Stanton Welch, Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
The Harris Masterson III Artistic Director
Under parents (Marilyn Jones and Garth Welch)
San Francisco Ballet School
Previous Company Credits
The Australian Ballet
Previous Artistic Roles
Resident Choreographer with The Australian Ballet
In July 2003, the acclaimed Australian choreographer Stanton Welch assumed the leadership of Houston Ballet, America's fifth largest ballet company, as artistic director. Since his arrival, Mr. Welch has transformed Houston Ballet by raising the level of classical technique, infusing the company with new energy, drive and vision; introducing works by distinguished choreographers to the repertoire; and attracting some of the world's best coaches to Houston to work with the dancers.
He has created works for such prestigious international companies as Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The Australian Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and Royal Danish Ballet.
Mr. Welch was born in Melbourne to Marilyn Jones, O.B.E., and Garth Welch, A.M., two of Australia's most gifted dancers of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1986 he began his training at the late age of seventeen, quickly winning a scholarship to San Francisco Ballet School. In 1989 he was engaged as a dancer with The Australian Ballet, where he rose to the rank of leading soloist, performing such principal roles as Des Grieux in Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Manon, Lensky in John Cranko's Onegin, Camille in Ronald Hynd's The Merry Widow, and Alan Strang in Equus. He has also worked with internationally acclaimed choreographers such as Jiří Kylían, Nacho Duato, and Maurice Béjart.
I want to share the experience of how I fell in love with this art form. I want the dancers to experience the work of all the choreographers, the designers, the music, everything I find inspirational.
For his contributions to the world of dance, Mr. Welch was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) in June 2015. The prestigious Order of Australia Award, established in 1975, is bestowed on Australian citizens for meritorious service in a particular area or field of activity. Mr. Welch was recognized for his significant service to the performing arts as a ballet dancer, mentor, choreographer and artistic director. Mr. Welch's choreographic career developed during his time with The Australian Ballet.
In 1990 he received his first choreographic commission from the company, marking the beginning of a series of commissioned works over the next fourteen years and developing his diverse choreographic style. For The Australian Ballet he has created The Three of Us (1990); Of Blessed Memory (1991), for which he was voted best new choreographer in 1992 by readers of the British magazine Dance & Dancers; Divergence (1994), which has been performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and City Center in New York; full-length productions of Madame Butterfly (1995) and Cinderella (1997); Red Earth (1996); X (1999); and Velocity (2003).
In 2005, Mr. Welch created a lavish new staging of The Sleeping Beauty for The Australian Ballet. Madame Butterfly has become a signature work for Mr. Welch internationally, and is in the repertoires of Houston Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Atlanta Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, and Boston Ballet. In 1995, Mr. Welch was named resident choreographer of The Australian Ballet. That same year, he was commissioned to create Corroboree (Wildlife) for The Australian Ballet to perform at "United We Dance," a dance festival in San Francisco celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter and featuring major companies from across the world premiering new works.
Mr. Welch has been extremely active internationally, receiving numerous commissions from the world's leading companies.
The Nutcracker, Houston Ballet (WP)
Giselle, Houston Ballet (WP)
Zodiac, Houston Ballet (WP)
Romeo and Juliet, Houston Ballet (WP)
Paquita, Houston Ballet
La Bayadère, The Australian Ballet
Swan Lake, Houston Ballet
Clear, Staatsballet Berlin
The Young Person's Guide to Orchestra, Houston Ballet (WP)
Beatae Memoriae (Of Blessed Memory), Houston Ballet (HP)
Maninyas, Houston Ballet
Paquita, Houston Ballet (WP)
Sons de L'âme (Sounds of the Soul), Houston Ballet (WP)
Clear, American Ballet Theatre
The Rite of Spring, Houston Ballet (WP)
La Bayadère, Houston Ballet
La Bayadère, Joffrey Ballet
Madame Butterfly, Alberta Ballet
Madame Butterfly, Houston Ballet
Clear, Houston Ballet
Son of Chamber Symphony, Joffery Ballet (WP)
Divergence, Houston Ballet
Tapestry, Houston Ballet (WP)
Cinderella, Houston Ballet