A young dancer I know, who is aware that I am a Ballet Alertnik, recently asked me when I was planning to post something about Texas Ballet Theater. How could I until I saw them perform? But now I have, and so I have posted my report on the “Ballet Companies; Recent Performances; Nutcracker Reports" thread.
As general info didn’t belong in a Nutcracker report I’m adding a few comments and news here. A summary of the recent history of the company including the joining of Fort Worth and Dallas based organizations into a new Texas Ballet Theater, and the hiring, two years ago of Ben Stevenson, O.B.E. as artistic director can all be found on the company’s website (so I will not repeat it here). But additional info gleaned from the Nutcracker program is that Anna Donovan has continued as company Ballet Master, while Tim O’Keefe, former principal dancer with Houston Ballet is in his third season as Assistant to the Artistic Director, and Li Anlin, a former Houston Ballet principal dancer then Ballet Master, is now the Principal of the TBT School, and also company Ballet Master.
The company, as listed in the program, is comprised of 26 members, 5 apprentices and 2 trainees. There is no listed division of dancers into principal, soloist, etc. Reading the bios, it’s an interesting mix of Texas Ballet Theater veterans, new members from the wide range of the training grounds/geographic locations/companies that dancers would come from, with a healthy dollop of recently graduating Houston Ballet Academy (renamed Ben Stevenson Ballet Academy, upon Mr. Stevenson’s departure form Houston after 27+ years) students, all of whom either began or ended their formal training under Mr. Stevenson’s tenure or influence. Plus at least two former Houston Ballet Company dancers who joined TBT this season.
So it is a re-formed and growing young company – a mix of experienced dancers and emerging talent - led by a highly experienced and respected artistic team, seemingly supported by a board and administration with a clear vision and plan for putting/keeping it all on solid financial ground and expanding eventually into an new studio, etc. As a “civilian” (non dancer) brushing up against it all for just a bit, I felt a marvelous sense of excitement, intent, opportunities being turned to best advantage, and bonds of camaraderie and care. The Dallas and Fort Worth dailies’ reviews for Cleopatra and Nutcracker were both laudatory … which is happy news, of course, for a company on the rise.
Texas Ballet Theatera little news and comment
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