Joyce Willett School of Dance nurtures young dancers in an emotionally, intellectually, and socially safe space. Instructors encourage students to embrace their creative instincts, exploring music through the movement of their body while developing fine and gross motor skills in a supportive environment. Teachers integrate multiple dance styles into classes, from the precise gestures of ballet to the less-structured movements of hip-hop and jazz. The school's theater-arts preschool program cultivates young performers through theater games and role-play that emphasize socialization. Students learn to not only read picture books but to act out their stories and ultimately leverage their adorable dimples into a two-picture deal plus a cut of merchandising.
The nonprofit home of revitalized classical and contemporary music, the Round Rock Symphony Orchestra reshapes masterpieces by Vivaldi and Copland in its season opener, A New Birth of Freedom. As a hush falls over the audience, popular conductor Grant Gilman releases poised bows, sending them flying across strings to weave the notes of the overture to Rossini's lively La Gazza Ladra until they form a durable basket. Guest soloist Ertan Torgul, San Antonio Symphony's concertmaster, adds extra ear candy to the orchestra during Astor Piazzolla's modern version of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. A narrating voice joins strings in Copland's Lincoln Portrait before performers jig through Elgar's Enigma Variations. Since the symphony aims to foster a love of music in young people, the special selection of Into the Storm fuses the experience of the orchestra with the energy of student musicians from Round Rock middle schools. At 7 p.m., Maestro Gilman will chat with interested audience members about the music and composers they're about to hear, as well as providing a glimpse of the rare bird taught to sing inside every violin.
Although Stewart Yaros has performed with numerous elite companies, including the Boston Ballet and the Basel Ballet in Switzerland, his true passion is teaching dance. Teaching allowed the University of Massachusetts and Martha Mahr School of Ballet alumnus to combine his finely honed dance expertise and his zeal for communicating with others via the "common language" of dance in particular and the arts in general.
That theme of unity and togetherness dates back to the early days of Dance International, circa 1991, when the now bustling center for dance tutoring consisted of three students, their devoted teacher, and an old player piano that played Chopsticks. Today, the organization has swelled into a hub for upbeat, accessible instruction from professional-level teachers and is well-known for organizing the Austin Ballroom Festival.
Part of the guiding vision for Dance International is a focus on community service, as well as promoting the arts by introducing music and visual forms into the dance milieu. True to its multidisciplinary ambitions, the Dance International empire recently achieved 501(c)3 national nonprofit status and will soon add art and music classes.
In 1887, 17-year-old Italian immigrant Salvatore Capezio moved to New York to sell theatrical shoes, opening his first shop near the old Metropolitan Opera House. Of course, he quickly found himself dealing with the intense demands of the professional dancers that frequented the store, and Capezio began challenging himself to master the delicate balance and construction of pointe shoes. By the 1930s, his designs carried dancers across the stages of Broadway, and innovations bearing his name continue to appear today in such television and film productions as Dancing with the Stars and Black Swan. Committed to the needs of performers in dance, theater, and recreation, the Capezio - Wayne team continues to fulfill young Sal's legacy by crafting footwear for ballet, tap, and ballroom dancing, and gymnastics.
Filling a chamber with music is as pleasing to the senses as filling a bathtub with warm pudding. Fully grasp this truism by checking out today's side deal: for $12, you get one ticket to one concert (a $25 value) during the Austin Chamber Music Festival, organized by the Austin Chamber Music Center. The festival's eclectic lineup of talent spans the musical divide, tickling the tonal reaches by way of piano trios, string quartets, and tango-inspired quintets. Depending on your flavor of chambered love, choose one or more of the following concerts:
Cavani String Quartet on Friday, July 16, at 7:30 p.m., Bates Recital Hall, UT Butler School of Music, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive
The Bad Plus on Saturday, July 17, at 7:30 p.m., Bates Recital Hall, UT Butler School of Music, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive
Brentano String Quartet on Sunday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m., Bates Recital Hall, UT Butler School of Music, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive
Raul Jaurena and The Texas Tango Five on Friday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 4700 Grover Avenue
Claremont Piano Trio on Saturday, July 24, at 7:30 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 4700 Grover Avenue
Der Golem performed by Carpe Diem String Quartet and clarinetist Paul Green on Sunday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 4700 Grover Avenue
Escher String Quartet on Friday, July 30, at 7:30 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 4700 Grover Avenue
Festival Finale with Kelly Willis on Saturday, July 31, at 7:30 p.m., Brentwood Christian School, 11908 N. Lamar Boulevard
Tickets for all performances are uniformly priced. Guests who would like to sit together are encouraged to purchase multiple Groupons under the same name.
The Austin Chamber Music Center's performances have been featured in the Austin Chronicle and on the Austin American-Statesman blog, Austin360.com. The center has won several awards, including the award for Best Chamber Performance at the 2007–2008 Austin Critics' Table Awards.
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