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Huntsville Ballet opens new season starting Friday with Unplugged featuring Carnival of the Animals

Huntsville Ballet announced they will open the 2021-2022 season with the much anticipated Unplugged series showcasing both classical and contemporary choreography including Carnival of the Animals and two premiering works: Moral Virtue and Images Unconfined. Unplugged is scheduled for Oct. 22-24 at the Dream Theater in Huntsville.

The Dream Theater is located on the campus of the Rock Family Worship Center, 3401 Holmes Ave in Huntsville. Parking is free. All tickets are $35 and are available at www.huntsvilleballet.org.

Carnival of the Animals was composed in 1886 by Camille Saint-Saёns to musically express some of the silly habits his friends shared with animals. The piece consists of 14 movements, each of which uses the sounds of the orchestra to imitate the sounds of an animal, from roosters to elephants to kangaroos. “Carnival of the Animals promises to delight children and adults alike,” said Phillip Otto, Artistic Director for Huntsville Ballet. “Each year, we try to capture the imagination of our audience by introducing them to a variety of ballets and compositions. For this performance, we have enlisted the help of local favorites, Ron Roberts and Wilson Luquire to narrate the humorous verses inspired by this popular piece,” Otto said.

Phillip Otto, Rachel Butler, and Cathy Curry collaborated to create stylized choreography for the different animals brought to life.

Moral Virtue, a new work by Artistic Director, Phillip Otto, is set to the music of Antonin

Dvořák’s String Quartet No.10 in E flat, Op.51. Speaking of his choreography, Otto said, “Moral Virtue tells no story. The dancers move like water transformed by music, flowing graceful arcs, limbs in constant motion, painting a picture sound alone cannot achieve. They bring wordless interpretation of the beats, of the soft strings, in a way the audience can understand no matter what language they speak. In that way, dance isn’t simply movement but the most honest form of communication I know.”

Unconfined Images, a new upbeat piece by Stephanie Braly-Beutjer, is set to music by Karl Jenkins. It was inspired by the many dancers Braly-Beutjer taught in the Images Dance Ensemble at Grissom High School over the past 25 years. “The work represents moving joyously and with abandon using unrestrained, uninhibited yet powerful movement through time and space,” Braly-Beutjer said. “I dedicate this piece to my former students who inspired and pushed me to not only be a better teacher and choreographer, but also a better person.”


Huntsville Ballet’s mission is to use the power of dance to inspire and to nurture the art of classical ballet through artistic excellence, performance experiences, and outreach activities in the community. Huntsville Ballet is growing along with the vibrant city of Huntsville, Alabama. As Huntsville’s premier ballet company since 1964, Huntsville Ballet holds a long and rich history in the art of dance. Huntsville Ballet Company brings the finest quality of dance to the region, performing ballets such as Romeo and JulietThe Firebird, and The Sleeping Beauty. Each year, The Nutcracker offers students from Huntsville Ballet School the opportunity to audition and perform with the Company at the VBC Concert Hall.

Huntsville Ballet Company and Huntsville Ballet School operate under the umbrella of Community Ballet Association, Inc., a non-profit member of the state and local Arts Councils.


Cathy Curry has served as Director of Outreach and Education for Huntsville Ballet side 2012. Ms. Curry began her dance training in Huntsville. After being awarded a full scholarship, Ms. Curry received a BFA in Dance from Florida State University where she had the opportunity to study and perform with renowned faculty such as Suzanne Farrell, Buglisi/Foreman, Doug Varone, and Jowole Zollar, the director of Urban Bush Women.

Phillip Otto has served as Artistic Director for Huntsville Ballet since 2008. Born in New York, Mr. Otto trained at the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre School, and the Joffrey School, among others. As a child, Mr. Otto was a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Children’s Chorus and danced with New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, London’s Royal Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet, and the Bolshoi Ballet. As an adult, Mr. Otto danced Principal and Soloist roles with Milwaukee Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Rachel Butler has served as Ballet Mistress for Huntsville Ballet Company since 2008. Ms. Butler trained with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and the Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Academy. As a professional dancer, Ms. Butler performed Soloist and Principal roles with Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Pennsylvania Ballet. Ms. Butler is sought after as a guest artist throughout the United States.

Stephanie Braly-Beutjer holds a Master of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts, both from Texas Christian University and a Bachelor of Science from Alabama A&M. For the past 25 years, Ms. BralyBeutjer has been the Dance Director at Grissom High School, Artistic Director for Images Dance Ensemble and Co. 2, and the Director/Choreographer for Grissom’s Fine Arts Program. In addition, she is on the Dance Faculty at Huntsville Ballet School, choreographs for Huntsville Ballet Company, and teaches Music and Movement at Twickenham Church of Christ, Twickenham Kids.

For more information call Huntsville Ballet at (256) 539-0961 or visit www.huntsvilleballet.org

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