Ballet Austin. The Firebird and Agon. Fête 2014‏

Follow Yenis Monterrey
Ballet Austin is classically innovative in the dynamic city of Austin which is one of the fastest growing cities in the  United States.  It provides enthusiasm for art and has big ambitions nationally and internationally.  Ballet Austin also cares about the community and makes a commitment to education as well as lifelong fitness. In addition to it's acclaimed productions in Austin and across the nation, the organization is equally committed to the international craft of dance as it is to the local community it serves. Ballet Austin is the 12th largest ballet company in the country and annually has 42,000 performance attendees.  In education it serves 5,000 through it's dance school, awards $250,000 in scholarships, and impacts 57,000 Central Texas student and teachers through educational programing. Ballet Austin employs over 175 local artists and contributes over $7.5 millions of economic impact to the city.
Ballet Austin opens 2014/15 season of magic and innovation with The Firebird and Agon
Ballet Austin opens its 2014/15 season Sept. 26-28 at The Long Center with The Firebird and Agon, two works featuring dramatic scores by famed composer Igor Stravinsky. The Austin Symphony Orchestra, directed by Peter Bay, will provide live accompaniment for each performance.
Director Stephen Mills, The Firebird tells the story of a magical bird that gives her life for love and then rises from the ashes, like a phoenix. Colorful costumes and a lush set transport audiences into this mysterious world where a prince and princesses, mystical creatures and evil magicians intermingle.
Stravinsky’s melodic score ties this timeless tale together.
Mills has paired The Firebird with Agon, a second ballet featuring a challenging Stravinsky composition and choreography by the “father” of American ballet, George Balanchine. The title, Agon, comes from the Greek word for “contest.” The ballet for 12 dancers presented in 12 segments features Balanchine’s progressive take on a selection of 17th century European court dances, in addition to an intimate couple’s dance inspired by Balanchine’s relationship with his wife, Tanaquil Le Clercq. Agon premiered in the late 1950s and was considered by many to be decades ahead of its time for its minimalist presentation, including simple costumes and sets that allow the audience’s main focus to remain on the dancers’ technique, artistry and interdependency.


To purchase tickets to Ballet Austin’s season-opening production, featuring The Firebird and Agon, and to purchase 2014/15 Season Tickets and Kids Series tickets, call Ballet Austin’s Box Office at 512.476.2163 or visit Ballet Austin web site click, visit Single Ticket here, visit Season Ticket here 


Fête 2014. A Beauty. A Beast. A Ballet 
Belle Redux / A Tale of Beauty & the Beast, an innovation of Cocteau's 1946 groundbreaking film La Belle et la Bête. 
Fête 2014 took place in Austin, TX on Saturday September 20, 2014. The W Hotel hosted this annual black tie fundraiser called Fête.  Dramatic, romantic, and mystical it was an unimaginable evening full of surprises that took place with exquisite taste at W Hotel. Dining, dancing, and an open heart was present with the art and magic touch of giving for the improvement of the Austin community.  An elite crowd was present to raise funds for Ballet Austin's community education programs. Enchanting cocktails & hors d'oeuvres, jazz beats with Liz Morphis, and The Matt Wilson Band was part of the entertainment  to enjoy the luxurious evening. 
Live Auction Details
From Colorado to Napa Valley to Belize, from the Willie Nelson tour bus to Circuit of the Americas to the Long Center, the Fête auction featured something for everyone.
Gayle Stallings was the auctioneer this year at the Gala. She is very energetic and fun, and she has the enthusiasm and expertise to make an auction take a path to success.
Yenis Monterrey: Can you tell me your experience of being an auctioneer of one of the most prestigious galas of year "Fête" with Ballet Austin?
Gayle Stallings: "This will be the 2nd consecutive year I’ve worked with Ballet Austin. Although the event was established and had a great reputation, I felt they had a lot of potential in their growth and net revenue, after analyzing their data from previous years. My hesitancy in taking them the first year in 2013 was the short two-month lead-time for preparation before their event. Generally I begin work with new clients ten months out before their event date.

I was attracted to Ballet Austin because of their passionate following in the community, talented staff and dedicated volunteers serving on their gala committee."

Yenis Monterrey: What makes a fundraising for a non-profit organization such as Ballet Austin Fête Gala successful? 

Gayle Stallings"Raising money for a nonprofit should be a collaborative effort between the organization and the auctioneer. It is not something done best by simply retaining an auctioneer to walk on to the stage that night and call bids. Spending those months in advance, pre-planning on how to maximize their revenue that night, pays off on event night, when working with a benefit auction strategist.
Working in a collaborative partnership with staff and committee, we have more than doubled the revenue for the live auction after only two galas. Based on the previous auction data, including the percentage of return on the value received on auction items I believed that the live auction had room to improve by focusing their committee on the most effective acquisition efforts.

Because of Ballet Austin’s outreach to the community and school children, they had many compelling stories perfect for tugging at donor's heartstrings. As the auctioneer, I become the organization’s ambassador to convey those stories in such a way that donors want to make a tax deductive gift that ranged from $5,000 to $100.

Ballet Austin has not even come close to reaching a plateau at this event and I look forward to seeing their continued growth as the committee builds on this year’s successful experience."
The live auction and paddles-up portion of the event raised just over $108,000, the even in total raised over $300,000 for Ballet Austin. Congratulations!
Follow Ballet Austin on Twitter @BalletAustinWant to engage socially? Use the hashtag #firebirdatx on Sept. 26-28.
Follow Ballet Austin on Facebook


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