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A mix of classical and contemporary ballet, Maninyas is a small abstract work, a series of pas de deux and pas de trois.  Set to Maninyas Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, a work by Australian composer Ross Edwards, the piece features five couples in delicate costumes designed Artistic Director Stanton Welch, who move in and out of a series of shimmering curtains or veils.
“The piece is a process of unveiling,” explained Mr. Welch.  “It examines how in relationships, you gradually unlayer yourself, and how scary, dark, and open it is to reveal yourself to another, without protection.  The dancers are undressing themselves spiritually as well as physically.” 

Originally created for San Francisco Ballet in 1996, Maninyas was Mr. Welch’s first commission outside his home company, The Australian Ballet – his first American exposure, which led to commissions with other companies.  In fact, seeing Maninyas led Ben Stevenson, Houston Ballet Artistic Director Emeritus, to ask Mr. Welch to create a work for the company.  At its premiere, San Francisco Examiner dance critic Allan Ulrich enthusiastically commented, “Although still in his early 20s, [Stanton Welch] is extraordinarily promising….Maninyas was spectacular.”  (February 29, 1996)

Music by Ross Edwards
Maninyas Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
Choreography by Stanton Welch
Scenic and costume design by Stanton Welch
Lighting by Lisa J. Pinkham

Houston Ballet Premiere on June 9, 2005, by Houston Ballet in the Brown Theater at the Wortham Theater Center in Houston, Texas.






Dancer: Melody Herrera
Photo: Amitava Sarkar

Dancers: Barbara Bears and Simon Ball
Photo: Drew Donovan

Dancers: Barbara Bears and Ian Casady
Photo: Amitava Sarkar