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Audience Location:

Martin Park 10 Chicon St 78702

Date and Time:

June 24, 2017 at 10am

Water Locale:

Town Lake

Austin Town Lake


ELLEN BARTEL received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from S.U.N Y Potsdam in 1993 and in 2012 her M.F.A. in Dance at the University of Texas focusing on the pedagogical methods of contemporary dance and choreography of site-dance. For her thesis Ellen was interested in examining the different choreographic ways in to the creation of dances in alternative spaces. This led to a site-work about spaces of transition and site-inspired dances. Ellen’s independent artistic-scholarly pursuits also include observing and learning different choreographic methodologies, somatics, and butoh dance. Ellen is pursuing her CMA in NYC to be completed in June 2018.
Ellen Bartel Dance Collective, formed in 2014, is a project-based contemporary dance performance group. In two decades of dancing in Austin, Ellen has managed a small dance studio (‘97-‘06), directed a slow-motion improvisation group (’95-’01), directed non-profit Spank Dance (’00-’13), created 47+ new dance works, directed 55+ butoh improvisations, spearheaded community dance events such as the annual Dance Carousel (’04-’12), Big Range Austin Dance Festival (’08-’12), Hot September Flurries (05-07), and co- founded the Austin Independent Choreographers. She has choreographed for T. V. commercials, theater, fashion shows, as well as Performance Art events, and has collaborated with local composers: Ellen’s choreography has been shown in many venues in Austin, and also Houston, Dallas, Waco, San Antonio, Edinburgh, Scotland, and in Brooklyn, NY.
Amy Myers co-choreographer

History of Site and Related Water Issues:

The reservoir was formed in 1960 by the construction of Longhorn Dam at its eastern boundary by the City of Austin. The western end of the lake is bounded by Tom Miller Dam, built in 1939. The lake was created for several reasons, including the need for a cooling pond for the Holly Street Power Plant, which operated from 1960 until 2007. The reservoir was also envisioned from the beginning as a recreational venue for the city.
By the 1970s, Town Lake and its shoreline had become neglected, polluted and overgrown with weeds. KTBC referred to the lake as an “eyesore.”[3] During his two terms in office (1971–75), the Mayor of Austin Roy Butler partnered with former United States First Lady Lady Bird Johnson to establish the Town Lake Beautification Committee with the purpose of transforming the Town Lake area into a usable recreation area. A system of hike and bike trails was built along the shoreline of the lake in the 1970s, establishing (what was then known as) Town Lake as a major recreational attraction for the city of Austin.
On July 26, 2007, the Austin City Council passed a controversial resolution authorizing the renaming of the reservoir from Town Lake to Lady Bird Lake in honor of Lady Bird Johnson, the former First Lady of the United States and a long-time resident of the Austin area who had died earlier that month. Johnson had declined the honor of having the lake renamed for her while she was alive. In renaming the lake, the City Council recognized Johnson’s dedication to beautifying the lake and her efforts to create a recreational trail system around the lake’s shoreline.
In 2009, non-profit organization Keep Austin Beautiful launched “Clean Lady Bird Lake”. The program mobilizes thousands of community volunteers annually to conduct large-scale cleanups along the lake every other month and targeted cleanups throughout the year.
Lady Bird Lake is the easternmost lake of a chain of reservoirs on the Colorado River. This chain, known locally as the Texas Highland Lakes, also includes Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis, and Lake Austin.- Wikipedia


John Carr-Gable

The Performance:

The dance was performed by 12 Austin independent dancers and dance makers. Currently the dance is still a work in progress please check back for updates- mix of tribal and ritualistic contemporary dance.

[soliloquy id=”9328″]
Photo credit: Stephen Pruit

Environmental Impact:

Our partner is the Texas Clean Water Action. We will be reaching out to participants in order to bring awareness to two of the major campaigns of our partner:
Clean Water Action is working in local communities, and at the state level, on behalf of sustainable water policies that protect drinking water at its source, preserve wetlands and aquifer recharge zones, and conserve water for the future.
Clean Water Action is working in partnership with other state and local organizations to bring stronger regulations to the hydraulic fracturing industry in Texas. No state has more hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations under way than ours. Fracking is usually accompanied by horizontal drilling and is poorly regulated. Impacts on public health, the environment and property values can be dramatic.

Directions to the Site of Performance:

10 Chicon St, Austin, Texas, TX 78702
Take Chicon Street South until you arrive at Town Lake.

Email for more information:

Local Website:

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