Eclectic ballet laces up for Paramount stage

Published 8:12 am Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It may say ballet on the Paramount Theatre’s marquee, but this Saturday’s performance will be unlike any ballet you’ve ever seen.

The James Sewell Ballet company will be performing at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Paramount. Ballet is a little misleading, as this dance troupe puts on all sorts of dance shows which sometimes don’t involve ballet whatsoever, according to Scott Anderson, the Paramount’s manager.

JSB was founded by James Sewell and Sally Rouse, who brought the company to Minnesota in 1992. It has performed several times in Austin, including a Paramount performance last year and a show as part of the Austin Artists Series several years ago.

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The JSB company won’t be alone, however. They’ll also be performing with students from Bridget’s Dance Conservatory and Jane Taylor’s Academy of Dance.

“They’re wonderful about having not just a performance but including local people,” Anderson said.

Sewell will be in town Friday hosting a mind-body wellness program at area senior centers. He’ll put on a free master’s class open to the public at the Paramount Saturday at 11 a.m., where he’ll give insight to area dancers looking to improve.

“It’s unheard of nowadays,” said Bridget Halvorson, owner of Bridget’s Dance Conservatory.

12 students from each dance company in town will perform routines Saturday, with Bridget’s doing a Michael Jackson-inspired “Thriller,” routine while Jane Taylor’s will perform a jazz-inspired set.

“It’s just such a wonderful opportunity for my students,” Taylor said. “Living in the Midwest, they don’t have a lot of opportunities to perform with a ballet company.”

Be prepared for a night inspired by the dancing reality TV shows, as JSB will perform many pieces inspired by some of the most current pop and dance music.

“It’s so acrobatic,” Anderson said. “The things they do and the way they move, they really communicate.”

Tickets are $18 for adults, $10 for students and can be purchased at the Paramount Theatre Box Office or before the show.