Nosotros, created by Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch, was unveiled by Houston Ballet on February 24, 2005 at Wortham Theater Center in Houston, Texas. Set to Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Nosotros ( the Spanish word for “us”) is an abstract work featuring eleven couples in a glittering celebration of classical technique. Commented Mr. Welch, “It’s a large ensemble piece showing off the present and future stars of Houston Ballet. Each of the leads comes forward for a pas de deux. In making the ballet, my goal was to create a work that is a signature piece for our current dancers. I know what scares them, what challenges them, and what looks good, so I’ve incorporated that into the choreography. I want to capture their essence in dance.”
The scenic and costume designs for Nosotros emphasize a work that presents a galaxy of stars to the audience. The women wear glamorous gowns inspired by high fashion couture designers such as Dior, and their partners match the romantic mood with flesh-toned, flowing costumes. The set design features new state-of-the-art special effects that will surround the dancers with a magical, star-lit atmosphere.
A critical and audience favorite, Nosotros won acclaim at its premiere. Houston Chronicle dance critic Molly Glentzer enthused, “Houston Ballet rocks with Rachmaninoff. Welch exploits his leading dancers’ best qualities in Nosotros’ 11 pas de deux…demanding extreme virtuosity and jaw-droppingly athletic partnering.” (February 26, 2005) Marene Gustin, dance critic for the Houston Press, commented “Like modern love, [Nosotros] is tinged with sensual, sometimes downright sexy, steps. From the delicate butterfly beats of ballerina feet to the languorous développés of their long legs, Welch has created a work that showcases the best of ‘us’.” (March 3, 2005)
Music by Rachmaninoff (1873 – 1943),
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
Choreography by Stanton Welch
Designs by Stanton Welch, realized by Pat Padilla and Tom Boyd
World Premiere on February 24, 2005, by Houston Ballet in the Brown Theater at the Wortham Theater Center in Houston, Texas.
Dancer: Mireille Hassenboehler
Dancer: Zdenek Konvalina
Dancers: Mireille Hassenboehler and Simon Ball
All photos: Jim Caldwell