Oct 20, 2007
With a long history of excellent work, including Madame Butterfly, Velocity, and Play, the Houston Ballet has clearly demonstrated that it belongs with the world’s leading ballet companies. Starting in 1969 as a dream to bring ballet to Houston, the Houston Ballet has risen to become the America’s fifth largest ballet company. It trains dancers for both the Houston Ballet and other companies around the world and also tours extensively to high praise around the world. The Houston Ballet was the first full American ballet company invited by the Chinese government to tour the People’s Republic of China in 1995. Today, Houston Ballet’s endowment stands at over $49 million, making it one of the largest endowments of any dance company in the United States. Recently in 2003, Stanton Welch assumed leadership of Houston Ballet as the artistic director.
1992, 1998, 2005
Born in Melbourne, Australia, he has become one of the young internationally recognized choreographers who have been able to make the transition from performing full time to creating ballets. Starting as a dancer with The Australian Ballet, he quickly rose to the rank of leading soloist. Since his arrival to Houston, he has transformed Houston Ballet by raising the level of classical technique, infusing the company with new energy, drive, and vision. Welch started choreographing in 1990 with The Australian Ballet, and has received numerous commissions from the world’s leading companies, becoming one of the most sought out after choreographer in his generation.
Recently promoted to soloist in 2005, Melody Herrera has quickly risen up the ranks from withinHouston’s program. At 13, she started training with Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy. Then in the 2000-2001 season, she spent one year in Houston Ballet II on full scholarship and stipend and also won a scholarship award from Regional Dance America in 2000. Prior to joining Houston Ballet in 2001, she has held many leading roles, including Kitri in Don Quixoteand Odette in Swan Lake. Herrera recently was named “one of the top 25 to watch” in Dance Magazine. “I want a choreographer to know he can put me in any kind of role and I will succeed,” says Herrera.
“Welch dares to do the unheard-of in borrowing from opera to create a ballet. In many ways the dare has paid off.”
“A vividly compelling piece of dance theater with choreography that is cool, uncluttered and … extraordinarily effective.”