Austin’s favorite holiday tradition returns for its 55th year with all the colorful characters, pomp and pageantry you adore. Journey with young Clara Silberhaus from her family’s holiday party to the confection-filled Court of the Sugar Plum Fairy, where sweets of all kinds come to life. Ballet Austin’s annual production of the world’s best-known ballet features hundreds of dancers, lavish sets and costumes, and the Austin Symphony Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s beloved score. It’s the perfect way for family and friends to celebrate the season together!
Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m.; matinees begin at 2 p.m.
Choreography: Stephen Mills
Music: Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
Live Accompaniment: Austin Symphony Orchestra
This production is recommended for all ages.
It is Christmas Eve at the Silberhaus residence as daughter Clara and her brother Fritz anxiously await their holiday party. Gifts are distributed. Clara receives a doll’s cradle and Fritz a trumpet. Suddenly, Clara's mysterious Godfather, Drosselmeyer, appears with his nephew. Drosselmeyer wins the children over by producing life size dolls. After the dolls perform for the guests, Drosselmeyer presents Clara with a wooden nutcracker in the shape of a soldier. Out of jealousy, her brother Fritz takes the nutcracker from her and smashes her cherished gift. Clara is broken-hearted, but Drosselmeyer is able to repair the nutcracker. Clara is consoled and happily joins Drosselmeyer's nephew to dance with the adults. As midnight approaches the guests depart and Clara and Fritz are sent to bed. The evening is seemingly over.
In the quiet of the evening, a pack of mice scurry into the parlor. Clara returns to the parlor to see her nutcracker once more. Suddenly she is surrounded by rats. A transformation takes place. The room begins to disappear and the tree begins to grow. A regiment of soldiers appears and a battle between the rats and the soldiers ensues. Clara's nutcracker magically appears in human size and leads the battle. The nutcracker is suddenly overpowered by the Rat King. Clara stabs the Rat King with the nutcracker's sword, sending him crashing to the ground. Because of Clara’s bravery, the nutcracker is transformed, revealing himself to be Drosselmeyer's nephew, now a handsome Prince. The Prince takes her through the enchanting Land of Snow.
Magically, Clara and the Nutcracker Prince find themselves in a land filled with dancing snowflakes and a glistening Snow Queen and King. Clara is honored with their beautiful dancing. Wrapped up in a magnificent coil of never-ending snow, Clara and the Nutcracker Prince bid farewell to the Snow Queen and King and continue their journey to the Court of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Clara and the Nutcracker Prince arrive at a majestic castle. They are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her entire court. Clara tells of her encounter with the evil Rat King. In celebration, the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Court dance for Clara. As the festivities draw to a close, Clara suddenly awakens to find herself back in her own home, with her nutcracker, once again a wooden doll, safely at her side. We are left to wonder if Clara's adventure was real or simply a dream.
In 1816, German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann published The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. In 1844, Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers) adapted Hoffmann's tale, which, with a few exceptions, is most like the children's tale we see performed today.
In December, 1892, The Nutcracker ballet premiered at the Imperial Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia. The ballet was a collaboration of Marius Petipa (senior ballet master to the Tsar), PyotrIlyich Tchaikovsky (the famous Russian composer), and Lev Ivanov (Petipa's assistant, who took over choreography when Petipa fell ill).
With their 1944 staging, the San Francisco Ballet became the first American professional company to premier a full-length The Nutcracker. In 1954, George Balanchine created a new staging of The Nutcracker, having performed many of the roles previously at the Mariinksy Theater in his native Russia. This version is the one American audiences are most familiar with today.
In 1956, the Austin Ballet Society (later Ballet Austin), accompanied by the Austin Symphony Orchestra performed excerpts from The Nutcracker, and in 1962 Ballet Austin was the first company in Texas to perform the full-length version of the ballet.
In 1997 Ballet Austin started the tradition of inviting local celebrities to dance the role of Mother Ginger.
In 1999, Stephen Mills premiered his original version of Ballet Austin's The Nutcracker. This is the choreography you'll see onstage.
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.
