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Mission


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Mission


 

 

Our vision is to create transcendent works of beauty that are offered, without religious denomination, as prayers for the planet. Using aerial techniques informed by classical, interpretive and modern dance, Blue Lapis Light is committed to challenging physical limitations and inspiring our audiences with a sense of wonder.

 

History


History


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Blue Lapis Light is a site-specific aerial dance company founded by Artistic Director Sally Jacques in 2005. Jacques’ earlier works encompassed social, political, and spiritual themes, and these performances have evolved to explore movement through the air: extending boundaries, defying edges, and suspending graceful athleticism for the risk of igniting ephemeral beauty.

Blue Lapis Light seeks to transform urban environments into inspired works of art, creating beauty that transcends space in their expansiveness, connecting us to a sense of wonder, possibility, and hope. The company’s name draws from Ghandi’s description of a meditation practice, wherein the soul merges with Eternal consciousness taking the form of blue light.

Blue Lapis’ works are mostly large-scale productions, taking place in non-traditional public environments: warehouses, abandoned structures, federal buildings, power plants, or scaffolding at the shores of Lady Bird Lake. The company’s first aerial rig was a rope strung across an abandoned swimming pool where a dancer in a net was pulled from one side to the other. With each work, dancers now explore new apparatuses and develop aerial vocabulary complimentary to the possibility and synergy of on-site collaboration.

In June 2006 the company transformed the iconic Intel Shell, an unfinished building in downtown Austin, by creating a tribute to life’s transcendence. Requiem featured dancers floating 75ft from the ground, moving in and out of concrete columns and dancing on guy wire salvaged from the building itself. Over 14,000 people attended these performances.

Blue Lapis Light continues to develop large productions on prominent public architecture. Sites include the historic Seaholm Power Plant, J.J. Pickle and Homer Thornberry Federal Buildings, Hyatt and Radisson hotels, Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and the Long Center for the Performing Arts. With a hope and prayer for transformation, the company seeks to create works of beauty that continue to touch our collective awareness.

Artistic Direction


Artistic Direction


 
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Sally Jacques

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Sally Jacques, founder of Blue Lapis Light, creates site-specific aerial dance works that speak to social, political and spiritual dilemmas. Recognized for her international efforts against human rights abuse, environmental endangerment, homelessness, and racism, her activist views inform her artistic journey. A native of England, Jacques’ early career included international performances in Munich, Barcelona, Vienna and Costa Rica. She studied dance at The Place and The Contemporary Dance Center in London and attended the Lee Strasberg Drama School in New York to study improvisation and acting. Jacques also studied experimental theatre at the Institut del Teatre de Barcelona and movement at the Oval Theatre in London as a protege of John Trigger. Jacques has been the recipient of numerous grants and accolades, including the Susan B. Anthony Award for Peace, funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Austin/Arts Commission and Art Matters, New York City.

In 2008, Jacques was nominated for a United States Artists Fellowship and in 2007, she was inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. As part of First Night Austin, 2006, Jacques was awarded the Samsung Signature Peace Award. She was named the 2003 Greater Austin YWCA Woman of the Year for Achievement in the Arts and honored as a lifetime member of the Golden Key National Honor Society. With Jose Luis Bustamante, she was awarded the 1994 New Forms Regional Initiative Grant (NFRIG) funded by the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Jacques is a featured choreographer in the recently published book “Site Dance” (University Press of Florida). She was included in the 2006 “Faces of Austin” installation at the Austin City Hall. Her work has been cited in publications around the globe and her performances have been featured on PBS. Her own book, “64 Beds and other Site Works”, was published in 1996.

For many years, Jacques taught movement to at-risk teenagers, prison inmates, senior citizens, and the differently-abled, making dance accessible for all. Currently, Blue Lapis Light mentors young dancers through the Youth Taking Flight program.

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Nicole Whiteside

ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Nicole Whiteside loves dance! During her 13 years with Blue Lapis Light she has served as associate artistic director, performer, choreographer, rigger, and instructor. Her classical ballet training began at age two and blossomed into a life-long love of dance. She has studied at esteemed studios including Houston Ballet Academy, High School for Performing and Visual Arts, Austin School of Classical Ballet, and Marsha Woody Academy of Dance. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BFA in Dance and has continued dancing in Austin with local companies, including Sharir+Bustamante Danceworks, Sheep Army/Elsewhere Dance Theater, Austin School of Classical Ballet, Cheryl Chaddick Dance Theater, and Little Stolen Moments.

