéra Garnier in Paris, Covent Garden in London, and City Center in New York. His work for San Francisco Ballet, Imaginal Disc, was voted “Best Cultural Event of 2003” by the San Francisco Chronicle.
James Kronzer resides in Washington, D.C., where he has designed shows for The Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theater, Signature Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Studio Theatre among others. He has also designed scenery for Washington Ballet’s production of Cinderella. His work has been seen on Broadway, Off- Broadway and regionally in Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, Atlanta, Denver, Florida, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Boston, Vermont and Knoxville. His numerous national tours include The Wizard of Oz, Seussical the Musical, Thomas Live!, Backyardigans, Showboat and Barbie Live in Fairytopia. He has been design coordinator for the national tours of Spamalot for Phoenix Productions and Shrek, Drowsy Chaperone, The Producers, Fosse, and Annie for NETworks. He has designed shows for Norwegian Cruise Lines as well as a new musical for Disney Cruise Lines called Twice Charmed. His work has also been seen on TV for numerous comedy specials for Showtime and Comedy Central, featuring Whitney Cummings, DL Hughley, Louie Anderson, and Jim Gaffigan, among others. He began his career as a design assistant for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theater in London. He has received eight Helen Hayes Awards (Washington, D.C.) and two Barrymore Awards (Philadelphia). He is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and is a member of United Scenic Artists.
Liz Vandal began her career as a fashion designer in 1988. Her style was inspired by futuristic superheroes and medieval armour, and she used materials such as vinyl, plastic and polyurethane to bring her fantastic creations to life. In 1990, Vandal began working with Édouard Lock, founder of the Montreal dance company La La La Human Steps, where she designed the costumes for Infante c’est destroy (1991), 2 (1995), Exaucé/Salt (1999), Amelia (2002), André Auria (2002) and for Opéra de Paris, Amjad (2007) and Nouvelle Création (2012). Other choreographers and dance companies regularly approached her because of her ability to combine costumes and body movement. She has worked for la Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Margie Gillis, Bill Coleman, José Navas, O Vertigo, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, the National Ballet of Canada, Mannheim Theater and Stuttgart Ballet (Germany), among others. Since founding her company in 1992 with partner Yveline Bonjean, For Alice (in wonderland),Vandal partnered with MTI Company on the high technology fabric transformation, bringing technology into tradition.
Eric J. Van Wyk received his M.F.A. in scenic design from the University of Maryland, College Park and his B.A. in fine arts from Dordt College. His credits at the Children’s Theatre Co. in Minneapolis include being scenic designer for Mercy Watson to the Rescue!, Babe, The Sheep-Pig, puppet and scenic designer for The Biggest Little House in the Forest, puppet designer for A Wrinkle in Time, Cinderella and puppet consultant for Bert & Ernie, Goodnight!. Minneapolis credits also include Open Eye Figure Theatre’s Milly & Tillie as scenic designer, The Holiday Pageant as assistant scenic designer and the Guthrie Theater’s 39 Steps as assistant shadow puppet designer. Regional credits include the scenic design of Breath, Boom! at Studio Theater 2ndstage and the puppetry design of The Neverending Story at Imagination Stage. He is a recipient of a 2009 Jim Henson Foundation Seed Grant for his shadow puppet work O the Sky! and a Puppeteers of America grant for his puppet design of Aslan for the production of The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe with Imagination Stage and The Washington Ballet.
Clifton Taylor’s work has been featured at the Kennedy Center, National Symphony Orchestra, American Ballet Theater, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Lar Lubovitch, Maria Benitez Teatro Flamenco, Sardono Dance Theater, and Dance, the Spirit of Cambodia. Taylor has created lighting, projection and scenic designs for theater, dance and opera companies around the world. Broadway credits include Jay Johnson: The Two and Only (Ovation Award & LA Drama Critics Circle Nomination), Frozen (Lortel Nomination), and Hot Feet (Henry Hewes Nomination). Taylor is a teacher and lecturer on theatrical lighting especially in the area of color.
Jared Nelson joined California Ballet last season as a guest artist, stager, choreographer and principal dancer. Since his retirement from The Washington Ballet in 2015, he has been staging and creating ballets for several companies around the country, both on his own and as an assistant for former Washington Ballet Artistic Director Septime Webre. During California Ballet’s 2015-2016 48th Season, Mr. Nelson staged The Great Gatsby, choreographed three new ballets (Ruled by Secrecy, Work Song, Samson et Delila), and assisted California Ballet artistic staff with the training of the resident company of professional dancers.
Johanna Bernstein Wilt joined Cincinnati Ballet in 1981 and danced for 11 seasons before becoming ballet mistress in 1992. She was promoted to artistic associate in 2013 and to associate artistic director in 2015. Bernstein Wilt has staged ballets for notable choreographers such as Victoria Morgan, Septime Webre, Kirk Peterson, David Nixon, Peter Anastos, Val Caniparoli, William Whitener and Jessica Lang for Cincinnati Ballet and other prominent ballet companies. Bernstein Wilt has toured extensively since 2001, staging Septime Webre's Peter Pan and Alice (in wonderland). The 2016-17 season is her 35th year at Cincinnati Ballet.
Cece Farha began teaching on the faculty of The Washington School of Ballet in 1999 under the direction of Mary Day and she serves as children’s ballet master for TWB’s The Nutcracker. She works within multiple levels of the school as well as the professional company. She is a founding company member of Ballet Oklahoma. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma and was a member of the Festival Ballet Company. She has been recognized with numerous choreography awards for her outstanding choreography.
Max began dancing under Risa Kaplowitz, Director of Princeton Dance and Theater (PDT) Studio in Princeton, N.J. In 2014 Max began studying at American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School after winning a full scholarship through Youth American Grand Prix. He trained at the JKO School from 2014-2017, first under Franco De Vita and then Cynthia Harvey. In 2016 Max was awarded the prestigious Northern Trust Scholarship. Max spent his summers at PDT, Orlando Ballet School, the Chautauqua Institute, and American Ballet Theatre, N.Y. He also studied at the Amsterdam International Summer School, IBStage in Barcelona, and International Ballet Masterclasses in Prague. He began performing at age 12 with Princeton Youth Ballet. While at the JKO school, Max performed Jeremy McQueen’s original work, Garden of Dreams, at the Ballet Across America Gala. He performed the Paquita Grand Pas de Deux and George Balanchine’s La Source at JKO’s year-end performance.
Ian J. Bethany is from Long Island, N.Y. He started dancing as a tap and jazz student at Robert Mann Dance Centre. He started ballet at the age of 12 at Tap to Pointe Dance Center. Ian then went on to train at the Frank Ohman School of Ballet, at the School of Ballet Chicago with Daniel Duell and Patricia Blair, at Ballet Academy East with Darla Hoover and Francis Patrelle, and then as a full scholarship student in the Professional Division of Pacific Northwest Ballet School with Peter Boal, Elaine Bauer, Marjorie Thompson, Bruce Wells, and Nicholas Ade. With Ballet Austin, Ian has enjoyed performing in George Balanchine’s Agon and Allegro Brillante, Nicolo Fonte’s Lasting Imprint, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Requiem for a Rose, Gabrielle Lamb’s Dovetail, Bradley Shelver’s The Last Just, Stephen Mills’ Carmina Burana, The Magic Flute, and The Nutcracker, and the Bluebird Pas de Deux in The Sleeping Beauty. Ian has performed with project-based company Performa/Dance, has sung with the Austin Opera, was seen as Dream Curly in Zilker Theatre Production’s presentation of Oklahoma!, and does numerous juggling gigs around Austin. He also teaches in the Ballet Austin Academy. Ian would like to thank Jesus Christ, his wife, Grace, and his family for the support they give him each day.
Orlando Julius Canova began his ballet training in Southern California with Lawrence and Sarma Rosenberg at the Anaheim Ballet School. At age 16 he moved to New York City to train at the School of American Ballet. There, he received a full tuition merit scholarship and was sponsored by Debbie Allen. Orlando furthered his ballet training with Miami City Ballet School. In 2001, Orlando became an Arpino Apprentice with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and in 2003 he joined as a full company member. While at Joffrey, Orlando played the part of apprentice in Robert Altman's movie, The Company.
