Ballet for ‘Lovers’ coming to Paramount

Published 2:17 pm Monday, March 17, 2014

Chris Hannon and Eve Schulte perform in the James Sewell Ballet. Photo provided

Chris Hannon and Eve Schulte perform in the James Sewell Ballet. Photo provided

The ballet is coming back to Austin.

The James Sewell Ballet will perform “Lover” featuring the music of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart at the Paramount Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 21. This time, they’ll have a little help from a local dance company: The group will partner with Bridget’s Dance Conservatory for part of the show.

“It’s a new experience for a lot of people,” said Jennie Knoebel, executive director of the Paramount.

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Ballet is hundreds of years old and is considered high art and the ballet company is ready to introduce people to the genre.

“This particular show they’re doing is a little more accessible,” Knoebel said. “It’s a combination of combining ballet and musical theatre, so it’s a little more accessible than your standard ballet.”

The company is in Austin as part of a tour through Minnesota through funding from the state arts board. As a result, James Sewell Ballet is also going to work with Bridget’s Dance Conservatory, and the second half of Friday’s performance will involve a little interactive art between the two groups.

Conservatory students will be able to demonstrate ballet moves. James Sewell dancers will take those moves and create a ballet there on the stage.

“The professional dancers put them together and put on a piece based on what the students came up with, so it’s kind of fun,” Knoebel said.

For Bridget Halvorson, owner of Bridget’s Dance Conservatory, the opportunity to have her students work with professional dancers is a good experience for students.

“We’re going to perform a piece that we’ve already put together, and then we’re also going to do the 45 seconds of choreography, and then we’re going to go from there,” she said.

Halvorson jumped at the chance to work with the James Sewell Ballet once more, as her students get much out of the experience.

“It’ll be great for the kids,” she said. “It’ll help them grow as dancers, for sure.”

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the show.