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FOR RELEASE AUGUST 17, 2012
HOUSTON BALLET ANNOUNCES TOURING SCHEDULE
FOR THE 2012-2013 SEASON
Houston Ballet Makes Second Appearance at The Chicago Dancing Festival on August 25th 2012
Houston Ballet returns to Ottawa, Canada October 18-20th, 2012
Houston Ballet II Invited to perform in Switzerland in February 2013
Houston, TX - Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch announced touring plans for both the company and second company's 2012-2013 season today. Over the next year, touring engagements will take Houston Ballet from Chicago to Switzerland.
The company begins its touring in August 2012 with an appearance at the Chicago Dancing Festival on Saturday, August 25 at Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois, performing Mark Morris', Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes on a program with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Keigwin + Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and stars of New York City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Houston Ballet made its debut at the Chicago Dancing Festival in August 2009, performing William Forsythe's The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, which dance critic Hedy Weiss of The Chicago Sun Times called "a fiendishly difficult work set to a bombastic Schubert symphony and brilliantly performed by members of Houston Ballet. The ballet's title says it all, as three women in hooplike tutus of chartreuse (Jaquel Andrews, Melody Herrera and Sara Webb) and two male dancers (Connor Walsh and Joseph Walsh) - shooting stars, all - moved through choreography of exceptional difficulty and quirkiness at unimaginable velocities. The whole thing had an almost giddy-making effect because the five dancers were not just models of perfection, but met every challenge with that sense of sheer fun that comes with sublime skill and buoyant confidence." For additional information, visit www.chicagodancingfestival.com.
From October 18-20 2012, Houston Ballet will perform Marie, a three-act narrative ballet choreographed by Stanton Welch and inspired by the life of the legendary French queen, Marie Antoinette, at Canada's National Arts Centre in Ottawa. The company last appeared in Ottawa in May 2006, performing a mixed program featuring Mr. Welch's Nosotros and Divergence, and Julia Adam's The Accidental. Tickets may be purchased on the National Arts Centre website at www.nac-cna.ca.
Houston Ballet II has been invited to perform in Switzerland in conjunction with 25 featured guests on a showcase performance on February 2, 2013. The dancers of Houston Ballet II are coached by the internationally recognized Claudio Munoz, ballet master for Houston Ballet II; Sabrina Lenzi, ballet mistress for Houston Ballet II; Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch; and Houston Ballet's artistic staff. In recent seasons, Houston Ballet II has traveled to the Organizacion Para Las Artes in Guatemala City, Guatemala and Folly Theater in Kansas City, Missouri in October 2010; Budapest (International Youth Festival in October 2008 and 2011); and to New York's prestigious City Center for Music & Dance (in January 2007).
About Houston Ballet
On February 17, 1969 a troupe of 15 young dancers made its stage debut at Sam Houston State Teacher's College in Huntsville, Texas. Since that time, Houston Ballet has evolved into a company of 55 dancers with a budget of $20.5 million (making it the United States' fourth largest ballet company by number of dancers), a state-of-the-art performance space built especially for the company, Wortham Theater Center, the largest professional dance facility in America, Houston Ballet's $46.6 million Center for Dance which opened in April 2011, and an endowment of just over $57.6 million (as of May 2011).
Australian choreographer Stanton Welch has served as artistic director of Houston Ballet since 2003, raising the level of the company's classical technique and commissioning many new works from dance makers such as Christopher Bruce, Jorma Elo, James Kudelka, Julia Adam, Natalie Weir and Nicolo Fonte. James Nelson serves as the administrative leader of the company, assuming the position of executive director of Houston Ballet in February 2012 after serving as the company's general manager for over a decade.
Houston Ballet has toured extensively both nationally and internationally. Since 2000, the company has appeared in London at Sadler's Wells, at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Ottawa, in six cities in Spain, in Montréal, at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in New York at City Center and The Joyce Theater, and in cities large and small across the United States. Houston Ballet has emerged as a leader in the expensive, labor-intensive task of nurturing the creation and development of new full-length narrative ballets.
Writing in The Dancing Times in June 2012, dance critic Margaret Willis praised Houston Ballet "The synchronization, agility, presentation and sheer gusto from each member of the company would, if ballet were an Olympic sport, see them well on the way to achieving gold."
Houston Ballet Orchestra was established in the late 1970s and currently consists of 61 professional musicians who play all ballet performances at Wortham Theater Center under music director Ermanno Florio.
Houston Ballet's Education and Outreach Program has reached 20,500 Houston area students (as of the 2011-2012 season). Houston Ballet's Academy has 509 students and has had four academy students win prizes at the prestigious international ballet competition the Prix de Lausanne, with one student winning the overall competition in 2010. For more information on Houston Ballet visit www.houstonballet.org.
Houston Ballet Touring
Houston Ballet's touring engagements are supported in part by the Fayez Sarofim & Co. Touring Fund.
August 25, 2012: Chicago, Illinois - Houston Ballet at The Chicago Dancing Festival. For additional information, visit www.chicagodancingfestival.com.
October 18-20, 2012: Ottawa, Canada - Houston Ballet at Canada's National Arts Centre in Ottawa. For additional information, visit www.nac-cna.ca/en/
Houston Ballet II Touring
February 2, 2013: Lausanne, Switzerland - Houston Ballet II at the Prix de Lausanne Ballet Competition. For additional information, visit http://www.prixdelausanne.org