Bio

Endowment

The Melza M. Barr Principal Dancer

Birthplace

Santa Cruz, California

Dance Training

Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre under Robert Kelley and Diane Cypher, Suzanne Farrell, Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy

Year Joined

2001

Promoted to Principal

2008

Previously Danced With

Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre, Whim W’Him with Olivier Wevers

Main Role Credits

Marie in Stanton Welch's Marie, Rosie in The Core, Nikya in La Bayadère, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Spring in The Four Seasons

Led roles in Divergence, Falling, Carmina Burana, and Velocity.

A native of Santa Cruz, California, Melody Mennite trained at Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre under Robert Kelley and Diane McLarty and at Pacific Northwest Ballet. She also attended summer intensive programs with Suzanne Farrell.

At the age of 13, Ms. Mennite began her training with Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy and also attended three consecutive summer intensive programs with the academy. In the 2000-2001 season, she spent one year in Houston Ballet II on full scholarship and stipend. Ms. Mennite also won a scholarship award from Regional Dance America in 2000.

She was invited to tour with Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre through Tansonmer, Austria. Prior to joining Houston Ballet, she performed numerous leading roles with Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre: the Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker; Kitri in Don Quixote and Odette in Swan Lake.

Frequently appears as a guest artist in galas and with companies nationally and internationally. Also performs in Seattle with Whim W'Him, where she originated roles in Cylindrical Shadows by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Monster by Olivier Wevers.

Melody has that special undefinable quality, that ‘it’ factor. She can make something out of nothing. She’s such a good actor, human and natural, that’s why I so enjoy creating on her. You simply can’t ignore her when she is onstage.

Stanton Welch

Houston Ballet Repertoire

Olga and Tatiana in John Cranko's Onegin

Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker

Neopolitan Princess in Stanton Welch's Swan Lake

The Spring Fairy in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella

Swanilda and Dawn in Coppelia

Valencienne in The Merry Widow

Cio-Cio San and Kate in Madame Butterfly

Cinderella in Stanton Welch's Cinderella

The white pas de deux in Jirí Kylián’s Forgotten Land and Petite Mort

Stanton Welch's Velocity, Indigo, Wildlife, and Brigade

Christopher Bruce's Ghost Dances, Rooster and Hush Harald

Lander's Etudes Paul Taylor's Company B

William Forsythe's In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated

George Balanchine's The Four Temperaments and Serenade

Mark Morris's Sandpaper Ballet 

The Sylph in August Bournoville's La Sylphide

Lise in Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille mal gardée

Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free

Principle Roles in Balanchine's Rubies, Emeralds, and Ballo De Regina

William Forsythe The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude

Principle role in Christopher Wheeldon's Carousel

Younger Daughter in Christopher Bruce's Hush, Rooster, Sergeant Early's Dream

Jiří Kylián's Falling Angels, Petit Mort

Manon in Sir Kenneth McMillan's Manon

Blue Bird in Ben Stevenson's The Sleeping Beauty

Photos

Videos

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