Cosmic Dialogues with Ventana Ballet
The ancient Greeks believed the cosmos consisted of four elements—earth, fire, water, and air. A Million Alien Gospels by Austin-based Ventana Ballet, a new collaborative ballet with chamber musicians of Austin Camerata, tells the story of Alice, a girl who is given the gift of a flower by all four elements. Alongside Ray Williams, Blanton Director of Education, preview the ballet with composer Michael Alec Rose and dancer-choreographers Dorothy Overbey and AJ Garcia-Rameau, as they draw connections between the ballet’s cosmic characters and artworks from the Blanton’s collection.
Funding provided by the Carolyn Harris Hynson Centennial Endowment.
AJ Garcia-Rameau is the founder & director of Ventana Ballet, a professional contemporary ballet dance company in Austin, TX whose mission is to bring more performance opportunities to local artists & to the community. AJ is also a partner-owner of First Street Studio, a performance, rehearsal, & education home to more than 95 Austin-based performing arts companies & individual professional artists. AJ received her formal training in classical ballet & modern dance at Houston Academy of Dance, Austin School of Classical Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Joffrey School of Ballet, & Complexions Contemporary Ballet. AJ earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering & Minor in Dance from the University of Texas while performing with theAustin Classical Ballet. AJDances.com
Dorothy O’Shea Overbey is a multidisciplinary performing artist, choreographer, and producer currently on faculty at UT Austin. Her early artistic training was focused on ballet technique and classical piano: she studied and performed corps de ballet roles with Ballet Austin while studying piano under Butler School of Music Professor Amanda Vick Lethco. After receiving a BFA in Dance and BA in Philosophy from Southern Methodist University, she went on to dance for numerous classical and contemporary dance companies in Colorado, California and New York. Overbey is Artistic Advisor at Ventana Ballet, partner-owner at First Street Studio, and founder of Red Nightfall Productions.
Michael Alec Rose is a composer of symphonic, chamber, piano, vocal, wind ensemble, theater, and ballet music. In April, 2019, Rose’s opera Lolly Willowes premiered with a generous grant from the Houston Arts Alliance. From 2005 to 2016, Rose co-directed an International Exchange Program between Vanderbilt University and the Royal Academy of Music, London. The collaboration has inspired many new compositions for violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved and friends. Two CD albums of the Rose/Sheppard Skærved catalogue are available on Toccata Records and Divine Arts Recordings. More information and lots of music can be found at https://michaelalecrose.com/ and https://soundcloud.com/michaelalecrose
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