Hailing from Seattle, Paul Michael Bloodgood began his training with Don Snyder at the L'Acadamie de Danse, and then continued on full scholarship with the Pacific Northwest Ballet School, with summers under the Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet. Now in his 18th professional season, Paul has performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, Terpsicorps, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and Ballet Austin, with tour highlights to Europe, Israel, Puerto Rico, the Kennedy Center, The Joyce Theater, and most recently a 14-city tour of China. Professionally, he has had the privilege of principal roles such as Hamlet in Hamlet, Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, Albrecht in Giselle, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Prince Ivan in The Firebird, Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, Young Warrior in The Rite of Spring, James in La Sylphide, Franz in Coppelia, Prince Charming in Cinderella, Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cavalier in The Nutcracker, Le Chevalier in Liaisons, as well as a principal in George Balanchine's Episodes, Allegro Brillante, and Agon, Antony Tudor's Sunflowers, and Choo-San Goh's Double Contrasts. Paul was one of two dancers to originate the role of The Beast in Stephen Mills' Belle REDUX / A Tale of Beauty & the Beast. Past repertoire includes works by Twyla Tharp, Lynne Taylor-Corbet, Marius Petipa, Peter Pucci, Nicolo Fonte, Septime Weber, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and over 50 original works including Dwight Rhoden, Kent Stowell, Anne Marie DeAngelo, Jacques Heim, Paul Vasterling, David Allan, Gina Patterson and Thaddeus Davis, among others. A three-time Austin Critics Table Award recipient, Paul is a union member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA, appearing in film, music videos and television; with work in director Michael Bay's Transformers, Forest Whitaker's First Daughter, Richard Linklater's Bernie, and more than 25 independent films, some of which have toured the international film festival circuit. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts from St. Edwards University and holds the rank of pum dan in Tukong Moosul martial arts under Grand Master Yi (Sin City). He runs a photography and film production company, Bloodygood Pictures, with his wife, a former dancer, Anne. His studio band, Floating Pockets, released an album entitled Panacean Vacancy currently on iTunes/Amazon/Spotify/Pandora Radio among other distributors. Trenches of Rock, Paul's premier film as director, was awarded "Best Documentary" by SND Variety Film Festival in Los Angeles and will be represented at the Marché du Film at Cannes Film Festival with an anticipated release in 2017. Paul welcomed his son in the fall of 2015, and he would like to thank God, his wife, Anne and his family. Twitter: @paulmbloodgood Instagram: bloodgood
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., Edward 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 under the instruction of Lindsay Fischer. While there, Edward performed works by James Kudelka, Toer van Schayk, and Rudi van Dantzig. Since joining Ballet Austin, he has been featured in Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs, Bradley Shelver’s The Last Just, Nicolo Fonte's Left Unsaid and Lasting Imprint, originated roles in Stephen Mills' Angel of My Nature, Though the Earth Gives Way, and Belle Redux / A Tale of Beauty & the Beast, and has portrayed Claudius in Mills' Hamlet and Tybalt in Mills’ Romeo & Juliet. He has appeared as Drosselmeyer in every performance of Mills’ The Nutcracker since 2009. When not dancing with Ballet Austin, Edward teaches in the Ballet Austin Academy and works with local choreographers such as Jennifer Hart.
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 (SAB) where she trained for two years with Kay Mazzo, Susan Pilarre, Suki Schorer, Darci Kistler, and Peter Martins. While at SAB, Constance was thrilled to perform 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. Constance joined Ballet Austin II in 2015 and has enjoyed every challenge and performance opportunity at Ballet Austin, but was especially thrilled to perform the principal couple in Stephen Mill's Touch at the Ballet Austin II showcase. Constance was promoted to the main company in 2017. 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.
Oliver Greene-Cramer is originally from Marlboro, Vt. He received his early training at the Brattleboro School of Dance and Burklyn Ballet Theatre. He graduated from SUNY Purchase College cum laude with a BFA in Dance - Ballet Concentration and was given the award for Outstanding Senior in Modern Dance. While at Purchase he danced works by George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham, Lar Lubovitch, Nicolo Fonte, John Heginbotham, and premiered works by Ori Flomin and Jonathan Riedel. In 2012 he was honored to join Purchase on a tour to Taipei to perform Dvorak Serenade by Lar Lubovitch. Immediately after graduation Oliver joined the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. Since joining Ballet Austin he has performed works by Stephen Mills, Jimmy Orrante, Jennifer Hart, and Nelly van Bommel. Oliver also works with Performa/Dance, an Austin 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. During her time at NBS, Courtney attended various summer intensives through an exchange program that included École Supérieure de Danse Rosella Hightower in Cannes, France, San Francisco Ballet school, Houston Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. After graduating from NBS in 2010, Courtney moved to New York City to continue her training at the Dance Theatre of Harlem on full scholarship. In June 2012, she was a finalist at 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 was invited to join 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. Courtney feels very blessed to have the love and support of her family and excited to be starting her first 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 Murdock-Waters began his training at Hawkins School of Performing Arts. He then went on to train at the San Francisco Ballet School where he performed roles in multiple main company ballets, including John Cranko's Onegin, Rudolf Nureyev's Raymonda, Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella and Helgi Tomasson's The Nutcracker and Romeo & Juliet. During the San Francisco Ballet student showcase, Kevin performed the second movement principal in George Balanchine's Western Symphony. With Ballet Austin II, he enjoyed performing as Hansel in Nelly van Bommel's Hansel and Gretel, the judge in Nick Kepley's Season of Innocence, and in Stephen Mills' Belle Redux / A Tale of Beauty & The Beast.
