Has Fêt*ish grown up?
The coltish sibling of the elegant annual Fête started years ago as a dance party to follow Ballet Austin’s black-tie dinner gala. Tickets to the separate event were less expensive and the crowd significantly younger. Yet Fête guests were welcome, too.
While Fête’s décor was dominated by imaginative floral creations from Mandarin Design Lab, Fêt*ish was defined by the undulating digital projections from Ilios Lighting Design.
Eventually, the “reveal” -- when the screens between the festive rooms parted -- became the climax of the evening. An overwhelming feeling of good will flowed between the two crowds that became one.
Fête remains an essential Austin event. I divide my time between my tablemates -- always invigorating -- and artists from Ballet Austin, who often flee to the lobby during the lulls in the adult program.
But how cool is Fêt*ish? This year’s enchanted forest theme -- meant to whet imaginations for Stephen Mills take on the Grimm tales in the spring -- enveloped the dancers in a world of visual and aural fantasy. People talked easily and merrily on the sidelines.
I’ve aged out of group dancing, but maybe next year I’ll just do the late show. And enjoy.