February, 2012Ballet Austin today announces the winners of the 4th Biennial New American Talent/Dance, a nationally renowned choreographic competition held this past weekend at The Long Center for the Performing Arts. The competition brings the country’s most compelling young American dacemakers together to showcase their latest world premieres.
Three finalists competed for cash prizes awarded by an industry-renowned jury and the audience itself, voting by text message. In the end, an overall Jurors’ Award winner and runner up prizes were handed out, in addition to daily Audience Award prizes.
Results from the 4th Biennial New American Talent/Dance are:
· Loni Landon (Loni Landon-projects, New York) awarded the winning Jurors’ Award of $6,000 for her piece The Wild Card.
· Gregory Dolbashian (The DASH Ensemble, New York) awarded a Jurors’ Award of $5,000 for his piece “views that never cease to keep me from myself”.
· Bradley Shelver (Bradley Shelver Contemporary Dance Theater, New York) awarded a Jurors’ Award of $4,000, and received the Audience Award of $1,000 each night, making him the largest prizewinner at $7,000 for his piece The Last Just.
Serving as this year’s jurors are internationally recognized dance experts Anik Bissonnette, Artistic Director of the L'ÉCOLE SUPÉRIEURE DE BALLET DU QUÉBEC; Molly Lynch, Assistant Professor of Dance in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine, Founder and Artistic Director of the National Choreographers Initiative, and former Artistic Director for Ballet Pacifica (1988–2003); and Zachary Whittenburg, former dancer and current writer including dance editor of Time Out: Chicago.
In addition to the choreographic accolades handed out, ticket sales for 2012’s New American Talent/Dance shows Austin’s interest in the creation of new work continuing to grow. The competition ushered in a 40 percent increase in single ticket sales over the inaugural New American Talent/Dance in 2006.
For more information about Ballet Austin’s New American Talent/Dance, visit http://www.balletaustin.org/atb/natd.php.
About Stephen Mills, Artistic Director
Known for his innovative and collaborative choreographic projects, Stephen Mills has works in the repertories of companies across the US and around the world. From his inaugural season as Artistic Director in 2000, Mills attracted attention from around the United States with his world-premiere production of Hamlet, hailed by Dance Magazine as “...sleek and sophisticated.” The Washington Post recognized Ballet Austin as “one of the nation's best-kept secrets” in 2004 after Ballet Austin performed Mills' world premiere of The Taming of the Shrew, commissioned by and performed at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The Company was first invited to perform at Kennedy Center in January of 2002 with the Mills production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and at The Joyce Theater (NYC) in 2004. In 2005 after two years of extensive research, Mills led 13 organizations through a community-wide human rights collaboration that culminated in the world premiere work Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project, after which the Austin Anti-Defamation League awarded Mills its 2006 Humanitarian Award.
In 1998 Mills was the choreographer chosen to represent the U.S. through his work, Ashes, at the Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris. Most recently, Mr. Mills was awarded the Steinberg Award, the top honor at the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur International Choreographic Competition for One/The Body’s Grace.
Mr. Mills has created more than 40 works for companies in the United States and abroad. His ballets are in the repertories of such companies as The Hong Kong Ballet, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, The Atlanta Ballet, The Milwaukee Ballet, Washington Ballet, Cuballet in Havana, Cuba, BalletMet Columbus, The Dayton Ballet, The Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Ballet Pacifica, Dallas Black Dance Theater, The Louisville Ballet, The Nashville Ballet, Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet, The Sacramento Ballet, and Dance Kaleidoscope. He has worked in collaboration with such luminaries as the eight-time Grammy Award-winning band Asleep at the Wheel, Shawn Colvin, and internationally renowned flamenco artist José Greco II.
About Ballet Austin
As distinctive and dynamic as the city it calls home, Ballet Austin welcomes audiences near and far to participate in its “classically innovative” vision for the democratization of dance. With a rich history spanning five decades, acclaimed productions, a commitment to creating access to programs and one of the nation's largest classical ballet academies, the organization is poised for an even greater future. From their home at the Butler Dance Education Center in downtown Austin, Ballet Austin and Artistic Director Stephen Mills 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.”
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