It’s difficult to imagine a time when all professional theater in the country emanated from New York. It might be even harder to believe this centralization of theatrical production first began to change in Dallas, Texas.
Forty years in the business – that fact has quietly crept up on Dallas Black Dance Theatre founder Ann Williams. “You don’t see what you’ve accomplished because every day you’re trying to make it happen,” says Williams, who has spent half of her life making it happen at the longest-running dance company in North Texas.
When they were students at Southern Methodist University in the 1990s, Michael Trusnovec and Annmaria Mazzini would hole up in the basement of the library obsessively watching videotapes of the Paul Taylor Dance Company.
Katie Cooper didn’t expect success to arrive so quickly. “I’m surprised how fast it has all happened,” says the artistic director of Avant Chamber Ballet, “especially getting permission to do the Balanchine pieces… My wish list for the company is getting shorter for sure.”
The timing couldn’t have been better. Retired dancer Willy Shives had been working his way up the chain of command at Joffrey Ballet and was looking for his first job as an artistic director when the position came open at Ballet San Antonio.