The Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre celebrates 30th anniversary

More than three decades ago, one of Austin's most acclaimed and accomplished artists established herself as one to watch. To celebrate 30 years of bringing modern dance and multimedia to the stage, dancer Andrea Ariel is reuniting with longtime collaborator Graham Reynolds. 

Ariel and her company of dancers will be performing at The Long Center Rollins Theatre. They'll be bringing strength, control, and originality to the stage which are just a few of the ways to describe The Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre.

In 1990, Andrea Ariel moved to Austin after finishing grad school and would go on to become a force in the industry, creating more than 50 original works.

"All the works, some are from 1990 1996 2008 2012 and there are new works that have threads to older works that have kind of carried through over the years but all of them are re-scored to music by Graham," says Ariel.

Austin-based composer Reynolds frequently collaborated with Ariel before he would go on to become an award-winning musician and score movies for filmmaker Richard Linklater.

"Our first show was in 1999, and it was called REFLEX and it was in a vacant car show room," Ariel says. "And we were both developing our work at the same time so I think that's a lot that attracted me to doing this 30 year anniversary with me." 

The anniversary celebration has been two years in the making. REIMAGINE, as the production is titled, was set to premiere May 1, 2020 but the COVID happened and the show was canceled.

"So we started meeting on Zoom kept having class kept working on things and I thought let's have a virtual version of this so we can keep developing the work," Ariel says.

Ariel adds, "So we chose a couple of pieces that we knew would work with virtual, so we worked in the dancers homes and in their outside environment, and then we figured out how to film them, and then i brought the choreography through the editing process. So it took 6 months to create that virtual experience whereas a lot of times it doesn't take that long to make a dance."


The 45-minute piece premiered in September 2020 as part of the Long Center's virtual season that fall. 

"It became a whole different window of how we connect with each other. It's interesting because when i look back at it it really resonates with what we were all going through at that time, and now that we've come back together in person, it's like really different because we've all changed," Ariel says.

But movement in dance doesn't change, instead, it evolves and evokes emotions. And thanks to artists like Ariel we can share this experience in the present as one.

You have three opportunities to catch REIMAGINE. Tickets are available here and the performances will be at The Long Center Rollins Theatre Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 1 at 5 p.m.