She has received numerous awards from the Austin Critics Table including Best Dancer in 2007 and 2013 and Best Duet in 2008. The Austin Chronicle awarded Little Stolen Moments Best Dance Company in 2010 and Best Creative Use of Three Small Trampolines in 2007. For New Year’s, First Night commissioned her performance, Fabric of the Hour, a silks piece performed inside Austin City Hall. She was nominated Best Choreographer for her aerial choreography with ZACH Theatre’s Metamorphoses by the B. Iden Payne Awards. Nicole manages Blue Lapis Light’s studio where she teaches the art of aerial dance. She has performed aerial silks since 2005, studying with aerialists at New England Center for the Circus Arts, Air Dance Bernasconi, Aircat Aerial Arts, House of Yes, Liza Rose, and FALL. Nicole is driven by collaboration and is eternally grateful for the unique beauty in all people!

 

 

 

Administration


Administration


 
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Jessica Nero-McArthur

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Jessica Nero-Mcarthur is originally from Rome, New York. After years in the financial industry, she decided to pursue her passion for philanthropic work. For the first three years of her nonprofit career, Jessica worked for the AIDS Services of Austin finance department and then with The Arc of the Capital Area as their Operations Manager.  At The Arc, Jessica was first exposed to nonprofit arts working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. After leaving The Arc, Jessica refined her administrative and management skills before joining Blue Lapis Light in August 2017. Since finding her home at Blue Lapis Light, Jessica has fallen in love with the organization and the performing arts.

 
 

JENN VIGH

MARKETING/COMMUNICATIONS

Jenn Vigh is a recent graduate from the University of Georgia, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and two minor degrees in Dancing and Public Health. During her years as a student, she danced and marketed for the university dance department’s aerial and contemporary dance company, CORE, under the artistic direction of Bala Sarasvati. She also served as the Social Media Expert for the student- run public relations firm, Creative Consultants during her senior year. Immediately following graduation, Jenn moved to Austin to intern and train with Blue Lapis Light for the 2017 Summer Season, wherein the company performed Belonging Part One.  She feels privileged to have served as Sally Jacque’s Executive Assistant, while also managing all marketing and communication related endeavors. Jenn is excited to continue working with the Blue Lapis Light family!

 

Company Dancers


Company Dancers


 
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Ember Ashe

She took a class at the Mariana Lagarreta Pole Dance Studio, then continued for three months to study the art, falling in love with the body-awareness and empowerment that pole dancing provided.Continuing to improve her skills back home in Austin, she discovered Blue Lapis Light which introduced her to a new aerial apparatus called silks. After a year of studying at Blue Lapis, she auditioned and became a dancer/choreographer for the company. Her first performance was in the June 2009 show, “Impermanence”. In 2010, with the encouragement and support of her friends and family, she started her own business teaching the fitness benefits and art of Pole Dancing. Amber’s ultimate goal is to be an example and leader in promoting pole/aerial dancing as a respected, professional sport and dance form. She feels incredibly blessed to be able to live out her passion!

 
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Jason Brown

In several senses, this familiarity with movement and change are part of what shapes his desire to dance. Always drawn toward activities that might challenge simultaneously his degree of mental and physical discipline Jason Brown came to Blue Lapis Light with training in T’ai Ch’i, Hatha Yoga, and acrobatic partner balancing. He was excited to find elements from all these disciplines present in the practice and performance of aerial work, and is delighted to continue exploring and sharing the possibilities created by our choice to leave the ground to dance!

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Susan Harkey

Susan Harkey began studying aerial dance with Blue Lapis Light in 2011 and joined the company for the production of Heaven Earth One in 2012. Her performance background is primarily stage acting and musical theater. She alway loved dance and acrobatics but did not begin a formal study until adulthood. She has since developed an all-consuming passion for learning new movement forms. Her movement studies include aerial silks, harness, corde lisse, lyra, pole, ballet, modern, hip hop, gyrotonic, and acrobatics. 