At Ballet Austin Orlando has danced lead roles in The Nutcracker, Cult of Color: Call to Color, Truth & Beauty: The Bach Project, Romeo & Juliet, Nine Sinatra Songs, silence within silence and The Magic Flute. He has worked with such choreographers as Stephen Mills, Twyla Tharp, KT Nelson, Dominic Walsh, Nicolo Fonte, Sonya Delwaide, Toni Bravo, Michelle Thompson, Reginald Harris, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Orlando has also had the pleasure of dancing for Molly Lynch’s National Choreographers Initiative in 2012 and 2013. There he worked with Darrell Moultrie, Melissa Barak, Val Caniparoli, Frank Chavez, Kitty McNamee, and Susan McCullough. In addition, Orlando teaches dance at the Ballet Austin Academy, the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness, Saint Mary’s Hall, Austin City Ballet, and Alamo Heights High School.
Growing up in Pittsburgh, Penn., Carr received his first 12 years of ballet training at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School. After graduating high school, he continued his training at Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto, where he had the privilege to work with choreographers including James Kudelka, Toer van Schayk, and Rudi van Dantzig. Carr moved to Austin in 2006 to attend Ballet Austin’s trainee program and joined the main company in 2008 after one season as an apprentice. Since joining Ballet Austin, he has been featured in Stephen Mills’ Light / The Holocaust and Humanity Project, premiered as The Beast in Mills' Belle REDUX / A Tale of Beauty & the Beast, and has been featured in work by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Lar Lubovitch, Pam Tanowitz, Pontus Lidberg, Nicolo Fonte, and Jennifer Hart. Carr recently appeared in visual artist Rodney McMillian’s film Untitled (neighbors), part of McMillian’s first solo exhibition Against a Civic Death at The Contemporary Austin. Carr also serves as the associate director to local contemporary dance company Performa/Dance, founded in 2014 by Carr and local choreographer Jennifer Hart. Performa/Dance continues to expand its reach and produce dance for the Austin scene and has been recognized with several Austin Critics Table Awards.
Katherine is originally from St. Paul, Minn. She began her pre-professional training at Minnesota Dance Theatre under Lise Houlton. She became an apprentice with MDT in 2013, where she danced in works by Loyce Houlton, Lise Houlton, Elliot Feld, and Emery LeCrone, among others. In 2014, she was invited to attend the School of American Ballet. While at SAB, she participated in multiple Choreographic Institute’s where she originated roles by Dana Genshaft and Peter Walker. She also appeared in SAB’s annual Workshop performance in Jerome Robbins' Fanfare as well as George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. As an apprentice with Ballet Austin, she has had the opportunity to dance in works by Stephen Mills, Michelle Thompson, Thang Dao and Septime Webre. Most recently, she appeared in Jennifer Hart’s Fellow Travelers with Performa/Dance.
Born in Frankfurt, Germany, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Constance trained until age 17 under Gigi Hyatt and Janusz Mazon. At 17, she was invited to study year-round at the School of American Ballet in New York City, where she was thrilled to complete her final years of training. She performed George Balanchine's Serenade, Western Symphony, and Valse Fantaisie during the school's Workshop performances, featured in a 2015 PBS "Live from Lincoln Center" national broadcast. She was repeatedly invited to dance in the annual New York Choreographic Institute and to participate as both dancer and choreographer in SAB's Student Choreographic Workshop. In 2015 she began her apprenticeship with Ballet Austin, and 2017 was invited to join the main company. At Ballet Austin, she has particularly enjoyed dancing the principal couple in Stephen Mill's Touch, George Balanchine's Allegro Brillante, and was honored to join the company in their month-long tour of China. She is thankful to her parents, whose love and sacrifices made her career possible, and she dances to glorify God and magnify His beauty.
