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Carmina Burana

Choreography by Natalie Weir and Stanton Welch
Music  John Adams' Harmonium and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana
Scenery and Costumes by Santo Loquasto
Lighting by Brian MacDevitt

Stanton Welch originally choreographed his first staging of Carmina Burana as part of a two-act program for American Ballet Theatre entited HereAfter.

HereAfter depicts the spiritual journey of one man’s life in two separate acts. 
 
The world premiere of HereAfter, a unique choral evening featuring the choreography of two Australians, Natalie Weir and Mr. Welch, accompanied by over 120 members of the New York Choral Society, took place on May 16, 2003 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.   
 
The work was commissioned by American Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, and featured spectacular designs by Tony Award winner Santo Loquasto.  HereAfter was the third work that American Ballet Theatre had comissioned from Mr. Welch, in addition to Clear (2001) and Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison (2002).
 
Ms. Weir, who created two works for Houston Ballet, choreographed the first act to John Adams’ Harmonium, while Mr. Welch’s choreography for the second act was set to Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.  
 
On Friday, December 1, 2006, Houston Ballet will unveil a revised staging of Mr. Welch's portion of HereAfter, entitled simply Carmina Burana, as part of the company's one-night only gala performance, Jubilee of Dance.   Commented Mr. Welch, “Orff’s music is so rich and multi-layered that I was inspired to create a story within the music.  Carmina Burana tells the story of one man’s journey through life and his pursuit of fulfillment.  Two characters, representing fate and fortune, push and pull him through the stages of his journey to enlightenment.”   

Mr. Welch significantly revised the staging for the Houston premiere, and Houston Ballet’s performance of the piece will feature new scenery and costumes designed by Mr. Welch.

Houston Ballet Premiere on December 1, 2006, by Houston Ballet in the Brown Theater at the Wortham Theater Center in Houston, Texas.

Headshot: Stanton Welch
Photo: Pam Francis

Image: HereAfter
Dancers: Herman Cornejo
Photo: Marty Sohl
Courtesy of American Ballet Theatre

Headshot: Natalie Weir
Photo: Unknown