Susan performed with Blue Lapis Light in the productions of Heaven Earth One, Love’s Prayer, East ~ West, In Light, Edge of Grace, and Radiance. She's also had the pleasure of performing in and around Austin with Rapt Aerial Dance and choreographer Jennifer Sherburn. While not in the air, Susan spends her time teaching aerial silks at the Blue Lapis Light studio and working as a part-time web developer.

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Anika Jones

Anika Jones began studying ballet, tap, and jazz at the age of five and has continuously explored dance throughout her life. She graduated with a BA in Hospitality Management and a Minor in Dance from New Mexico State University, where she was a member of the Contemporary Dance Theatre.  

In 2008, Anika began her aerial dance training through Project In Motion in New Mexico. She has had the opportunity to work with exquisite choreographers and perform across the US. In 2012, Anika moved to Austin to join Blue Lapis Light and has had the honor of collaborating on 20+ site-works under the artistic direction of Sally Jacques. She enjoys performing on aerial silks, corde lisse, spanish web, harness, nets, and continues to dance on the ground as well! In 2018, she was honored to be awarded Best Dancer by the Austin Critics Table for her performance in Belonging, Part One (2017).

In Austin Anika finds herself enjoying life through teaching at Pure Barre Austin, performing and teaching with BLL, performing and collaborating with Rapt Aerial Dance and the 11:11 project, and connecting with awesome people/causes. Her passion to learn through both training and teaching allows her to grow and continuously find the beauty in movement and inspiration through the possibilities of the human anatomy.

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Kari Burke Lehman

Kari started her dance training with pre-professional ballet company Gem City Ballet in Dayton, Ohio, dancing classics like the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and some Balanchine works. She went on to earn her BA in dance performance/choreography and psychology at Hope College in Holland, MI. There, Kari was a member of the resident professional modern dance company, dANCEpROjECt, and also choreographed and performed as a Hope Summer Repertory Theatre cast member. Kari moved to Austin in 2010, and has worked as a freelance performer and choreographer, including with Rick Ross at the MTV Woodie Awards, Kanye West at SXSW, and Weird Al at the Moody Theater. Kari first saw Blue Lapis Light perform "One" on the Long Center and was inspired to start taking classes.  She joined the company in 2011 to perform on the Seaholm Water Intake Building in "Devotion." Kari is grateful to perform as a company member and soloist, and sometimes serve as rehearsal director. Kari also teaches Silks I in the studio.

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Jun (Sunny) Shen

Jun Shen (Sunny) started formal dance training during high school, where he learned ballet, Chinese classical opera dance, and Chinese folk dance. In 2001, he graduated with his BA in dance at Beijing Capital Normal University. Sunny earned his MFA in Dance from UT Austin in 2016. Sunny is the Founder and Artistic Director of Austin-based Shen Jun Movement Effect.

Sunny has choreographed and performed worldwide at dance festivals including Guangdong Modern Dance Festival, Grand Performances (LA), Dance Salad Festival (Houston), Busan International Dance Festival. In his early career, Sunny joined Wuxi Song & Dance Troupe and later choreographed and danced for Beijing Dance LDTX. He has collaborated with many artists and dance companies including Willy Tsao, Scot Putman, Charles Anderson, Hugo Dalton, Wang Jianwei, Hou Ying, Jennifer Sherburn, Ziru production, Alonzo-King Lines Ballet Training Program, Ellen Bartel Dance Collection, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company. Sunny has also instructed dance locally and internationally. He has taught dance at Sansori High School and April Rain School of Chinese Dance, and currently teaches as an Assistant Professor at Austin Community College.

In June  2017, Sunny formally joined Blue Lapis Light as a principal dancer and choreographer. In 2018, he was awarded Best Dancer by the Austin Critics Table for his performance in Belonging, Part One (2017).



 

 

Technical Team


Technical Team


 
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Barry Wilson

LEAD RIGGER

Barry Wilson was raised in Texas and comes to Blue Lapis Light with 28 years of rock climbing experience and 45 years in the construction industry. He served on the Central Texas Climbing Committee (CTCC) for 14 years. The CTCC is an independently chartered advisory committee established to provide guidance and expert knowledge to Texas Parks and Wildlife regarding rock climbing resources and the placement of fixed protection at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. In 2018, Barry and his team received the Always a Safe Flight Award, a Special Citation from the Austin Critics Table for his rigging design and execution in Belonging, Part One (2017). When not throwing ropes for Blue Lapis, Barry can be found hiking, climbing, biking, and repairing the trails of Central Texas and North America.

 

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James Faerber

RIGGER

When he isn’t rigging for Blue Lapis he is a Senior Guide and Director for Outpost Wilderness Adventure. Under the tutelage of Lead Rigger Barry Wilson, James has enjoyed learning the complex setups required for Blue Lapis dancers to perform in unique settings. James is an accomplished climber and mountaineer, having climbed big walls and peaks in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, California and Mexico. He is a certified American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor and Climbing Wall Instructor. James is also a currently certified Wilderness First Responder, a 70+ hour wilderness medical course. Over the last several years James served on the Central Texas Climbing Committee and the Board of Directors for Advance Colorado. He enjoys working with all the creative folks at Blue Lapis!

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William Meadows

SOUND DESIGNER

He has collaborated with numerous choreographers and dance companies including Deborah Hay, Forklift Danceworks, Yakov Sharir, Jose Bustamante, and Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth. His work has been recognized with Austin Critics’ Award nominations for Best Original Composition and wins in 2007 and 2010 for Best Sound Design. Meadows has been the resident sound designer and technical consultant for Blue Lapis Light since 1996.

 
 

Creative Team


Creative Team


 
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Scott Hathaway

VIDEOGRAPHER

Scott Hathaway is a freelance filmmaker with a passion for the arts. He graduated with an English degree from Appalachian State University in 2007, focusing on the experimental films of Jean-Luc Godard and Ladislaz Starewicz. He began working with Blue Lapis Light in 2009 by filming “Impermanence,” set atop the J.J. Jake Pickle Federal Building. Creating beautiful, engaging videos that faithfully recreate each site-specific performance has been Scott’s greatest challenge and pleasure. When not filming for Blue Lapis Light you will have to look hard to keep up with his travels. He is motorcycling to South America in 2017-2018.

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Earl McGehee

PHOTOGRAPHER

Earl has more than 30 years experience with film and digital still photography. His work has appeared in numerous publications and web sites including Business Week, Rolling Stone, Wired and Spin.

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KATRINA REPMAN

PRINT & WEB DESIGNER

Katrina Repman is the owner, founder, and lead instructor of Austin's only dedicated acroyoga studio: Empowered Acro.  An artist at heart, she continues to operate her freelance design business, working only with select clients. Katrina holds her a BFA in Design from the University of Texas at Austin.

Inspired by the vision and passion of Blue Lapis Light, Katrina is thrilled to contribute her strengths to such a creative, talented, and kind-hearted team.

 

 
 

Board of Directors


Board of Directors


 
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Carol Smith Adams

PRESIDENT

Carol Smith Adams is a non-profit consultant who began her career as Development Director of Austin’s historic Paramount Theatre for the Performing Arts. She subsequently became Executive Director for the internationally acclaimed Sharir Dance Company and Capital Campaign Director and Major Gifts Officer at ZACH Theatre. During her professional career, Carol also served as Treasurer of the National Society of Fundraising Executives, Greater Austin Chapter.

Carol has chaired the boards of Animal Trustees of Austin, the Austin Center for Battered Women and the Austin Children’s Choir and also served on the boards of the Heritage Society of Austin and the Austin Dance Umbrella. She currently chairs the board of Blue Lapis Light Aerial Dance Company and serves on the Director’s Council for the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin.

In 2010 Carol received the Jordan Award as Volunteer of the Year from the Austin Community Foundation. Carol and Chris are blessed with two children, eight grandchildren and three rescued dogs.

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Diana Zuniga

VICE PRESIDENT

Diana G. Zuniga is an Austin based developer, investor , and real estate broker. She was a development partner of the Spring Condominium, a 42-story residential point tower valued at over $120,000,000 located at the west end of the CBD in Austin, Texas. In that capacity, she was responsible for sourcing project financing, construction oversight, and marketing and sales of the project’s 252 units to sell out. She is the President and Owner of Investors Alliance, Inc., a commercial real estate firm she founded in 1996, which specializes in investment property sales and acquisitions. 

As an investor, Ms. Zuniga is the managing partner of several real estate investment partnerships, which own and operate various real estate assets including multi-family and office properties in the Austin and San Antonio, Texas area. She has 30 years of experience as an investor, managing partner and real estate broker. 

