The Fondren Foundation Principal Dancer
Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy
Kirov Academy of Ballet
Principal - 2007
Soloist - 2006
Favorite Ballet / Role
Des Grieux in Manon by Sir Kenneth MacMillan
A Defining Moment
I think my performances in the role of Rudolf in Kenneth Macmillan’s Mayerling would have to be one my proudest moments. It was our first performance following Hurricane Harvey and to come back debuting such an iconic role is a memory I will always cherish.
Born in Fairfax, Virginia, Connor Walsh began his training at the age of seven under the direction of his mother Constance Walsh. He has trained at The Kirov Academy of Ballet, The Harid Conservatory, and Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, where he was awarded the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation Scholarship and the Ben Stevenson Scholarship award. In 2004, he won the first annual gold award from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA), and was given the Award of Encouragement at the Shanghai International Ballet Competition.
In 2004, Walsh joined Houston Ballet’s company as a member of the corps de ballet. He was quickly promoted to soloist in 2006 and then to principal dancer in 2007.
Walsh has originated lead roles in Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker (The Prince), Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Giselle (Albrecht), Marie (Count Axel von Fersen), and La Bayadere (Solor).
He has danced major roles in numerous full-length ballets including John Cranko’s Onegin (Lensky) and The Taming of the Shrew (Petruchio), Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon (Des Grieux) and Mayerling (Prince Rudolf), John Nuemier’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck), Sir Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal Gardée (Colas), Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow (Camille), Ben Stevenson’s Don Quixote (Basilio), The Sleeping Beauty (Prince Florimund), and Dracula (Fredrick), Sir David Bintley’s Aladdin (Aladdin) and The Tempest (Ferdinand), Trey McIntyre’s Peter Pan (Merman), and Stanton Welch’s Swan Lake (Siegfried), Marie (Count Axel Fersen and King Louis XVI), Madame Butterfly (Pinkerton), La Sylphide (James), and Cinderella (The Prince and Dandini).
Walsh’s repertory also includes works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Jiří Kylián, William Forsythe, Justin Peck, Alexander Eckman, Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon, Twyla Tharp, Hans Van Manen, Glen Tetley, Christopher Bruce, Anthony Tudor, Nacho Duato and Serge Lifar, Melissa Barak. One act creations include Stanton Welch, Aszure Barton, Edwaard Liang, Mark Morris, James Kudelka, Nicolo Fonte, Melissa Hough, and Garrett Smith among others.
In recent years Walsh has expanded his reach into teaching, coaching and choreographing. In 2015, along with fellow Houston Ballet company members Oliver Halkowich and Melody Walsh, Walsh founded REACH - a choreographic project that raises money for arts education in schools. Following the success of REACH, Walsh and his colleagues were invited to create a world premiere, entitled What we keep¸for Houston Ballet in spring of 2018.
In three years, he achieved what most dancers take a decade to do. It's clear why — he's athletic, powerful and graceful onstage. Technically, he's near perfect and artistically, he has the ability to move easily from playing a dashing prince in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker to performing as the mischievous Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream.