Dance for the Planet

Austin arts organizations celebrate world premiere of a beautiful ballet

Austin arts groups celebrate world premiere of a beautiful ballet

Beautiful World ballet
A celebration of music, dance, visual art, and refreshments, the event is two years in the making.  Photo by Lynn Lane

A highly anticipated Earth Month-related event, Beautiful World, premieres this week with original music by a local composer and choreographers. Featuring five performances at KMFA Classical from June 2-4, the story ballet is the biggest project to date from Ventana Ballet, a local professional dance company specializing in contemporary ballet dance performance.

Partnering with Ventana Ballet on the project is Austin Camerata, a music nonprofit whose mission is to enrich the city of Austin by introducing new audiences to the world of chamber music through creative concerts, artistic collaborations, and community outreach.

A celebration of music, dance, visual art, and refreshments, the event is two years in the making. Preceding the ballet performance, guests can browse visual art exhibits and enjoy earth-themed refreshments in the grand foyer of KMFA Classical at the Hatchery. Signature cocktails will be served by local partners Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Still Austin, Blue Norther Hard Seltzer, and Waterloo Sparkling Water. On exhibit in the grand foyer will be winning entries of the Nature Photography Contest hosted by Capital Area Master Naturalists, a collaborative effort to highlight local photographers’ renderings of the four elements and native Texas flowers.

Following these festivities will be the world premiere performance of A Million Alien Gospels by Ventana Ballet & Austin Camerata onstage together in the Draylen Mason Music Studio. The ballet features an original score, A Million Alien Gospels, by composer Michael Alec Rose and choreography by Dorothy O'Shea Overbey and AJ Garcia-Rameau. The story follows Alice, a young girl given the gift of a flower by the four elements — earth, fire, water, and air — and demonstrates how a mindset shift can happen simply by allowing ourselves to recognize the gifts and blessings always in our midst.

A Million Alien Gospels is a ballet that dances hopefully, recklessly, courageously, and with all due humility right into the vortex of our current predicament,” said composer Michael Alec Rose in a recent release.

Following a packed schedule of collaborative community performances and events marking Earth Months in April and May, Beautiful World is a culminating celebration just before World Environment Day on June 5. The event’s message about protecting the gift of the earth tied well with the existing work of local community organizations such as TreeFolks, LBJ Wildflower Center, Capital Area Master Naturalists, and more. But after sharing sneak peeks of the show at local Earth Month events, the group is excited to bring the full show to the stage for the first time.

Beautiful World has only one agenda, to bring people together in celebration of a new reality, a post-pandemic era in which we cannot afford to miss any opportunity for mutual help and joyful reunion,” says Rose. “We have waited so long to dance and play for you. The time has come.”

Beautiful World will take place on June 2-4 in the KMFA Draylen Mason Music Studio at the Hatchery. Tickets are $30 per person and can be found, along with more details about the show, at VentanaBallet.com/BeautifulWorld.