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FOR RELEASE APRIL 8, 2013
CONTACT:
KIMBERLY CEDENO
713-535-3224
pr@houstonballet.org

HOUSTON BALLET II TO PARTICIPATE IN
CANADA'S NATIONAL BALLET SCHOOL'S ASSEMBLÉE INTERNATIONALE 2013 IN TORONTO

International Ballet Festival Features Young Dancers from
Some of the World's Best Ballet Companies

HOUSTON, TEXAS - Houston Ballet II is pleased to announce that from April 28th to May 4th, 2013 it will be taking part in the second Assemblée Internationale (AI13), to be held in Toronto, Canada. Hosted by Canada's National Ballet School (NBS), the AI13 will bring together students and artistic staff from 18 international professional ballet schools for an intensive seven days of classes, performances, forums and professional development.

Students from participating schools will perform both a piece of existing repertoire, representative of their school's culture, as well as a student-created choreography, which will be performed by a blended cast of students from each of the partner schools. Houston Ballet II dancers will perform the first movement of Stanton Welch's work Fingerprints, and a new work choreographed by Garrett Smith, a graduate of Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy who got his start as a choreographer at the Academy and now dances with the Norwegian National Ballet.

The AI13 will also include an innovative live-streaming project that will explore the use of new technologies in dance. Shaun Amyot, NBS Artistic Faculty member and choreographer, has collaborated with Michael Schumacher, an Amsterdam-based choreographer, to create a work that will be performed by a blended cast of AI13 students present in Toronto and joined virtually through live streaming by dancers from the National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam. The live-streaming project, as well as several other AI13 performances and student classes, will be shown live on NBS' website so that everyone worldwide can see and feel a part of the festival.

Eight students from Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy will join Shelly Power, director of Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy, and Claudio Muñoz, ballet master of Houston Ballet II, in Toronto for the weeklong, collaborative festival. "We are delighted to be taking part in this year's Assemblée Internationale and to be joining colleagues and students from Canada's National Ballet School as well as the other participating schools to share our creativity and passion for ballet," said Shelly Power. "Knowing how successful the initial Assemblée Internationale was in 2009, especially in terms of enhancing student development and promoting professional development for artistic staff, we anticipate that the inspirations gained at this year's AI13 will be of lasting benefit to our school, long after the AI has ended."

The full list of schools participating in the AI13 is as follows: 

The Australian Ballet School (Melbourne)   Dutch National Ballet Academy (Amsterdam)
Canada’s National Ballet School (Toronto)   National Ballet School (Havana)
Codarts dance department (Rotterdam) New Zealand  School of Dance (Wellington)
L’École supérieure de Ballet du Québec (Montréal)  Palucca Schule (Dresden)
EESA/CPD de l’Institut del Teatre (Barcelona)    Paris Opera Ballet School
The School of The Hamburg Ballet   The Royal Ballet School (London)
Houston Ballet Academy    The Royal Danish Ballet School (Copenhagen)
John Cranko Schule (Stuttgart)        Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School
The Juillard School (New York)     San Francisco Ballet School

For more information about the Assemblée Internationale or Canada’s National Ballet School, please visit: http://www.nbs-enb.ca/ai13/.

About Houston Ballet II

Houston Ballet II is the second company of Houston Ballet, America's fourth largest ballet company. Comprised of a stellar array of ballet students from around the world, Houston Ballet II members perform a diverse range of dance works such as excerpts from the great classics like The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker to contemporary works by Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch.

The mission of Houston Ballet II is three-fold; to provide students the opportunity to dance leading roles in varied repertoire, to allow the dancers to develop technically and artistically through performance experience, and to serve the greater Houston community by providing quality, professional performances. The visibility of the excellent training in Houston Ballet II supports the growth of the professional company at large. 

Under the direction of Stanton Welch, Artistic Director and Shelly Power, Academy Director, Houston Ballet II dancers are led by the internationally acclaimed coaches and teachers Claudio Muñoz, ballet master for Houston Ballet II; Sabrina Lenzi, ballet mistress for Houston Ballet II and Houston Ballet's artistic staff. Houston Ballet II second company members tour both nationally and internationally, and have performed in Mexico, China, Hungary, Guatemala, and Lausaunne, Switzerland where Houston Ballet II performed at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne dance competition. 

HOUSTON BALLET II
FACT SHEET

WHEN: April 28-May 5, 2013 Houston Ballet II will join young dancers from other leading ballet

WHERE: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

ABOUT THE PROGRAM: Companies from across the world for the Assemblée Internationale, convened and organized by Canada’s National Ballet School. Performances will be held at the Betty Oliphant Theatre in Toronto, Ontario.

For additional information, visit: http://www.nbs-enb.ca/ai13/