Ms. Zuniga is a CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member of the Commercial-Investment Real Estate Institute) and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. She is past President, Board and Executive Committee Member of the Real Estate Council of Austin, Board Member of the Central Texas Commercial Association of Realtors, associate member of the Austin Area Research Organization, and past President of the Austin Commercial Real Estate Society, as well as a member of the board of the Wilbarger Creek Municipal Utility District #1, and a member of the Advisory Board of IBC Bank, Austin. She is also a member of the Emeritus Board of Zachary Scott Theatre and a board member of Blue Lapis Light, an aerial performance troupe. 

Ms. Zuniga has received numerous awards recognizing her abilities. Most recently, Diana was named one of the top commercial real estate practitioners in the country by the National Association of Realtors. She was named Top Woman in Austin Commercial Real Estate for the decade 2002-2012 by CREW Austin, the local chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women. Other recognitions include CoStar’s Top Ten Power Broker for 2003 through 2007, Top Ten Commercial Broker for 2004 and 2005, and Texas Monthly’s 2005 Super Agent Award. She was a finalist for 2004 and 2013 Profiles in Power awarded by the Austin Business Journal. 

During her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband, boating and all forms of cultural entertainment. 

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Sarah Racanelli

TREASURER

Maxwell Locke & Ritter is one of the largest certified public accounting firms in Austin and has been serving the greater Austin area for over 25 years. The firm has a unique culture and focuses on three things: our clients, our people, and the community. Sarah specializes in high net worth individual and estate planning and a strong foundation in partnership, trust, and gift tax compliance. She is on the Estate Planning Council of Central Texas and a member of the AICPA and TSBPA.

Sarah is an Austin native and a graduate of St. Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Texas State University with a Masters of Accountancy. She also volunteers with the Center for Child Protection.

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Stefania Tafuro

SECRETARY

Stefania Tafuro has been a Blue Lapis Light student since 2008 and has experienced first hand how powerful aerial movement can be in allowing individuals to express their inner beauty.

When not in the air, Stefania is a fundraising consultant. She has twelve years’ experience in capital campaign management, major gifts fundraising, business development, event planning, and public relations. Stefania has served as Senior Advisor at Corcoran & Co, Assistant Director for Development at the UT-Austin Environmental Science Institute, Capital Campaign Manager at ZACH Theatre, and Outreach and Public Relations Manager at Castle Hill Fitness. She is passionate about providing non-profits with creative and enduring fundraising solutions that foster stewardship, growth, and service. She began her professional career in the non-profit sector in Los Angeles, where she worked at the ACLU of Southern California, the California Women’s Law Center, and the Disability Rights Legal Center at Loyola Law School.

Stefania is fluent in English, German, Italian, French, and Spanish. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the Free University of Berlin, Germany and she holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Bologna, Italy, where she is originally from. Stefania currently serves as Secretary of the Blue Lapis Light Board.

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Eric Gould Bear

Eric Gould Bear has served on Blue Lapis Light’s board of directors since 2007, and as board chair from 2009 to 2016.

He is a technology entrepreneur with over 30 years experience crafting and establishing user experience strategies for many well-known corporations.  Communication Arts described him as “one of the most thoughtful and provocative interface and interaction designers working in the field.”  Eric founded Austin’s award-winning MONKEYmedia, is a mezzanine co-founder of energy monitoring startup, CURB, and a partner at Capital Factory.  He is a former university professor and Fortune 500 executive, named on over 100 software and hardware patents and patent applications.  Products based on his inventions are in use every day by millions of people and thousands of companies. 

Eric is married to Janna Buckmaster Bear and is father of two amazing adults, once upon a time adopted from China. An enthusiastic and inspirational leader, he provides a blend of business intelligence and audience sensibility critical to the durability and growth of the company.

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Eric Behrens

In addition to working with Blue Lapis Light, Eric Behrens is on the boards of directors for Austin Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Austin, and Writer’s League of Texas.

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Bre Brown

JLL is a Fortune 500 commercial real estate (CRE) firm that focuses on aligning a company’s business objectives with their real estate needs. With over 70,000 employees globally, serving in over 80 countries, JLL is one of the world’s largest CRE firms.