Originally from Lafayette, La., Hailey began her ballet training at The Ballet Studio and later Lafayette Ballet Theatre. She has attended the summer programs of American Ballet Theatre (NYC), Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, The School of American Ballet (SAB) and Ballet Austin. At 15, Hailey was awarded full scholarship to study year round at SAB where she then trained for three years. While at SAB, she performed in the Student's Annual Workshop performances. She had the pleasure of performing Dance of the Little Swans in George Balanchine's Swan Lake, Danses Concertantes, The Four Temperaments and Jerome Robbins' Fanfare. She also participated in SAB's Student Choreographic Workshop and was selected to participate in lecture demonstration programs for New York public schools. Hailey joined Ballet Austin II in 2016 and was promoted to the main company in 2017. She would like to thank her parents for their continued support.
James Fuller is from Irvine, Calif., and was trained at Ballet Pacifica Conservatory. In 2004, James received a Youth America Grand Prix scholarship to study at the Boston Ballet School, where he completed his final year of training. James apprenticed with Oregon Ballet Theatre for a year before enrolling at Harvard University. At Harvard, James performed works by choreographers such as Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and Alvin Ailey. In the summers, James studied modern dance with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, American Dance Festival, and Beijing LDTX. James directed the Harvard Ballet Company in 2009 and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Philosophy, a secondary field in dramatic arts, and a language citation in Urdu-Hindi. Since joining Ballet Austin, James has performed in original works by Stephen Mills, including Luminaria and Though the Earth Gives Way, danced in Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, performed with the National Choreographers Initiative, and choreographed for Houston City Dance.
An Austinite by birth, Oliver was raised in southern Vermont and received his early training at the Brattleboro School of Dance and Burklyn Ballet Theatre. He graduated from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance with a BFA - Ballet Concentration and was given the award for Outstanding Senior in Modern Dance. While at Purchase, Oliver danced in works by George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham, Lar Lubovitch, Nicolo Fonte, John Heginbotham, and Gabrielle Lamb. Immediately after graduation, he joined the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company in New York City. Since joining Ballet Austin, Oliver has been featured in works by Stephen Mills, Lar Lubovitch, Pontus Lidberg, Pam Tanowitz, Septime Webre, Jimmy Orrante, and Nelly van Bommel. In the summer of 2017, he toured Thang Dao's award-winning duet We Circle the Night to the Danza in Arte a Pietrasanta Festival in Italy. Oliver was recently a performer in Rodney McMillian's Untitled (neighbors) as part of Against a Civic Death funded by the inaugural Susan Deal Booth Art Prize exhibited at the Contemporary Austin. He is also a member of Performa/Dance, an Austin-based dance company directed by Jennifer Hart and Edward Carr.
Courtney Holland was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and at the age of 11 began her professional training at Canada’s National Ballet School. After graduating from NBS in 2010, Courtney moved to New York City to continue her training at the Dance Theatre of Harlem on a full scholarship. In June 2012, she was a finalist at the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition. She was awarded a full scholarship to the Banff Centre’s Professional Dance Program where she appeared as a guest artist in the Arts Summer Festival, performing George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco and Christopher Wheeldon’s Souvenirs. In 2013, Courtney joined Charlotte Ballet II where she performed works by George Balanchine, Dwight Rhoden, Sasha Janes, Mark Diamond and Jean- Pierre Bonnefoux. There she had the privilege to perform featured roles in The Nutcracker and the role of the Autumn Fairy in Cinderella, under the direction of Kennedy Center Honoree Patricia McBride. Since joining Ballet Austin in 2016, Courtney has had the pleasure of dancing several of Stephen Mills’ ballets as well as works by Septime Webre and Pam Tanowitz. She enjoyed performing Justin Peck’s In Creases and was featured in Paul Vasterling’s Peter Pan as Tinker Bell. Courtney feels very blessed to have the love and support of her family and is excited for her third season with Ballet Austin.
Aara Krumpe is originally from Corpus Christi, Texas. She received her early training from Nancy Sulik and studied for three years at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School under David Holladay. Since joining Ballet Austin, Aara has enjoyed dancing in many Stephen Mills ballets, including the title roles in Belle Redux / ATale of Beauty & The Beast, Romeo & Juliet, The Firebird, and The Taming of the Shrew, as well as Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Gertrude in Hamlet, Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, and The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. She has also danced the principal roles in the classics Swan Lake, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Bournonville's La Sylphide as well as Dark Angel in Balanchine's Serenade. In 2007 and 2011, she was recognized with Outstanding Dancer awards by the Austin Critics' Table. Aara is most thankful for the opportunity to perform the role of the Survivor in Mills' Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project. Aara and her husband, Ambrose, are the proud parents of two wonderful boys, Leo and Lucas.
Paul Martin began his ballet and dance training in West Des Moines, Iowa, under the tutelage of Hank and Beth Adams. With their guidance, Paul was able to earn scholarships to notable summer intensive programs to include the Kansas City Ballet School, Nutmeg Conservatory, San Francisco Ballet School and Ballet Austin. In 2014, Paul received a scholarship to study full time at the Kansas City Ballet School. This program enabled him to advance his training and culminated in a performance opportunity with Kansas City Ballet II. Since joining Ballet Austin II in 2015, he has been able to perform lead roles as The Judge in Nick Kepley’s Season of Innocence and The Prince in Nelly Van Bommel’s Snow White. Additionally, he has performed in Jennifer Hart’s Spaces and in Stephen Mills’ The Nutcracker and Touch. Paul has found artistic joy and growth working with Ballet Austin and looks forward to joining the main company for the 2017/18 season.
Grace Morton is from Seattle, Wash. She received her early training from Vivian Little and Mary Reardon, school directors of Dance Fremont. In 2010 she began training under the direction of Damara Bennett in Oregon Ballet Theater's professional division. She had the chance to tour to Korea and performed in company productions of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker and Nicolo Fonte's world premiere of Petrushka. As a member of Ballet Austin II, she enjoyed performing featured roles in Stephen Mills' Luminaria, Jennifer Hart's Wavemakers, and Nelly Van Bommel's Snow White. After joining the company, Grace has performed roles in classical ballets such as French in Stephen Mills' The Nutcracker, Puss 'n Boots in The Sleeping Beauty, and Four Little Swans in Swan Lake. She has also had the pleasure to appear in George Balanchine's Agon, Stephen Mills' One/the body’s grace, Gabriel Lamb's Dovetail, James Gregg's The Space Between, and Jennifer Hart's To Here. Grace has danced in project-based company Performa/Dance, and appeared in Zilker Theatre Production's presentation of Oklahoma! as Dream Laurie. She is also a teacher in the Ballet Austin Academy.
Originally from Roseville, Calif., Kevin began his dance training at The Hawkins School of Performing Arts. He then went on to train at the San Francisco Ballet School for six years, with teachers such as Lola De Avila, Jean-Yves Esquerre, Parrish Maynard, and Jeffrey Lyons. Kevin then joined Ballet Austin II, and later the professional company. He has enjoyed dancing in roles such as Mercutio in Stephen Mills' Romeo and Juliet, the Dodo Bird in Septime Webre's ALICE (in Wonderland), as well as other works by Lar Lubovitch, Pam Tanowitz, Pontus Lidberg, and Justin Peck. Kevin has also worked with the Austin-based company Performa/Dance under the direction of Jennifer Hart and Edward Carr.
Preston Andrew Patterson was born in Atlanta, Ga., and began his dance studies at the Ballethnic Academy of Dance. At age 17 he attended the School of American Ballet and later the National Ballet School of Canada. As a member of Ballet Austin, Preston Patterson has had the privilege of performing in Stephen Mills’ Wolftanzt, Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project, Belle Redux / A Tale of Beauty & The Beast, George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, the Peasant Pas de Deux from Giselle, and the Blue Bird in Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty.
Elise Pekarek is originally from the Chicago area and began her early ballet training with the Judith Svalander School of Ballet under the direction of Judith Svalander and Greg Begley. Since joining the company in 2011, Elise has been honored to have been featured in several works by Stephen Mills' as well as Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, George Balanchine, Lar Lubovitch, Pam Tanowitz, Septime Webre, and Jimmy Orrante. She participated as a dancer in the National Choreographer's Initiative in 2017 and 2018. Elise has also performed in Austin-based projects such as Michelle Thompson's Illusory Impressions as well as with Performa/Dance, directed by Jennifer Hart and Edward Carr. In 2017, she performed Thang Dao's award-winning duet, We Circle The Night, for the Danza in Arte a Pietrasanta festival in Pietrasanta, Italy. Elise teaches classes for Ballet Austin's Pilates Center.
