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Ballet Austin Invited to Perform in Israel
Ballet Austin

March, 2012

Ballet Austin today announces it has been invited to bring its critically acclaimed Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project to Israel for the September 2013 Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre. The Acco Festival draws over two hundred thousand visitors each year to the ancient walled city of Acco, a UNESCHO World Heritage Site. 


Each year, the Acco Festival – the largest international arts festival in Israel – hosts fringe theatre productions from among the latest, most avant-garde shows worldwide. The festival will be held September 21-24, 2013, with Ballet Austin invited to perform for three nights during the prestigious event.


“Acco brings the viewers into the magic of creation,” says Albert Ben-Shoosh, general manager and senior producer of the Acco Festival of Alternative Theatre. “[The setting] gives artists and creators not only an incredibly original stage, but also great halls full with historical memories.”


“Since the inception of Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project in 2005, it has been a dream that the project would be shared with Israel. Now, this is a dream come true,” adds Austin-based Israeli and Anti-Defamation League (ADL) member Lily Saad. “It is a great achievement and opportunity for Ballet Austin and the Israeli community to share the messages of this powerful and relevant experience.”


As one of the most resonant of Ballet Austin Artistic Director Stephen Mills’ works, Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project offers a timely reminder of the importance of the protection of human rights against bigotry and hate. When it premiered in 2005, Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project brought national attention to Ballet Austin, with recognition across the country including national reviews and restaging by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 2009. Set to the music of five of the most important living composers, Mills' original choreography turns the spotlight on discrimination and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit. Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project earned Mills the Austin Anti-Defamation League's Audrey & Raymond Maislin Humanitarian Award.


“For the past seven years, the opportunity to take Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project to Israel has been our goal,” says Cookie Ruiz, Executive Director of Ballet Austin. “The opportunity for the artists of Ballet Austin to bear witness to the survivor experience honored through the work, and to continue our Holocaust education process remains the focus of the tour. We are inspired by the friendships already forged within Israel through this project, and look forward to this international cultural exchange.”


The Austin community has the opportunity to see Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project this month --March 23-25, 2012, at The Long Center for the Performing Arts -- as the centerpiece of a community-wide human rights initiative including events held by nearly 50 community partners. For ticket information, visit or call Ballet Austin’s Box Office at 512.476.2163. For more information about Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project, visit


About Ballet Austin

As distinctive and dynamic as the city it calls home, Ballet Austin welcomes audiences near and far to participate in its “classically innovative” vision for the democratization of dance. With a rich history spanning five decades, acclaimed productions, a commitment to creating access to programs and one of the nation's largest classical ballet academies, the organization is poised for an even greater future. From their home at the Butler Dance Education Center in downtown Austin, Ballet Austin and Artistic Director Stephen Mills actively engage the community, dancers, and audiences alike.  The New York Times proclaims Ballet Austin “a company with big ambitions” originating work that is “absorbing.”




Ballet Austin

501 West Third Street

Austin, Texas 78701


Box Office:                              512.476.2163   

Schools Office:                        512.476.9150   

General Info:                            512.476.9151



PRESS CONTACT:                  LuAnn Glowacz; 512.476.9151, ext. 101

IMAGES:                                 Downloadable image library (see each photo’s description for photo credit)



Production Sponsors               Fifth Age of Man Foundation, Boulette & Golden, LLP

Season Underwriter                  Austin Ventures

Season Sponsors                     Vintage IT Services, The Ampersand Agency, Reavis

Rehab and Wellness Center, Inc., Get Page One, YNN

Media Sponsors                       KVUE, Austin American-Statesman, MAJIC 95.5

Education Underwriter             JPMorgan Chase Foundation


This project is funded in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division, by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, and by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.


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