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2004-2005 Season

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Listed in the Sunday paper is Houston Ballet's repertoire for next year. The article should be up on the Chronicle website tomorrow, and I'll create a link for it then. Meanwhile, here is a run-through of the 04-05 season:

Celts (Lila York), along with premieres by Julia Adam and Natalie Weir

Peter Pan (Trey McIntyre)

Touched (McIntyre)

The Nutcracker

35th Anniversary Gala Performance ("best of season" sampler)

Rooster (Christopher Bruce), Suite en Blanc (Serge Lifar), along with a Welch premiere

Stevenson's Romeo and Juilet

Sandpaper Ballet (Mark Morris) and The Firebird (James Kudelka)

Maninyas (Welch) and Giselle (staged by Gielgud)

I find this to be a major disappointment. Even though this is the largest number of works the company will be performing in a season, there doesn't seem to be much variety. The only ballet I'm looking forward to is Giselle, although I don't know what Gielgud's staging is like. I'm not familiar with Lifar, but hopefully that should be interesting. Any thoughts on Kudelka's Firebird? And why Peter Pan again??

The biggest let-down of all is no Balanchine. :angry:

I'm not sure I like the direction this company is turning. Molly Glentzer described the upcoming season as "the first to bear the signature of new artistic director Stanton Welch"... :)

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"We're pushing the company forward technically with each new ballet," Welch said. "Many of these works are ensemble pieces, good for team-building. They also give lots of dancers opportunities. We need to show that we're a mature company that doesn't skimp on anything. Our season represents the best of the best."

Coming: a brave new ballet season

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Hmmm, 55+ views yet no responses? Someone has to agree or disagree with me, or have another comment to add about the repertoire, so please speak up. :)

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:dry: My daughter is a student there so I just like to read the posts about the company. I'd certainly join the fray if I could add anything to it. :shrug: :)

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Good point, OF. We have dozens of people who put "Houston" as their location who've registered, but they just must not go to the ballet :)

Come on -- you guys can't be THAT shy!!! You don't have to make a Profound Statement. You may agree completely with what someone else has posted. But you'll say it differently, and if you post, you might flush someone else out of the woodwork!!

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Here's a link to HB's website that's more detailed: 35th Anniversary Season

I forgot to mention that they are bringing back the Cullen Contemporary Series, which is like Houston Ballet's version of the "Diamond Project." They actually devised some interesting (not necessary in a good way) names for the repertory programs, rather than simply calling them "fall" or "winter." One of them is "Rock, Roll, and Tutus" (one of the works featured is set to the music of the Rolling Stones).

Thanks to all those who contributed to the threads on Penn Ballet and NBoC about Kudelka's Firebird. I have my answer now. :D

I was expecting the upcoming season to be similar to this one, which had a pretty good mix of classical and contemporary ballets (plus a Balanchine program and an Ashton, which will be the icing on the cake for me :rolleyes: ). I pray that the following seasons will not continue to have a barrage of vague and new contempo works by so-so choreographers.

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And here's the press release, with company descriptions of the ballets. (I've also posted the schedule as a sticky, so we can find it easily throughout the season.)

2004 - 2005 SEASON

35th Anniversary Season

All performances listed here are in Wortham Theater Center.




CELTS (Houston Ballet Premiere)

Music by The Chieftains, Mason Daring, William J. Ruyle, Bill Whelan,

Celtic Thunder, and Dan Ar Braz

Choreography by Lila York

Costume Design by Tunji Dada

Lighting Design by James F. Ingalls

Houston Ballet opens its 35th anniversary season with a flourish, showcasing three of the world's most gifted female choreographers in a trio of new works that will show off the company to spectacular advantage. Houston Ballet becomes one of the few American ballet companies to dedicate an entire program to the works of three living female choreographers. Australian Natalie Weir and Canadian Julia Adam will create commissions for the company, while American dance maker Lila York stages her rousing signature work, Celts. Set to traditional and contemporary Celtic music, Celts is a celebration of all things Irish, and is guaranteed to have you dancing a jig in your seat.