Chelsea Marie Renner, originally from Bozeman, Mont., received her early training from Ann Bates of Montana Ballet and Campbell Midgley of Queen City Ballet. Since joining Ballet Austin's main company, Chelsea has enjoyed performing principal roles in Stephen Mills' The Nutcracker as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Paul Vasterling's Peter Pan as Wendy. She has also enjoyed performing in Stephen Mills’ Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project, The Magic Flute, Kai, Hamlet, and as Rosalyn in Romeo & Juliet, along with George Balanchine's Agon, Nicolo Fonte's Lasting Imprint, and works by Nelly van Bommel, Gregory Dolbashian, Gabrielle Lamb, Jimmy Orrante, and Pam Tanowitz. In June of 2013, Chelsea was honored to travel to Washington, D.C., to perform Stephen Mills' Hush for Ballet Across America III at The Kennedy Center, and in September of that year joined the company in Israel for a three-city tour of Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project. Chelsea was the first recipient of the Sarah and Ernest Butler Scholarship in 2006. When not in the studio, Chelsea loves spending her time with her 3-year-old son, Landon, her husband, Aaron, and running her home-based skin care business with Rodan & Fields. Chelsea would like to thank Aaron, her parents, and her grandparents for their endless love and support.
Originally from the Chicago area, Ashley received her pre-professional training from Sherry Moray. She began her career with Alabama Ballet under the direction of Wes Chapman and Roger Van Fleteren. Since joining Ballet Austin, her personal highlights have been dancing the roles of Giselle, Odette/Odile, Juliet, and Ophelia in Stephen Mills’ Hamlet, receiving an Austin Critic’s Table Award for her performance. Ashley had the honor of originating the role of Pamina in Mills’ The Magic Flute, as well as premiering many of his contemporary works, and touring with the company to China, Israel, Italy, Slovenia, The Joyce Theater, and The Kennedy Center. She has also danced the principal pas de deux in Balanchine’s Agon, Lar Lubovitch’s Dvořák Serenade, and Pontus Lidberg’s Stream. Ashley has made guest appearances with National Choreographer’s Initiative, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, and Performa/Dance. She is an alumna of St. Edward's University, and a private yoga instructor with specialization in Restorative yoga and Ayurveda. When she is not dancing or teaching, Ashley enjoys spending time with her new baby boy. She would like to thank her husband, Joshua, and her family for their generous support.
Morgan Stillman began his ballet training with Project Ballet in Fort Wayne, Ind., and attended Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. In 2014, he joined Nevada Ballet Theatre and performed principal and soloist roles in James Canfield and Balanchine repertoire. Morgan joined Ballet Austin's professional company in 2017.
Brittany Strickland is originally from Winston-Salem, N.C. She attended the North Carolina School of the Arts (now the University of NCSA) from 2001-2007 where she trained under Melissa Hayden, Nina Danilova, and Kee-Juan Han. With NCSA, Brittany was privileged to perform George Balanchine’s Serenade at the Hollywood Bowl as well as performing featured roles in The Nutcracker, La Fille mal Gardee, La Sonnambula and Jardin Anime. Following graduation she continued her training with Ballet Austin under full scholarship. With Ballet Austin II she was privileged to perform featured roles in works such as Thang Dao’s Quiet Imprint and Stephen Mills’ Touch as well as performing with the company in Mills’ Coppelia and his world premiere of The Firebird. Since joining the company, she has enjoyed performing in works such as Mills' The Taming of the Shrew, The Nutcracker, Carmina Burana, and Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project. In her free time, Brittany also teaches in the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.
Christopher Swaim is originally from Bryant, AR, 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. Chirstopher has danced principal roles in The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, The Nutcracker and Valse Fantaisie, and has been featured in works by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Stephen Mills, Thaddeus Davis, Amy Seiwert, James Clouser, Miguel Terekhov, Septime Webre, Nelly Van Bommel, Loni Landon, Bradley Shelver, Sidra Bell, Gina Patterson, Nicolo Fonte, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Ben Stevenson. He has also performed at the 2010 San Francisco International Arts Festival as a guest with Amy Seiwert's company Imagery, at the Kennedy Center in 2008 with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet and again in 2013 with Ballet Across America III, with Ballet Arkansas as a guest in 2012, and at the 2011 Festival des Arts de Saint- Sauveur. Mr. Swaim teaches in the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness, Ballet Austin Academy, and has guest taught across the country.
