The Precious Present

in Love and Light

9-12 December at The Long Center

Thursday and Friday: 8pm

Saturday and Sunday: 2pm

Austin, TX – Austin’s acclaimed dance company Tapestry returns to the stage with the premiere of The Precious Present – In Love & Light, at the Long Center’s Rollins Theatre Dec. 9 to 12, at 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets start at $35 and are available at www.TheLongCenter.org.

Featuring some of the most celebrated dance, vocal and music artists Austin has to offer, The Precious Present includes spoken word poet Zell Miller III; vocalists Nagavalli and Mohammed Firoozi; modern/contemporary dancers Sharon Marroquin, Jun Shen, Andrea Ariel as well as Austin newcomer Francisco Graciano; Bharatanatyam master Anuradha Naimpally; local Flamenco legend Olivia Chacon; long-time local African dancer China Smith; flow artist Kelly Bach as well as Jeremy Arnold and director Acia Gray bringing Tapestry’s jazz tap dance legacy back to the stage.

“It is in the dance of life that we collaborate with our individuality to create the beautiful orchestra of community,” said Tapestry Dance Company Director Acia Gray. “’Who Am I?’ is the question for the family of Austin artists and the answers are thread throughout this collaborative performance in the magic of movement and sound.”

The Precious Present opens with What It Is To Be Present, an inner voice narrative presented by recently retired Austin Chronicle arts writer Robert Faires. With production design by Stephen Pruitt the audience is led by a soundscape of incredible musicians including the global fusion of ATASH and the best of America’s indigenous jazz from The Souls of Our Feet Trio.

“This new work celebrates a musical and physical collaboration of diverse voices within our Austin arts ecosystem,” Gray said. “All unique yet traveling together and not alone – an artistic human tapestry of life that holds itself together as one.”

ABOUT TAPESTRY DANCE COMPANY: As a Long Center Resident Company, Tapestry is a professional, non-profit dance organization founded in 1989 by Acia Gray and Deirdre Strand for the purpose of developing a foundation in multi-form dance performance and education. Over 32 years, the critically acclaimed events and programs of Tapestry Dance have included more than 65 full length world premiere concerts in Austin, TX, the Annual International Soul to Sole Tap Festival bringing the leaders and legends of tap dance to Central Texas for over 25 years, community outreach programs such as Rhythm, Dance, Music & You! serving thousands of at-risk and Title One children since 1990 and numerous master classes and workshops as well as touring performance residencies throughout the world. Awarded best ensemble, best dancer, best choreographer and other honors by The Austin Critic’s Table Awards, Tapestry is also listed on the TCA Touring Roster and the company’s NEA Masterpiece production of The Souls of Our Feet -­ A Celebration of American Tap Dance toured globally including The People’s Republic of China for 5 weeks and director Acia Gray was asked to set a national syllabus for Chinese tap dance curriculum.

ABOUT ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ACIA GRAY: As soloist, choreographer and master teacher, Ms. Gray has toured extensively across the U.S. and abroad to include England, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, China, Spain, Brazil, Canada and Austria and has shared the stage with such tap greats as Gregory Hines, Savion Glover and Donald O’Connor to name a few. In June of 2002, Ms. Gray was inducted as a premiere member of the Austin Arts Hall of Fame and was nominated for a prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts as well as being a choreographer chosen for the NEA National College Choreography Initiative. Her critically acclaimed book and Amazon.com category bestseller The Souls of Your Feet – A Tap Dance Guide for Rhythm Explorers is available at all major bookstores and has been translated in the Czech Republic and China. Ms. Gray also served on the NEA funded Steering Committee for the National Tap Plan and was recognized as a leader in the field in Lynn Dally’s UCLA event Women in Tap. Ms. Gray has appeared in numerous documentaries including Passing It Forward / NPR and A Class Act – The Magic of Honi Coles. Her awards include the Third Coast Rhythm Project’s Legacy Award, the 2008 Texas Tap Legend by the Dallas Dance Council and the 2010 Hoofer Award by Tap City – The New York City Tap Festival, among others. Ms. Gray is a 2019 Austin Creative Alliance Honoree.

Tapestry Dance is funded and supported in part this season by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division, the Texas Commission on the Arts, awards from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as The American Rescue Plan.

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