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Capturing the attention of school-age children is never easy, but trying to do so right after Christmas seems particularly difficult: In the coming weeks, discussing the holiday bounty and trading new PlayStation 2 tips will take precedence over all else. If anyone can stave off carpal tunnel among the K-12 set, however, it is Ballet Austin. Last year, under the leadership of newly appointed artistic director Stephen Mills, the company staged a production of Hamlet so impressive that the Kennedy Center immediately extended an invitation for the group to travel to D.C. and perform (distinguishing it as the first Austin-based dance company ever to receive such an honor). A key component of Ballet Austin’s mission is education through dance, so it’s a natural choice to participate in the Kennedy Center’s “Imagination Celebration”—a series of performances for children and families designed to introduce young people to the arts. This week, in three public performances, Ballet Austin presents its adaptation of Shakespeare’s ever-popular comedy of forest fornication, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Conveying the nuances of the classic through dance is no small feat—especially when some audience members are still a bit young to be familiar with the play—but the dancers successfully use pantomime and creative choreography to tell the tale. The resulting ballet is exciting enough to mesmerize the kiddies—but still functions on a level of technical difficulty that will appeal to discriminating adult fans. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, and Saturday, Jan. 5, and at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, and Sunday, Jan. 6, at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. $12. (202) 467-4600. (Sarah Godfrey)