Jaime Lynn Witts is originally from Bucks County, Penn., where she received most of her training from Maxim Ponomarenko, Oleg Briansky, and Mireille Briane. She attended summer programs at CPYB, Boston Ballet, and Ballet Austin. There, she continued her studies with Truman Finney in Ballet Austin's Trainee program before joining Ballet Austin II. Since joining the company, Witts has performed in works by numerous choreographers including Stephen Mills, Thaddeus Davis, KT Nelson, Nicolo Fonte, Sidra Bell, Viktor Kabaniaev, Nelly van Bommel, Loni Landon, Jennifer Hart, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Gabrielle Lamb and Gina Patterson. She has enjoyed performing principal roles in George Balanchine's Allegro Brillante and Agon,Swanhilda in Coppelia, Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty and Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, for which she earned her second Austin Critics Table Award. Most recently she has made her premier as the title role in Mills’ The Firebird. Witts has also had the honor of performing the role of The Survivor in Mills' Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project in Austin and on tour in Miami and Israel. When she is not dancing, Witts enjoys spending her time off with her husband and daughter, Evaline.
Be in the know, before the show!
Immerse yourself in the world of dance before every performance at the Long Center by checking out Ballet-o-mania!
Arrive early early and explore our interactive discovery lounge, featuring informational videos, costume and music samples, and behind-the-scenes info on the production, the choreographers, the dancers and musicians. You can "ask a dancer" anything you'd like to know about the art form, see and touch pointe shoes, and learn more about the dance works and the creative process.
Ballet-o-mania! is located on Mezzannine Level in the Kodosky Lounge or Gallery 701 for select performances. The exhibits open 90 minutes before show time and remain open to guests during all intermissions. So take your time and explore our engaging exhibits at your leisure.
Free for all Ticket Holders; present show ticket at Ballet-o-mania! entrance for complimentary admission.
An hour before every show, join us for a look at the final preparations for the ballet during our Footlights pre-show information session. Enjoy the last-minute workings of dancers and production crew as you learn about the historical, choreographic, and artistic aspects of the production you are about to see. Footlights for Families offers the same preview with content tailored for families with children ages 12 and younger and is offered before designated matinee performances. This informal lecture takes place inside the theater on the Mezzanine Level one hour prior Ballet Austin performances at the Long Center.
Length of Program: Approximately 25 minutes
Free for all Ticket Holders
Join Ballet Austin dancers and staff, including Artistic Director / Choreographer Stephen Mills, for an informal post-performance conversation and Q&A.
Encore takes place inside the theater at the orchestra level immediately following all performances at The Long Center.
NOTE: Encore will not be offered following the Dec. 23, 2018, performance of The Nutcracker.
Length of Program: Approximately 15 minutes
Free for all Ticket holders
Before the performance begins, please remind children not to talk or ask questions during the performance and to remain seated without touching or kicking the seat in front of them. Remember, when the lights dim and the music which is part of the performance begins, it is quiet time.
Is My Child Ready to Attend?
Parents know best if their child is able to quietly enjoy a full-length performance. The following questions will help you decide if your child is ready:
Please note that there are no refunds, credits, or exchanges if you must leave the theater because your child was unhappy or disruptive.
Water and beverages purchased from the bar with a lid are allowed inside the theater during the performance. Food is not allowed inside the auditorium. Please be courteous of other guests enjoying the performance.
Tickets are revocable and may be taken up at any time for any reason.
Ballet Austin does not enforce a formal dress code for performances; however, we are often asked by guests for suggested attire.
While our audience members tend to dress more formally for evening shows, "business casual" attire, including dresses/sundresses, blouses, skirts, dress pants, nice polo shirts, button-up shirts, sports coats and/or suits are always welcome at evening and matinee performances held at the Long Center and at our own AustinVentures StudioTheater at Ballet Austin.
