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Live Audience

Experienced two dance performances in two days and a third one a week ago. Watching the audiences after each performance was a superb treat in itself. Antique persons like myself walk light on their feet. The rhythm of going to greet each other become a movie in itself.

My experiences covered a dance map, Modern Dance with Sharon Marroquin’s Las Cuatro Estaciones, Tap Dance with Acia Gray’s Listen, and Ballet with Stephen Mill’s The Magic Flute. Each one filled their audiences with a renewal beyond my ability to express in words.

The delight I feel is no mistake. My favorite neuroscientist Daniel Levitin woke up our awareness of mirror neurons “that fire both when performing an action and when observing someone else perform an action.” He says in This is Your Brain on Music” that both music and dance may be the “fundamental messengers…across individuals and generations…through which develop our beliefs, obsessions, and all art.”

How does this happen? Levitin says about music “The multiple reinforcing cues of a good song–rhythm, melody, and contour–cause music to stick in our heads.” This same vocabulary and effect applies to dance, and research is gathering about body-brain networks forming from both dancing and observing dance.

What I observe after these three dance performances is a particular kind of lightness and subtle poignancy that is unique to the combination of dance and music. The dancer is transferring an experience of something beyond our everyday celebrations.

Each dancer is transmitting their unique experience of personal excellence and also their experience of empathy for the experience of other dancers. We tap straight into that experience and into the courage of each dancer as they gather and sort the makings of themselves as a person, a character, and a messenger directly to our cells.

With dance the experience of watching a friend or a child dance is even more poignant. Add to that the possibility of experiencing a dance class with even the fundamentals of dance can be life changing. These are both opportunities to tap in to the very detailed experiences of dedicated dancers. Commercial over.

I take these experiences with me, of each individual dancer and their messages bonded together. I feel their messages. I know them inside of me. These messages are of hope for the next moments as I yearn for a combination of lightness and power. This is a particular kind of power that music and dance transmit. These are fundamental messages that I can now access.
Tim Hurst 04/01/17

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Ballet Austin Beginner Pointe Fittings @Movin Easy

Movin Easy pointe shoe specialist, Lilia Benavides checks the fit Carla’s first pair of pointe shoes. Ballet Austin teacher, Libby James okays the fit.

Looks like she’s taking home a Suffolk Pointe Shoe. Good luck to all the girls at Ballet Austin we fit this Saturday! We wish them a Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Sewing Day!

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Brain Food-Dancing Mozart in Austin  Stephen Mills musicaliy brings an extraordinary dimension to Mozart.

Children’s brains eat Mozart like candy.  What are adults waiting for—a ballet to illustrate Mozart for our stalled out brains.

Cartoons won’t do.  Only the deepest level of intricate movement and emotion can explode Mozart’s full delight into our senses.  Only a Mozart ballet feast will integrate the playful melodies we take for granted, send rhythmic delight bouncing through our lethargic cells, and insist that we rearrange our thoughts to take courage once again.

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ATTENTION!!! Shy Girl on Broadway…

A Musical Theatre Workshop?  Who me?  Yes folks, I surprised my self by being drawn to it.  Maybe it was the charisma and infectious enthusiasm of Ballet Austin’s Butler Community School Broadway instructors, Danny Herman and Rocker Verastique, when I tried a Broadway Fit Class.  Maybe it was the sideways glance I gave myself in the mirror during a particularly coy dance number, “Hey, Good Lookin’.”  Maybe I shook something loose up there in my serious and contemplative brain during a feverish shimmy or a sexy head roll.  Whatever it was, here I am on “The Holiday Road”: a musical theatre workshop to culminate in a holiday, public performance at the Austin Ventures Theater in December.  Danny and Rocker are my guides into the unknown (unknown to me anyway). I follow them loyally into the expansive world of Broadway, where people sing with their mouths wide open and dance for the seats in the back.  Who would of thunk it?  Well, here we go shy girl.


Musical Theatre Workshop