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Ballet Austin Welcomes Hansel & Gretel
Updated: Friday, February 10 2012, 02:31 PM CST
By Rob Fabuion, Austin On Stage http://www.austinonstage.com/
Ballet Austin II Staging World Premiere of Family-Friendly Hansel and Gretel
Featuring choreography by Nelly van Bommel, the new work runs February 25th through March 3rd in the AustinVentures StudioTheater at the Butler Dance Education Center.
The dancers of Ballet Austin II — Ballet Austin’s second company — will debut a new staging of Hansel and Gretel, bringing a playful spirit to the classic Grimm's fairy tale with new choreography by Nelly van Bommel. Created for children as young as three years old and their family members, the production runs February 25 through March 4 in the AustinVentures StudioTheater at Ballet Austin’s Butler Dance Education Center.
“It’s a high-energy, modern twist on the classic that speaks on many different levels,” said Michelle Martin, Ballet Austin Assistant Artistic Director. “It’s animated, funny and edgy. I’m certain parents will be every bit as entertained as their children.”
In 2010, van Bommel competed as a finalist in Ballet Austin's New American Talent/Dance choreographic competition, which returns to The Long Center stage in February. The choreographer won two Austin Critic's Table Awards for Fanfarnèta, a folk-tale inspired piece.
Established in 1999, Ballet Austin II is Ballet Austin’s second company and apprentice program. Performing with the main company in larger productions, Ballet Austin II dancers also maintain their own repertoire and have performed and toured internationally in original works - including Quiet Imprint by Thang Dao (New American Talent/Dance finalist in 2008) and Strange Shadows by Jennifer Hart.
Apprentices are contracted with Ballet Austin II for up to two years, during which time they receive artistic guidance, career management counseling and job placement assistance. Nearly 70 percent of Ballet Austin's main company’s current roster includes graduates of Ballet Austin II.
Performances of Hansel and Gretel will run February 25, and 26, and March 3 and 4, at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.
A 30-minute Family Dance Workshop is scheduled for Sunday, February 12, starting at 2 p.m. Participants will have a chance to see excerpts from the show and create choreography with the help of Ballet Austin II dancers.
The AustinVentures StudioTheater is inside Ballet Austin’s Butler Dance Education Center, located downtown at 501 West Third Street. For tickets and more information, visit www.balletaustin.org.
(Image courtesy Ballet Austin)