is currently the director of Thang Dao Dance Company (TDDC) based in New York City. After receiving the Audience Choice Award for Stepping Ground
for all four performances in Ballet Austin's New American Talent/Dance
choreographic competition, Dao returned to create Printemps Perdu
for Ballet Austin II. In 2008 the received the Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship. In 2009, he created new work for Boston Conservatory as well as Mendelssohn Violin Concerto
for Ballet Austin II and was awarded the 2009 Princess Grace Fellowship Special Project Award.
BALLET AUSTIN II
was established in 1999, Ballet Austin II is Ballet Austin’s apprentice program and second company. The 10 apprentices, ranging in age from 18-23, are employed for 34 weeks. They perform with the main company in larger productions as well as presenting their own roster of repertoire and educational programming throughout Texas. Choreographers represented in the Ballet Austin II repertoire include Stephen Mills, Gina Patterson and New American Talent/Dance finalists Thang Dao, Thaddeus Davis and Viktor Kabaniaev. Apprentices are contracted with Ballet Austin II for up to 2 years during which time they receive artistic guidance, career management counseling and job placement assistance. Ballet Austin II apprentices are recruited through Ballet Austin’s Summer Intensive Program and the year-round Professional Division (Trainee Program). Sixty percent of the main company’s current roster includes graduates of Ballet Austin II. Additionally, former Ballet Austin II dancers have joined the ranks of both ballet and modern dance companies, including Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Washington Ballet, Nai-Ni Chen, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Ballet Met, Kansas City Ballet, Kim Robards Dance Company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Wideman/Davis Dance and Thang Dao Dance
Khanh Ly started her career at the age of fourteen when she won second place on a radio talent search in Saigon. In 1962, five years later, Trinh Cong Son requested that she perform his work, but she refused his offer. Three years later, Ly finally consented and began collaborating with Son and performing his music throughout Vietnam. Khanh Ly has been known to be the vocalist that can perform best Trinh Cong Son music. In 1969, Ly was sponsored by the Republic of Vietnam Government to perform in Europe, making her the first Vietnamese entertainer to perform in another country. After 1975, she immigrated to the United States and has performed in several countries around the world. Her musical talent was officially recognized by Japan in a music festival in which she performed Son’s song.
Trinh Cong Son was a prominent, Vietnamese composer and songwriter with a message of love and humanity. He composed over 600 songs during his lifetime. Nearly every significant Vietnamese performer, past and present, has included his songs in their performance repertoire. Son died on April 1, 2001 in Cho Ray Hospital, Saigon, Vietnam at the age of 62. When he died, tens of thousands of people lined the street to pay tribute to a man that has influenced many generations and continue to impact generations of Vietnamese people.