Bre has worked for JLL since 2012 focusing on office tenant representation. As a tenant rep, Bre concentrates on site selection, negotiation, and execution of real estate transactions for her clients in the Austin area. With a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture, Bre has a unique ability to expedite the site selection process for her clients. Bre has successfully negotiated over $10,000,000 worth of real estate transactions through leases, amendments, renewals, and/or extensions. In 2017, Bre won the JLL Culture Award, recognizing her ability as a progressive force within the company.

As the first female in her family to graduate college, the youngest of all brothers, and a woman working in a male dominated industry, Bre has a passion for volunteering to help further women in their careers. As an advocate for the professional development and empowerment of other women, Bre spends majority of her free time volunteering with the Young Women’s Alliance whose mission is to help women lead, educate, network, and serve. She has served as the Higher Education Scholarship Chair for the Giving Committee of the Young Women’s Alliance (YWA), the Nominations Chair for YWA’s Austin Under 40 Awards, and currently serves on the board of YWA as VP of Austin Under 40. In addition to her involvement with YWA, Bre also serves as a mentor for the Seedling Foundation and a volunteer for the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Texas.

Bre has over 14 years of classical training with the Houston Repertoire Ballet and 10 years of training in various other styles of dance, assisting in her role as a board member with Blue Lapis Light. In her free time, she enjoys playing on recreational sports leagues, Krav Maga, spending time with her husband, and working on her upcoming blog, Busy Bre.

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Melita Elmore

Melita Elmore is an environmental scientist who currently works with global clients for British Standards Institute. 

Melita has worked as an executive for a Fortune 100 company in external affairs, been a regulatory analyst for a State agency, worked with several national and international engineering firms, and taught science in community colleges and secondary schools. Her undergraduate degree is in biology and chemistry, and she has an MS in Water Pollution Studies. She has also served on several non-profits boards and has worked with the Global Footprint Network the Texas Carbon Capture and Storage Association, Keep America Beautiful among others. 

A military brat, Melita has lived in various US states, and in Latin America. She loves to do yoga, hike, and travel, especially visiting her son in Washington DC where he is a technology reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Under the loving guidance of Nicole Whiteside, she has the distinction of being the oldest Blue Lapis Light student!

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Sally Jacques

Sally Jacques, founder of Blue Lapis Light, creates site-specific aerial dance works that speak to social, political and spiritual dilemmas. Recognized for her international efforts against human rights abuse, environmental endangerment, homelessness, and racism, her activist views inform her artistic journey. A native of England, Jacques’ early career included international performances in Munich, Barcelona, Vienna and Costa Rica. She studied dance at The Place and The Contemporary Dance Center in London and attended the Lee Strasberg Drama School in New York to study improvisation and acting. Jacques also studied experimental theatre at the Institut del Teatre de Barcelona and movement at the Oval Theatre in London as a protege of John Trigger. Jacques has been the recipient of numerous grants and accolades, including the Susan B. Anthony Award for Peace, funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Austin/Arts Commission and Art Matters, New York City.

In 2008, Jacques was nominated for a United States Artists Fellowship and in 2007, she was inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. As part of First Night Austin, 2006, Jacques was awarded the Samsung Signature Peace Award. She was named the 2003 Greater Austin YWCA Woman of the Year for Achievement in the Arts and honored as a lifetime member of the Golden Key National Honor Society. With Jose Luis Bustamante, she was awarded the 1994 New Forms Regional Initiative Grant (NFRIG) funded by the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Jacques is a featured choreographer in the recently published book “Site Dance” (University Press of Florida). She was included in the 2006 “Faces of Austin” installation at the Austin City Hall. Her work has been cited in publications around the globe and her performances have been featured on PBS. Her own book, “64 Beds and other Site Works”, was published in 1996.

For many years, Jacques taught movement to at-risk teenagers, prison inmates, senior citizens, and the differently-abled, making dance accessible for all. Currently, Blue Lapis Light mentors young dancers through the Youth Taking Flight program.

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John Rosato

John Rosato has been a general partner in over 30 real estate partnerships responsible for the management of  all activities of the partnerships including acquisition, development, financing and investor relations. He was a general partner and planning consultant for the 230,000-square-foot Penn Field, named the Best Mixed-Use Development of 2004 by the Austin Business Journal. He manages real estate acquisitions and leasing for Austin Travis County MHMR, a public agency with more than 60 commercial and residential buildings. Mr. Rosato coordinated project management for a $9 million joint public works project for the City of Austin and Travis County, and has provided relocation consulting for those displaced by construction of State Highway 130. He was the Managing Partner for Seaholm, a $150M mixed use development in downtown Austin.