Both performance venues are air-conditioned, and if you typically need a sweater, shawl or jacket in places like restaurants or movie theaters, it's a good idea to bring one with you to the ballet.
If you have questions or need advice on what to wear, contact Audience Services at 512.476.2163, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT. We're happy of offer guidance!
Ballet Austin's Audience Services Team is available via phone at 512.476.2163, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT (available weekdays except major holidays). Call us if you need help purchasing season or individual performance tickets and if you need your tickets replaced or reprinted. We can also assist you with online ticket purchases, give you directions to the Butler Dance Education Center (501 W. 3rd Street) and our performance venues, and share tips on parking, special events and attractions near our downtown studios.
If you need to reach the Audience Services Team during the weekends, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During performance dates, Audience Services Team members will be available in person at the Long Center Box Office 90 minutes before the performance begins. Audience Services Team members will also be available in person for performances scheduled in our Austin/Ventures Studio/Theater (located in the Butler Dance Education Center | 501 W. 3rd Street) 90 minutes before show time.
Please note: Ballet Austin does not operate a walk-up box office location in the Butler Dancer Education Center. Give us a call at 512.476.2163 any time you need personal assistance!
Tickets may be purchased through Ballet Austin's official website, at my.balletaustin.org, 24 hours a day. Please note that online ticket sales for individual performances will close two hours prior to show time on the day of the performance. Audience members interested in purchasing tickets within two hours of show time may do so at the Long Center Box Office (701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704), which opens 90 minutes prior curtain. Tickets are subject to availability.
Accessible seating is available at both the Long Center and the Butler Dance Education Center. Elevators at the Long Center can be accessed in the Rollins Lobby on the ground level and service all levels.
Upon request, Ballet Austin can make an audio describer available for visually impaired individuals. Those seeking audio decription services should contact Ballet Austin Audience Services at 512. 476.2163 at least one month prior to scheduled performances in order to arrange for audio description services at the chosen performance(s).
For more information regarding these accommodations or to purchase tickets in accessible seating locations, please contact the Ballet Austin box office at 512.476.2163.
College students can purchase up to two (2) tickets with a valid college ID for $15 per ticket (Parterre, Mezzanine or Balcony seating as available) on the day of the performance at the Ballet Austin box office. The box office will open 90 minutes prior to curtain at the Long Center. Student Rush tickets will be offered based on availability.
Lap seating is available for children under the age of 3 free of charge. A lap seat ticket is required for entry and may be picked up at the box office prior to the performance.
Please be courteous of other guests and step outside the theater into the lobby if your child is crying or being disruptive.
Ballet Austin Season Ticket Holders may exchange tickets for a different performance date or a different production at no cost. Free ticket exchanges are offered only to Season Ticket Holders. There is no guarantee that tickets can be exchanged for the exact seats purchased.
Please contact Ballet Austin's Audience Services Team at 512.476.2163 no later than 24 hours prior to the originally scheduled performance to exchange your tickets.
For non-season ticket holders, a $5 exchange fee per order will be applied to ALL ticket exchanges.
Please be courteous of other guests enjoying the performance.
Tickets are revocable licenses that may be taken up at any time for any reason upon refunding the purchase price.
The primary parking structure for patrons of The Long Center is the City of Austin's Palmer Events Center Garage. It is located behind and to the east of the Long Center. This structure has two entrances—the South Entrance on Barton Springs Road and North Entrance on Riverside Drive. There is an $8 charge per vehicle to park in this structure.
Paid valet parking is available for $18 per car. For valet parking drop-off by driving eastbound on Riverside Drive and entering the first drive on your right past the Long Center (please stay in the right hand lane of the Keller Williams Circular Drive).
Overflow Parking for the Long Center is located at The One Texas Center listed in the map below.
ADA Accessibility: The Palmer Events Center garage has 24 accessible/handicapped parking spaces located closest to the garage elevators on each level. Patrons may also enter the valet line through the first entrance to the Long Center off of Riverside Drive and pull up to the curb to drop off at the main entrance. Elevator access is available through the ground level doors for Rollins Lobby next to the Box Office. Staff will be available to direct you should you need assistance.