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. With the school's performing company, she had the opportunity to dance leading roles as well as perform in Dance Chicago for several years. Elise attended summer programs at Ballet Austin and Pacific Northwest Ballet. She continued her training with Ballet Austin as a trainee and then as a member of Ballet Austin II. As an apprentice, Elise was privileged to perform Stephen Mills' Touch, Carmina Burana, and Red Roses as well as Thang Dao's Quiet Imprint. Since joining the company, she has been honored to perform the role of the Rose Girl in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Requiem for a Rose in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as well as in Austin. She also has enjoyed performing the first pas de trios in George Balanchine's Agon and The Rose in Stephen Mills' Belle Redux / A Tale of Beauty & The Beast. In 2014, Elise completed her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration through Columbia College of Missouri. She also teaches classes for Ballet Austin's Butler Center for Dance & Fitness and Pilates Center.
Oren Porterfield hails from Dallas, Texas, where she trained with Tanju and Patricia Tuzer of Tuzer Dancenter. She continued to study under revered master teacher Truman Finney as a trainee and an apprentice with Ballet Austin. Oren has danced with Ohio Ballet and Dayton Ballet where she had the pleasure of performing the featured roles of Blanche DuBois in Karen Russo Burke's A Streetcar Named Desire and as Lucy Westenra in Stewart Sebastian's Dracula. Oren has been a guest artist with Verb Ballets, Motion Dance Theatre, and Performa Dance. Since returning to Austin, she has been featured in works by Nicolo Fonte, Annabelle Lopez Achoa, Loni Landon, Jennifer Hart, and James Gregg as well as in director Stephen Mills’ Angel of my Nature, Luminaria, and One/the body’s grace. Oren has recently enjoyed the role of Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty, and the iconic pas de deux in George Balanchine's Agon.
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 in Stephen Mills' Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project, The Magic Flute, Kai, Hamlet, and as Waltz soloist in The Nutcracker, along with Nicolo Fonte's Lasting Imprint, and works by Nelly van Bommel, Gregory Dolbashian, Gabrielle Lamb and Jimmy Orrante. 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. She also teaches in the Ballet Austin Academy. Chelsea would like to thank her husband Aaron, her parents, and her grandparents for their endless love and support. On April 14, 2015, Aaron and Chelsea welcomed their first child, Landon Jay Katz, into the world. He is the light in their eyes and the love in their hearts and they feel so blessed to have him. Chelsea is excited to be returning to the stage this season and to have an amazing son to share it with.
Ashley Lynn Sherman grew up in the Chicago area, where she trained with Ms. Sherry Moray. She spent four years with Alabama Ballet before joining Ballet Austin. With the company, Ashley has had the honor of premiering many works by Stephen Mills and performing in Italy, Slovenia, The Joyce Theater, and the Kennedy Center, where she was featured in Balanchine's Episodes with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. She has enjoyed dancing principal roles in Don Quixote, Hamlet, Swan Lake, Coppelia, La Sylphide, The Magic Flute, and Romeo & Juliet. Ashley has been featured in works by Thang Dao, Mats Ek, Nicolo Fonte, Gina Patterson, Dwight Rhoden, and Twyla Tharp and has made guest appearances with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. In 2009, Ashley received an Austin Critic's Table Award for Outstanding Dancer. Ashley is a graduate of St. Edward's University and is on faculty with the Ballet Austin Academy and a yoga instructor at Dharma Yoga.
Morgan Stillman is originally from Fort Wayne, Ind., and joins Ballet Austin for the 2017/18 season after dancing two years with Nevada Ballet Theater where he was featured in a variety of classical and contemporary roles. Morgan received most of his formal training at Indiana University Ballet Theater under the guidance of Michael Vernon, Violette Verdy, Jacques Cesbron, Guo Pin Wang, Victoria Lyras, and Shawn Stevens.
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. 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
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.
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 sweather, 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 tickets with a valid college ID for $10 a ticket (best available seating) 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 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.
As a benefit to current Ballet Austin Season Ticket Holders, tickets may be exchanged for a different performance date or a different production. 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 return your tickets.
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.