On September 15-16, Ballet Austin presents Ballet Austin II in Not Afraid of the Dark – The Show that Glows!®, a magical glow-in-the-dark ballet and visual treat for all ages. Set to the whimsical tunes of award winning children’s recording artist Joe Scruggs and the choreography of Stephen Mills, Ballet Austin II– Ballet Austin’s second company – turns the darkness into a place to laugh, sing, clap, dream, dance, and do everything imaginable, except be afraid.
Featuring brilliant lighting effects and glow-painted figures gliding and pirouetting across the stage, Not Afraid of the Dark – The Show that Glows!® is best described as a typical summer night that turns magical. The show opens on a summer evening with the fading light of dusk, in a backyard with trees and tall grass, and children chasing fireflies. Dusk turns to twilight and then to darkness as the children head off to bed. As one child’s dreams begin, the lights turn out and the magic of the glow-in-the-dark special effects take the stage. Parents and kids are transported to a fantastical place where darkness isn’t scary but, rather, a wonderland where no one is afraid.
Not Afraid of the Dark – The Show that Glows!® is the result of a two-and-a-half year collaboration between Ballet Austin Artistic Director Stephen Mills and nationally known children's recording artist Joe Scruggs. Now in its 10th year of touring, Ballet Austin II continues to captivate with this luminous family favorite.
“This unique collaboration is a wonderful opportunity to talk to young audiences in a playful, childlike atmosphere exploring the most universal of children’s fears – the dark,” said Mills. “One of my goals when creating this ballet was to open the world of dance and art to children in a format that is not only accessible but enjoyable for the entire family.”
About Ballet Austin II
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 with original works such as Quiet Imprint by Thang Dao (New American Talent/Dance finalist in 2008) and Strange Shadows by Jennifer Hart. The Austin Critics’ Table named Ballet Austin II “Best Ensemble/Dance” in 2012 forHansel & Gretel, an original work by Nelly van Bommel (New American Talent/Dance finalist in 2010). Other choreographers represented in the Ballet Austin II repertoire include Stephen Mills, George Balanchine, and Nick Kepley.
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. Ballet Austin II apprentices are recruited through Ballet Austin’s Summer Intensive Program and the year‐round trainee program. Nearly 70 percent of the main company’s current roster includes graduates of Ballet Austin II. Additionally, former Ballet Austin II dancers have joined the ranks of both ballet and modern dance companies, including Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Washington Ballet, Nai‐Ni Chen, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Ballet Met, Kansas City Ballet, Kim Robards Dance Company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Wideman/Davis Dance and Thang Dao Dance.
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.”