A Celebration of Lar Lubovitch
About Ballet Austin
Ballet Austin welcomes audiences near and far to participate in its “classically innovative” vision for the democratization of dance. Established in 1956, the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization has a rich history, featuring original, acclaimed productions and a commitment to creating access to programs. Ballet Austin owns and operates a combined training facility located in the heart of downtown Austin and is among the 15 largest classical ballet companies in the country.
From its home at the Butler Dance Education Center in downtown Austin, Ballet Austin and Stephen Mills, Ballet Austin’s Sarah and Ernest Butler Family Fund Artistic Director, actively engage the community, dancers, and audiences alike. The New York Times proclaims Ballet Austin “a company with big ambitions” originating work that is “absorbing." Hailed by The Washington Post as “one of the nation’s best-kept ballet secrets," Stephen Mills works closely with the 22 full-time professional dancers.
Ballet Austin has participated in international festivals including les Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationals de Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris, France, one of the premier modern dance festivals in Europe, and le Festival des arts de Saint-Sauveur in Montreal, Canada. In the summer of 2005, at the invitation of the U.S. State Department, the company performed in Italy and Slovenia. In 2002, Mills led the Company to the Kennedy Center to perform to seven sold-out houses of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the Center’s Youth and Family Public Performance Series. Mills was subsequently commissioned by the Center to create The Taming of the Shrew which made its world premiere in Washington, D.C. in 2004—after which The New York Times dubbed him “the bard of ballet." The following year, the company was invited to perform at the Joyce Theater in NYC for a week’s engagement. Also in 2005, Mills’ landmark Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project was awarded the Audrey & Raymond Maislin Humanitarian Award by the Anti Defamation League.
The Joffrey Ballet
Classically trained to the highest standards, The Joffrey Ballet expresses a unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its company, audiences, and repertoire that includes major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces, and contemporary works.
The Company’s commitment to accessibility is met through an innovative and highly effective education program including the much-lauded Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Community Engagement programs, and collaborations with myriad other visual and performing arts organizations.
Founded by visionary teacher Robert Joffrey in 1956, guided by celebrated choreographer Gerald Arpino from 1988 until 2007, The Joffrey Ballet continues to thrive under internationally renowned The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director Ashley Wheater and President and CEO Greg Cameron.
Martha Graham Dance Company
Martha Graham and her Company have expanded contemporary dance’s vocabulary of movement and forever altered the scope of the art form by rooting works in contemporary social, political, psychological, and sexual contexts, deepening their impact and resonance.
Always a fertile ground for experimentation, Martha Graham Dance Company has been an unparalleled resource in nurturing many of the leading choreographers and dancers of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Merce Cunningham, Erick Hawkins, Pearl Lang, Pascal Rioult, and Paul Taylor. Graham’s repertoire of 181 works has also engaged noted performers such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Claire Bloom, Margot Fonteyn, Liza Minnelli, Rudolf Nureyev, Maya Plisetskaya, and Kathleen Turner. Her groundbreaking techniques and unmistakable style have earned the Company acclaim from audiences in more than 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
Today, the Company continues to foster Graham’s spirit of ingenuity. It is embracing a new programming vision that showcases masterpieces by Graham alongside newly commissioned works by contemporary artists inspired by Graham’s legacy. With programs that unite the work of choreographers across time within a rich historical and thematic narrative, the Company is actively working to create new platforms for contemporary dance and multiple points of access for audiences.
Martha Graham Dance Company’s repertory includes Graham masterpieces Appalachian Spring, Lamentation, Cave of the Heart, Deaths and Entrances, and Chronicle, among other works. The Company continues to expand its mission to present the work of its founder and her contemporaries, and remains a leader by catalyzing new works with commissions that bring fresh perspectives to dance classics, such as American Document (2010) and Lamentation Variations (2009). Multimedia programs like Dance is a Weapon (2010), a montage of several works connected through text and media, redefine the boundaries of contemporary dance composition.
Jonathan Alsberry is a dancer, educator, creator and coach. Born in Normal, IL he began dancing with his mother Lyndetta and went on to graduate from The Chicago Academy for the Arts where he has since been guest faculty and created over a dozen dances for the school and company. In 2006 he received his Bachelors of Fine Arts from The Juilliard School where he met Aszure Barton. Alsberry (AKA “Jojo” )is now dancer, rehearsal director, and creative collaborator with Aszure Barton & Artists and has assisted Ms. Barton in over a dozen creations including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Bayerische Staatsballett and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Alsberry has performed for Prince Edward III in Banff, Canada, and shared two tours with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Hell’s Kitchen Dance as well as Evolution with Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo. Jonathan has performed as a principal dancer with The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Chicago Opera Theater. In 2007 Jonathan joined the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and is currently performer and rehearsal director with the company.