Series Program


Poetry in Motion – rescheduled at HOBBY CENTER (sarofim hall)

-Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 PM

- Friday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 PM

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Press Release


Houston Ballet's 2018/19 Poetry in Motion


For one night only, dine with the company stars at the Opening Night Onstage Dinner immediately following Poetry in Motion. The Onstage Dinner is chaired by S. Shawn Stephens and James M. Jordan with Beth and Nick Zdeblick and honorary chairs Melza and Ted Barr.

DANCE TALK: New Date, New Topic! OCTOBER 17, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. - Poetry In Motion
Join us for a conversation with Soloist Bridget Kuhns and Demi-Soloists Alyssa Springer and Harper Watters about our upcoming mixed repertory program. These dancers are in all three ballets which represent the diversity of style that is possible in this classical art form.


Symphony in C Description

Houston Ballet revives George Balanchine’s first commission for Paris Opera Ballet, Symphony in C. Choreographed to French composer George Bizet’s ravishing Symphony in C Major, this neoclassical ballet radiantly showcases the full company’s technical aptitude and poise. © The George Balanchine Trust

Carousel (A Dance) Description

The enchanting ballet Carousel (A Dance) by award-winning British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon returns. Created as a tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein and their beloved Broadway musical, Carousel (1945), Wheeldon poignantly adds his charming contemporary touch to this familiar score.

Powder Description

Originally commissioned for Birmingham Royal Ballet, Artistic Director Stanton Welch’s Powder is a sensuous contemporary ballet for fourteen dancers that explores the expressiveness of Mozart’s iconic Clarinet Concerto in A Major.


George Balanchine (1904-1983)

Choregrapher, Symphony in C

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, George Balanchine is regarded as the foremost contemporary choreographer in the world of ballet. He came to the United States in late 1933, at the age of 29, accepting the invitation of the young American arts patron Lincoln Kirstein (1907 - 1996), whose great passions included the dream of creating a ballet company in America. At Balanchine’s behest, Kirstein was also prepared to support the formation of an American academy of ballet that would eventually rival the long-established schools of Europe. This was the School of American Ballet, founded in 1934, the first product of the Balanchine-Kirstein collaboration. Several ballet companies directed by the two were created and dissolved in the years that followed, while Balanchine found other outlets for his choreography. Eventually, with a performance on October 11, 1948, the New York City Ballet was born. Balanchine served as its ballet master and principal choreographer from 1948 until his death in 1983. Balanchine’s more than 400 dance works include Serenade (1934), Concerto Barocco (1941), Le Palais de Cristal, later renamed Symphony in C (1947), Orpheus (1948), The Nutcracker (1954), Agon (1957), Symphony in Three Movements (1972), Stravinsky Violin Concerto (1972), Vienna Waltzes (1977), Ballo della Regina (1978), and Mozartiana (1981). His final ballet, a new version of Stravinsky’s Variations for Orchestra, was created in 1982. He also choreographed for films, operas, revues, and musicals. Among his best known dances for the stage is Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, originally created for Broadway’s On Your Toes (1936). The musical was later made into a movie. A major artistic figure of the twentieth century, Balanchine revolutionized the look of classical ballet. Taking classicism as his base, he heightened, quickened, expanded, streamlined, and even inverted the fundamentals of the 400-year-old language of academic dance. This had an inestimable influence on the growth of dance in America. Although at first his style seemed particularly suited to the energy and speed of American dancers, especially those he trained, his ballets are now performed by all the major classical ballet companies throughout the world. ©The George Balanchine Trust

George Bizet (1858-1875)

Composer, Symphony in C

Christopher Wheeldon

Choreographer, Carousel (A Dance)

Internationally acclaimed choreographer Christopher Wheeldon is Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company.  A former dancer with The Royal Ballet and soloist with New York City Ballet (where he served as Resident Choreographer from 2001 to 2008), Wheeldon founded Morphoses in 2007 with the goal of introducing a new spirit of innovation to classical ballet by fostering collaboration among choreographers, dancers, visual artists, designers, composers, and others who can bring new life and perspective to ballet. Born in Yeovil, Somerset, England, Wheeldon began his ballet training at eight years old and began studying at The Royal Ballet School at eleven. Wheeldon joined The Royal Ballet in 1991 and won the Gold Medal at the Prix de Lausanne competition that year. In 1993, Wheeldon was invited to become a member of New York City Ballet, where he was promoted to soloist in 1998. Wheeldon choreographed his first work for NYCB, Slavonic Dances, for the 1997 Diamond Project and, in collaboration with artist Ian Falconer, created Scènes de Ballet for the School of American Ballet's 1999 Workshop Performances and NYCB's 50th anniversary season. After creating Mercurial Manoeuvers for NYCB's Spring 2000 Diamond Project, Wheeldon retired from dancing to concentrate on choreography. In NYCB’s 2000-2001 season, he served as the company’s first Artist in Residence, creating two ballets: Polyphonia, set to piano music by Györgi Ligeti, and Variations Sérieuses, set to a score by Felix Mendelssohn. In July 2001, Wheeldon was named NYCB's first Resident Choreographer. During his appointment, Wheeldon choreographed works that included Morphoses and Carousel (A Dance) (2002); Carnival of the Animals and Liturgy (2003); After the Rain and An American in Paris (2005); Klavier (2006), The Nightingale and the Rose (2007) and Rococo Variations ( 2008) . Among the celebrated ballets Wheeldon has created for other companies are: Continuum, for San Francisco Ballet (2002), Tryst DGV (Danse à Grande Vitesse) and Electric Counterpoint, for The Royal Ballet (2002, 2006 and 2008, respectively), a full-length Swan Lake, for Pennsylvania Ballet (2004), Dance of the Hours, for The Metropolitan Opera's production of Ponchielli's La Gioconda (2006), Misericors, for the Bolshoi Ballet (2007), The Wanderers, for the Royal Danish Ballet (2008), and The Christening Suite, for the Norwegian National Ballet for the opening of the Oslo Opera House (2008), as well as ballet sequences for the feature film Center Stage (2000) and a stage version of Broadway’s Sweet Smell of Success (2002). In his pursuit of innovation for the art form, Wheeldon has collaborated with composers James MacMillan, Bright Sheng, and Michael Nyman; artists Ian Falconer, James Buckhouse, and Jean Marc Puissant; designers Adrianne Lobel and Narciso Rodriguez; author and actor John Lithgow; and director Nicholas Hytner. Wheeldon was the recipient of the Dance Magazine Award and the London Critics' Circle Award for Best New Ballet for Polyphonia in 2005; a performance of the work by NYCB dancers received the Olivier Award.  In 2006, DGV (Danse à Grande Vitesse) was nominated for an Olivier Award. Additional honors include the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center and the American Choreography Award. For Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company’s inaugural season, Wheeldon choreographed two new works: Fools' Paradise and Prokofiev Pas de Deux.  Launched at the Vail International Dance Festival in August 2007, Morphoses performed as Guest Resident Company at both Sadler's Wells in London in September, and New York City Center in October. The company will perform at these three venues again this year, as well as the Harris Theater in Chicago. Morphoses won the prestigious South Bank Show Award for its 2007 London season.

Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) & Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960)

Composers, Carousel (A Dance)

Stanton Welch

Choreographer, Powder

In July 2003, the acclaimed Australian choreographer Stanton Welch assumed the leadership of Houston Ballet, America's fourth 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.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Composer, Powder

Mozart was born in Salzburg to a musical family. From an early age, the young Mozart showed all the signs of a prodigious musical talent. By the age of 5 he could read and write music, and he would entertain people with his talents on the keyboard. By the age of 6 he was writing his first compositions. Mozart was generally considered to be a rare musical genius, though Mozart said that he was diligent in studying other great composers such as Haydn and Bach.

The work of Mozart is epic in scope and proportion. There were few branches of music Mozart did not touch. He composed operas, symphonies, concertos, and single pieces for the piano. His work spanned from joyful light-hearted pieces to powerful, challenging compositions which touched the human emotions. In the beginning of his career, Mozart had a powerful ability to learn and remember from the music he heard from others. He was able to incorporate the style and music of people such as Haydn and J.C. Bach. But, as he matured he developed his very own style and interpretations. In turn the music of Mozart very much influenced the early Beethoven. Mozart was very productive until his untimely death in 1791, aged 35.



This will be Houston Ballet’s third time performing George Balanchine’s Symphony in C as part of its main season. The fourth movement from Symphony in C was performed at the Jubilee of Dance in 2008. Previous ballets by Balanchine in Houston Ballet’s repertoire are Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Waltz and Variations, Prodigal Son, Concerto Barocco, The Four Temperaments, Theme and Variations, Western Symphony, Agon, Serenade, La Valse, Apollo, Ballo della Regina, Jewels, Ballet Imperial, and Allegro Brillante.

Symphony in C Production Details

CHOREOGRAPHER: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

GENRE: Neo-Classical Ballet

RUN TIME: Ballet in 1 Act; 36 minutes

LOCATION: Brown Theater at the Wortham Theater Center in Houston, Texas

COMPOSER: George Bizet

SCORE: Symphony in C Major (1855)

ORIGINAL PREMIERE DATE: July 7, 1947 at Thêatre National de L’Opéra by Paris Opéra Ballet as Le palais de cristal; later, October 11, 1948 at City Center of Music and Drama in New York for New York City Ballet as Symphony in C

HOUSTON BALLET PREMIERE DATE: September 10, 1992 at the Brown Theater

COSTUME DESIGN: after Karinska


LIGHTING DESIGN: Christina Giannelli



HOUSTON BALLET ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR (2017): Ermanno Florio; Geneviève Leclair, guest conductor


SPECIAL PROGRAM NOTES (2017):  Houston Ballet’s 2017 performances of Symphony in C, a Balanchine Ballet, were presented by arrangement with ©The George Balanchine Trust and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style© and Balanchine Technique© Service standards established and provided by the Trust.


This will be Houston Ballet’s second time performing Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance). Previous ballets by Wheeldon in Houston Ballet’s repertoire are Carnival of the Animals and Rush.

Carousel (A Dance) Production Details

CHOREOGRAPHER: Christopher Wheeldon

GENRE: Contemporary Ballet

RUN TIME: Ballet in 1 Act; 15 minutes

LOCATION: Brown Theater at the Wortham Theater Center in Houston, Texas

COMPOSER: Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II

SCORE: Music from Carousel (1945) by Rodgers and Hammerstein: "Carousel Waltz" & "If I Loved You"

ORIGINAL PREMIERE DATE: November 26, 2002 Gala at New York State Theater by New York City Ballet





HOUSTON BALLET ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR (2017): Ermanno Florio; Geneviève Leclair, guest conductor



This will be Houston Ballet’s first time performing Stanton Welch’s Powder. 

Powder Production Details


GENRE: Contemporary Ballet

RUN TIME: Ballet in 1 Act; 85 minutes

LOCATION: Brown Theater at the Wortham Theater Center in Houston, Texas

COMPOSER: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

SCORE: “Clarinet Concerto in A Major”

ORIGINAL PREMIERE DATE: 1998 at Birmingham Royal Ballet




• Richie Hawley, clarinet



The Nutcracker

Nov. 23 - Dec. 29, 2018


Feb. 21 - March 3, 2019


March 7 - 10, 2019