Iconic Austin singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett got a nice nod recently from Fort Worth-based Texas Ballet Theater, which worked out a video routine to the song "Don’t Touch My Hat" from Lovett’s 1996 album "The Road to Ensenada" for a YouTube video featuring more than a dozen of the company’s dancers.
In the video, each dancer performs solo, virtually tossing the hat from dancer to dancer. Lovett appears at the end with a kind word of appreciation for director Ben Stevenson and his company. "Thanks to all you Texas Ballet Theater dancers for lending your grace and your talent in bringing my song to life in such a wonderful way," Lovett says. "You inspire me every time I get to see you dance, and I can’t wait until the next time I get to see you live."
Little-known fact: Lovett himself once performed with the Houston Ballet. While attending Texas A&M University in the 1970s, Lovett wrote for Texas A&M’s student newspaper, the Battalion. Lovett’s editor asked him to attend the company’s performance and actually take part in the production to write about it from a firsthand perspective.
"Experiencing life is wearing a pair of ballet tights," Lovett wrote in the resulting article, which was pubished in the Battalion on Oct. 20, 1978. "The label in mine read men’s size C. After putting them on, I figure I’m a D or an E."
No Depression magazine republished the piece in 1998 (along with profiles Lovett wrote for the Battalion of Texas songwriters Willis Alan Ramsey, Steven Fromholz, Michael Murphey and Eric Taylor).