Ballet Austin to Premiere GRIMM TALES

Ballet Austin to Premiere GRIMM TALESChoreographer Stephen Mills and Ballet Austin are pleased to present the world premiere of Grimm Tales, a full-length work inspired by the visual art of Natalie Frank. Debuting March 29-31, 2019 at The Long Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Austin, Grimm Tales is a contemporary reimagining of the nineteenth-century fairy tales-provocative, uncensored versions of childhood standards. Tickets are currently on sale.

Grimm Tales presents three classic stories from the translations of scholar Jack Zipes: The Frog King, Snow White, and The Juniper Tree. Though these stories have most often been presented in a family-friendly manner, they were originally studies in the grotesquerie of everyday life, especially for women, who were their original tellers-surreal tales of horror meant to both titillate and frighten. Frank's drawings and Mills' work emphasize feminist perspectives within a tradition where women were either portrayed as weak or villainous, despite being their narrators. Natalie Frank's reimagining presents the full force of the Grimm Brothers, while updating its concerns and aspirations for a new generation.

Frank, who is originally from Austin and is now based in New York, is internationally known for wryly subversive figurative drawings and paintings. For Grimm Tales she has created over 30 new drawings, as well as animations, to serve as backdrops for the ballet. These are in addition to her costume drawings that will replicate her hand in pastel and gouache. Frank's artwork is lurid and lush, vibrantly colored and nightmarishly riveting. It will invigorate the timeless themes of lust, rage, and physical and spiritual hunger of each of these Grimm Brothers' tales with fresh urgency. As will the costumes, designed by the Tony Award-Nominated New York-based Constance Hoffman in collaboration with Frank, which are inspired by both period and contemporary fashion. Nineteenth-century Hessian garb will be complemented by the contemporary aesthetics of Dior, Iris van Herpen, and Alexander McQueen-as drawn by Frank's subversive hand and imagined by both Hoffman and Frank.

Together, choreography by Ballet Austin's Artistic Director/Choreographer Stephen Mills, set design by George Tsypin, music by Graham Reynolds, and a story by Edward Carey will combine to create a singular reimagining of the Grimm Brothers' classic tales. Viewer discretion is advised.

Performance and Ticketing Information

Performances will be held:

Friday, March 29: 8pm

Saturday, March 30: 8pm

Sunday, March 31: 3pm

Tickets can be purchased here.

The Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 West Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704

Grimm Tales is made possible through the generous support of the Butler New Choreography Endowment and funded in part by a gift from Dr. Beverly Dale.

About Ballet Austin

Ballet Austin is among the 15 largest classical ballet company in the U.S. and has a rich history spanning six decades of acclaimed productions. From its home at the Butler Dance Education Center in downtown Austin, Ballet Austin and Stephen Mills, Ballet Austin's Sarah and Ernest Butler Family Fund Artistic Director, actively engage the community, dancers, and audiences alike. Ballet Austin's core purpose is to create, nurture and share the joy of dance through classically innovative arts and arts education programs. Within this purpose, Ballet Austin maintains a strong commitment to the creation of new work, incubation of emerging talent and integration into the community. The Washington Post recognized Ballet Austin as "one of the nation's best-kept ballet secrets" in 2004 after Ballet Austin performed Mills' world premiere of The Taming of the Shrew, commissioned by and performed at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

About Stephen Mills

Stephen Mills (b. 1960, USA) is Ballet Austin's Sarah and Ernest Butler Family Fund Artistic Director. Known for his innovative and collaborative choreographic projects, Stephen Mills has dance works in the repertoires of more than 40 companies across the United States and around the world. He has choreographed several original full-length works, including Hamlet (2000), The Taming of the Shrew (2004), and Belle REDUX / A Tale of Beauty and the Beast (2015). In 2005, after two years of extensive research, Mills led a community-wide human rights collaboration that culminated in the world premiere work Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project. In 2006, Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project was awarded the Audrey & Raymond Maislin Humanitarian Award by the Anti-Defamation League. In September of 2013, the work made its international debut with a tour in three cities across Israel. Most recently, Mills was awarded the Steinberg Award, the top honor at Le Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur International Choreographic Competition for One / the body's grace.

About Natalie Frank

Artist Natalie Frank (b. 1980, USA) creates works peopled by in-between figures, ill-defined by gender and sexuality, the every-day and perverse fantasy, engaging the viewer as complicit voyeur. In Frank's 2015 exhibition at The Drawing Center, NY, Grimm's Fairy Tales, and in her accompanying publication Tales of The Brothers Grimm. Drawings by Natalie Frank, (Damiani), Frank Drew the unsanitized tales with a Feminist interpretation: emphasizing the roles of women. The exhibition traveled to the Blanton Museum of Art (UT Austin) and the Kentucky Art Museum. Her second collaboration with fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes is The Sorcerer's Apprentice, (Princeton University Press) 2017. Frank has exhibited widely at Mitchell-Innes and Nash, NY; Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; ACME, LA; Exit Art, NY; Arndt&Partner, Berlin, Zurich; Istanbul74, TR; The Rose Art Museum, MA; The Bowdoin College Museum of Art, ME; The Granary (curated by Melva Bucksbaum), CT; London Museum of Design, UK; The National Academy Museum, NY; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, PA; Montclair Art Museum, NJ; The Brooklyn Museum, NY. Frank is a Fulbright Scholar, (2003-4) in Oslo, Norway.

About Constance Hoffman

Constance Hoffman has designed costumes for opera, dance and theatre internationally, earning her a Tony Award nomination for The Green Bird. Her credits include collaborations with theatre artists such as Mark Lamos, Julie Taymor, Eliot Feld, and Mikhail Baryshnikov, opera directors Robert Carsen, David Alden, Christopher Alden, Keith Warner, and entertainer Bette Midler. Her work has been seen on many stages in New York City, including The Public Theatre, The New Victory Theatre, The Second Stage, The Theatre for a New Audience, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, The Joyce, and The New York City Opera. She is currently engaged at the Tisch School of the Arts as an Associate Arts Professor in the Department of Design for Stage and Film, and holds an MFA as an alumna of that program.

About Graham Reynolds

Graham Reynolds (b. 1971, Germany) is an Austin-based composer-bandleader-improviser who creates, performs, and records music for film, theater, dance, rock clubs, and concert halls with a wide range of collaborators across a multitude of disciplines. Heard throughout the world in films, TV, stage, and radio, he recently scored Richard Linklater's Last Flag Flying with Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne for Amazon Studios, the Rude Mechs' Stop Hitting Yourself for Lincoln Center Theater, Ballet Austin's Belle REDUX / A Tale of Beauty and the Beast, and a multi-year commission from Ballroom Marfa, The Marfa Triptych.

About George Tsypin

George Tsypin (b. 1954, Kazakhstan) is a celebrated American stage designer, sculptor and architect. He was an artistic director, production designer and coauthor of the script for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014. He has staged performances for musicals including Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, West Side Story, and The Little Mermaid, as well as the MTV Video Music Awards. In 2016, he released the illustrated monograph George Tsypin Opera Factory: Invisible City with Princeton Architectural Press.

Related Articles View More Austin Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram