updated 9:52 PM EDT, Mar 26, 2015
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Aerial ballet in ancient oaks of Salado's Pace Park

One-of-a-kind performance July 25

Blue Lapis Light will be dancing in the ancient oak trees of Pace Park in a free performance at 9 p.m. July 25.

This mesmerizing aerial ballet will “feature dancers in aerial silks suspended from trees and on tiger stands,” according to Lauren Peterson, Managing Director of Blue Lapis Light.  “We have created this work specifically for the village of Salado with the aim of inspiring audiences and offering a prayer of peace for the planet.”

The performance of the Austin-based site-specific aerial dance company is the gift of the Public Arts League of Salado to the village. PALS is bringing the one-of-a-kind performance to Salado through a matching grant from the Texas Commission of the Arts.

“We are so excited to have Blue Lapis Light coming to Salado,” said Jill Shipman. 

Blue Lapis

Blue Lapis Light’s breakthrough production was in June 2006 when “Requiem” was held at the unfinished Intel Building in downtown Austin and was seen by over 14,000 people in 33 performances. 

As a result, BLL’s prominence has grown, leading to large-scale performances at the historic Seaholm Power Plant (Illumination; 2007), the J.J. Pickle and Homer Thornberry Federal Buildings in downtown Austin (Constellation; 2007 & 2008, and Impermanence; 2009) and the Long Center for the Performing Arts (ONE; 2010 and Heaven~Earth~One; 2012 & 2013). 

Devotion” in 2011 was another innovation for the company, featuring dancers performing on, in, and above Lady Bird Lake and gaining mention in the New York Times.

Blue Lapis Light is under the direction of its founder Sally Jacques, who creates  creates site-specific aerial dance works that speak to social, political and spiritual issues. 

Her direct experiences traveling the globe to work on issues such as homelessness, human rights abuses and environmental racism inform her work as much as 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 awards, including the Susan B Anthony Award for Peace, 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, edited by Melanie Kloetzel and Carolyn Pavlik. 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. Jacques has taught movement to at-risk teenagers, prison inmates, senior citizens, and the differently-abled, making dance accessible for all.