Mr. Rosato earned a Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas School of Architecture. A licensed real estate broker, he has furthered his education with courses in the psychology of marketing, real estate contracts and appraisal. He served as President of the Heritage Society of Austin and was the Chair of the Downtown Austin Alliance board of directors.

 

Youth Taking Flight


Youth Taking Flight


Youth Taking Flight

Blue Lapis Light collaborates with teens from local social service organizations to create original dance performances.

These performances are the culmination of twice-weekly semester long classes. Performers explore their lives through words, music, movement and aerial dance.

Our semester-long classes introduce aerial dance techniques, provide insight into the imperative of safety, and demonstrate the benefits of building strength and body awareness. Students experience both the joy of flight and its challenges. Youth Taking Flight targets teenagers: instilling confidence and self-esteem through movement.

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Recognition


Recognition


 

Expertise 

  • Sally Jacques brings 30 years of site-specific performance experience to her role as Artistic Director of Blue Lapis Light.
  • BLL’s company dancers have extensive dance training in all forms of dance, which they incorporate into working on structures with an assortment of technical apparatuses. They are highly skilled in both aerial and ballet techniques and perform with graceful athleticism, while suspended at great heights.
  • BLL works with the same core rigging, lighting, sound, video and costume designers for all of its productions. Their technical skill in their individual fields, as well as their experience in site-specific work, brings BLL’s vision to life.

Awards

Award NOMINATIONS

Recognition for Artistic Director Sally Jacques

  • 2008 | United States Artists Fellowship Award Nominee
  • 2007 | Inducted into Austin Arts Hall of Fame
  • 2006 | Awarded Samsung Signature Peace as part of First Night Austin
  • 2003 | Honorary Lifetime Membership, Golden Key International Honour Society
  • 2003 | YMCA Woman of the Year for Achievement the Arts
  • 1994 | Awarded New Forms Regional Initiative Grant (NFRIG) funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation
  • 1993 | Featured Performer, United Nations Conference on Human Rights, Vienna
  • 1993 | Featured Artist, Performance Magazine, Chicago
  • 1993 | Featured Artist, Art and the Public, Nov/Dec '93 by Saundra Goldman, Atlanta
  • 1992 | Awarded funding from Art Matters, New York City
  • 1991 – present | Ongoing funding from the Texas Commission on the Arts
  • 1988 – present | Ongoing funding from the United States National Endowment for the Arts
  • 1988 | Susan B. Anthony Peace Award, New York Mayor Ed Koch
  • 1986 – present | Ongoing funding from the City of Austin through the Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division, believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin's future

FILM & Publications by/featuring Sally Jacques

  • 2018 | Belonging (a short film based on site work Belonging, Part One) filmed by Christopher Kim of KLRU was one of 13 films selected for SXSW Community Screening: 2018 Faces of Austin
  • 2017 | Belonging (based on Belonging, Part One) featured on Austin’s PBS affiliate KLRU TV show Arts in Context
  • 2015 | 64 Beds for the Homeless, a documentary, exhibited in New York City, Berlin, and Madrid
  • 2014 | Here and Beyond (based on In Light) featured on Austin’s PBS affiliate KLRU TV show Arts in Context
  • 2009 | One of fourteen choreographers featured in Site Dance: Choreographers and the Lure of Alternative Spaces by editors  Carolyn Pavlik & Melanie Kloetzel. (University Press, Florida, 2009)
  • 2006 | Featured in the "2006 Faces Of Austin" installation at Austin City Hall
  • 2004 | Featured on Austin's PBS affiliate KLRU TV show Austin Now
  • 1996 | Published 64 Beds and Other Site Works (Plain View Press, 1996)
    Based on her site work 64 Beds held at the Jefferson Memorial as well as sites in Houston and Austin. Featuring over 100 performers, 64 Beds raised awareness of the plight of the homeless.
  • 1988 – present | Essays about Jacques’ work have been published in Portugal, New Zealand, and in other publications including Atlanta’s Arts Papers