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FOR RELEASE ON                                         CONTACTS: SHAUNA TYSOR NOVEMBER 8, 2011                                                          KIM ESPINOSA 713 535 3226                                                          pr@houstonballet.org

 

 AUSTRALIAN DANCER DANIELLE ROWE JOINS HOUSTON BALLET AS FIRST SOLOIST  

 Makes First Appearances with Houston Ballet in Marie in February 2010

HOUSTON, TEXAS - Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch announced today that fellow Australian Danielle Rowe, currently a principal dancer with The Australian Ballet, will join Houston Ballet as a first soloist in January 2011. Critics have praised Ms. Rowe for her "seductive assurance," "transfixing vigor," and "powerful stage presence." She will make her first appearances with Houston Ballet in Mr. Welch's production of Marie, running February 24 - March 6, 2011. Houston Ballet's roster now stands at 54 dancers.

Ms. Rowe was born in Shepparton, Australia in 1982 and trained at the Cheryl Bradley Dance Studios in South Australia for eleven years, then with Marie Walton-Mahon in Newcastle before moving to Melbourne to join The Australian Ballet School. During her years as a student Ms. Rowe received many scholarships including the Fauldings Bursary, which allowed her to complete her training with The Australian Ballet School. She joined The Australian Ballet in 2001. In 2005 Ms. Rowe was promoted to soloist and awarded the Lissa Black Memorial Scholarship, which she used to travel to Europe. After many acclaimed lead performances she was promoted to senior artist in 2007 and principal artist in June 2008. Her repertoire highlights include Graeme Murphy's Nutcracker - The Story of Clara in 2009; Baroness von Rothbart in Graeme Murphy's Swan Lake in 2008; Stanton Welch's The Sleeping Beauty in 2005, 2006 and 2007; Peter Wright's The Nutcracker in 2007; as well as numerous other ballet classics

"I am extremely delighted to be part of a company that is regarded world wide as fresh and inspired. The diverse repertoire, talented dancers and support surrounding Houston Ballet are reasons enough for any dancer to be excited," comments Ms. Rowe.

"The thought of working with new dancers and choreographers leaves me with a feeling of anticipated excitement," states Rowe. "Houston Ballet performs such a wonderfully varied repertoire and is renowned for being an extremely hard working company."

"I first met Danielle when she was a corps member in Australia. I picked her as one of the only non-principals to choreograph Velocity on. Since then I have worked with her steadily, including choreographing Carabosse on her in my Sleeping Beauty," comments Mr. Welch. "She is a very dynamic and diverse dancer who is a great story teller. She caught my eye right away and many of the world's best choreographers gravitate toward her, like Christopher Wheeldon. We are happy to have her joining Houston Ballet."

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 53 dancers with a budget of $18.4 million, a state-of-the-art performance space built especially for the company, Wortham Theater Center, and an endowment of just over $47 million (as of June 2010), making it the United States' fourth largest ballet company by number of dancers. Under the administrative leadership of managing director C.C. Conner since 1995, the company has maintained a strong financial position.    

Houston Ballet has toured extensively both nationally and internationally.  Over the last decade, the company has appeared in London at Sadler's Wells, at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, in six cities in Spain, in Montréal, at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in New York at City Center, 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. The company has also commissioned new one-act ballets from some of the world's most respected choreographers, including Julia Adam, Christopher Bruce, James Kudelka, Trey McIntyre, Paul Taylor, Glen Tetley, Natalie Weir and Lila York.

Writing in The Financial Times on March 6, 2006, dance critic Hilary Ostlere praised Houston Ballet as "a strong, reinvigorated company whose male contingent is particularly impressive, a well-drilled corps and an enviable selection of soloists and principals." Dance Europe editor Emma Manning observed of the company in November 2004, "One of the first things that hits you about this company is the technical strengths not just of the principals, but throughout the ranks. Watching artistic director Stanton Welch take class on a Sunday morning before a matinee, one could not help but marvel at the multiple turns tossed off by the young women in the corps....The three new works shown in this program will be followed by no fewer than four more Houston premieres. Can any other major ballet company in the world match that?"

In a move designed to propel Houston Ballet to the next phase of its development, the company broke ground on July 15, 2009 on the Center for Dance, a new 115,000 square-foot facility located in downtown Houston. The building, which will cost $53 million, is set for completion in the spring of 2011. The six-story building will boast nine dance studios, a dance laboratory for presentations as well as rehearsals, and artistic, administrative and support facilities for Houston Ballet and its Academy.  The new facility will more than double the space that Houston Ballet has at its current home, and become the largest facility for dance in America.

Houston Ballet Academy has reached over 19,000 Houston area students (as of the 2009-2010 season) 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.

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