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Studio to Stage Syllabus

Students will take a choreographic idea from concept to presentation.  They will take classes from Houston Ballet teachers and staff who will help the students hone their idea and add supporting elements such as set, costume and light design.  This series will culminate in a workshop in which students will present their final projects to and answer questions from Houston Ballet staff and invited community guests.

By the end of the Studio to Stage series, students will be able to:
• Define the elements of production as they relate to dance, including choreography, music, costume design, set design, lighting design.
• Describe the role of the dancer, choreographer, costume designer, lighting designer, set designer in the creation of a new dance.
• Create costume, set and lighting designs that support a choreographic idea.
• Create a movement phrase that conveys an idea.
• Select appropriate music to support a choreographic idea
• Write critically about ballets in a Houston Ballet II Studio Series performance and a Houston Ballet production.


(1) Perception. The student develops an awareness of the body's movement, using sensory information while dancing. The student is expected to:

(B) demonstrate respect for others when working in groups

(C) express ideas and emotions through movement

(C) communicate nonverbally using dance movements;

(5) Response/evaluation. The student makes informed judgments about dance's form, meaning, and role in society. The student is expected to:

(A) incorporate appropriate movement vocabulary when identifying qualities and discussing meaning of performance and production in dance;

(D) identify and apply dance and dance related skills such as creative problem solving, cooperation, and self-discipline to various work experience.

(B) analyze dance from a variety of perspectives such as those of dance
critic, performer, choreographer, and audience member;

(D) identify opportunities in dance as a profession.


Class#1: At School Campus
Diving In: Concept To Product

  • Review Syllabus
  • Students will receive final project guidelines
  • Choreographers- students will watch choreographer interviews and video clips, and compare/contrast the selected choreographers' styles, the dances' sets, lights, costumes, and music.
  • Students will discuss how to select music that supports a choreographic idea or theme and select a track for their projects.

Class #2, At School Campus

  • A representative from the wardrobe department will discuss the entire process of costuming a ballet - from the design stages to opening night. The representative will also discuss what it is like to collaborate with a choreographer and how appropriate fabrics are selected to support the theme of a ballet.
  • Students will learn how to create a design for their final presentation.

Class #3: At School Campus

  • A representative from the production staff will introduce students to technical elements that support a choreographic idea. The representative will discuss lighting, music, set design, videography, and calling a show, as well as what it is like to work with choreographers during the process of bringing a piece to the stage.
  • Students will learn how to create a model set for their final presentation.

Class #4: At Houston Ballet Center for Dance
Ideas in Action

  • Students will watch a Houston Ballet II Studio Series performance and have an opportunity to think and write critically about the pieces viewed.
  • Students will have an opportunity to ask the HB II dancers questions about their experience training professionally and working with a variety of choreographers and in diverse styles.

Classes #5-6: At School Campus
Choreography: Communicating to Your Audience

  • Houston Ballet staff will introduce concepts about how movement expresses ideas, moods, actions.
  • Students will work in small groups to begin work on their movement phrases.
  • Students will give and receive critical feedback.

Class #7: At School Campus
Work Week

  • Students will work on their culminating presentations and have the opportunity to ask questions of and get feedback from Houston Ballet staff.

Class #8: At Houston Ballet
Culminating presentations in the Margaret Alkek Williams Dance Lab.

  • Students will present their final projects to Houston Ballet staff and guests. Presentations will be evaluated by Houston Ballet staff and their campus school teacher.

Class #9, At the Wortham Theater Center

  • Students will attend a Houston Ballet performance and have the opportunity to think and write critically about one piece using information learned in the Studio to Stage workshop.