At 7:30 pm on September 9, 11, 17, 18, 2004

At 2:00 pm on September 12, 19, 2004


Music by Sir Edward Elgar, in an arrangement by Niel Deponte

Choreography by Trey McIntyre

Scenery by Thomas Boyd

Costumes by Jeanne Button

Lighting by Christina Giannelli

This season, Houston Ballet Choreographic Associate Trey McIntyre will revisit his first full-length work for the company, which was a smashing success with audiences and critics alike. Based upon the popular story by Sir James M. Barrie, Peter Pan tells the story of the boy from Neverland and his adventures with the Darling children and Captain Hook. With elaborate sets by scenic designer Thomas Boyd and magical flying effects by Foy, the production is a perfect introduction to dance for audiences of all ages.

At 7:30 pm on September 23, 25, and October 1, 2, 2004

At 2:00 pm on September 26 and October 2, 3, 2004






Music by Dave Brubeck

Choreography and Costumes by Trey McIntyre

Lighting by Christina Giannelli

After a two-year hiatus, the Cullen Contemporary Series returns with a new focus: to showcase emerging international choreographers who are building names for themselves in the world of ballet. Artistic director Stanton Welch is committed to new works, and chose these choreographers for the series because they create pieces that are balanced on the edge of classical and contemporary dance. This program features world premieres by Adrian Burnett, a resident choreographer with The Australian Ballet; the hot new choreographer Matjash Mrozewski, who has created acclaimed works for the National Ballet of Canada; and Mr. Welch. Trey McIntyre’s quirky Touched rounds out a program that celebrates experimentation.

At 8:00 pm on October 28, 29, 30, 2004

At 2:30 pm on October 30 and 31, 2004


Music by Peter I. Tchaikovsky

Choreography by Ben Stevenson

Designs by Desmond Heeley

Lighting by Duane Schuler

A wonderful ballet for the entire family, The Nutcracker is the perfect way to introduce young children to the power and beauty of classical dance. Tchaikovsky's magical score, Desmond Heeley's fairy-tale scenery, and Ben Stevenson's vibrantly theatrical staging combine to create one of the most visually stunning productions of The Nutcracker in the world today. Join Clara on her unforgettable journey as she travels to the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets, and marvel as the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Prince dance a pas de deux of crystalline beauty. It’s a perfect holiday treat!

November 26 – December 26, 2004

At 7:30 pm on November 26, 27 and

December 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26

At 2:00 pm on November 27, 28 and

December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26


In honor of its 35th anniversary season, Houston Ballet will mark this milestone with a spectacular gala performance showcasing the current and future stars of the company in a program of high-energy excerpts from beloved classics, previews of upcoming new works, and pieces created specially for the occasion. Don't miss this one-night only event, which is sure to become one of the hottest tickets of Houston Ballet's season!

At 7:30 pm on Friday, Dec. 3, 2004



Music by Rachmaninoff

Choreography by Stanton Welch

SUITE EN BLANC (Houston Ballet Premiere)

Music by Edouard Lalo (excerpts from Namouna)

Choreography by Serge Lifar

Design by André Dignimont

Lighting by William Akers


Music by the Rolling Stones

Choreography by Christopher Bruce

Costumes by Marian Bruce

Lighting by Tina MacHugh

Houston Ballet’s exhilarating winter repertory program will open with a new work by Stanton Welch, a large-scale, classical pure dance piece created to highlight the company set to Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Set to the music of the Rolling Stones, Christopher Bruce's hard-driving, sexy Rooster is a wild evocation of London in the swinging 1960’s. The company premiere of Suite en Blanc, an elegant full-company classical work, rounds out the program.

At 7:30 pm on February 24, 26, and March 4, 5, 2005

At 2:00 pm on February 27 and March 6, 2005


Music by Sergei Prokofiev

Choreography by Ben Stevenson

Designs by David Walker

Lighting by Tony Tucci

A Houston Ballet classic which inaugurated Wortham Theater Center and opened the company's historic tour to China in 1995, Ben Stevenson’s Romeo and Juliet brings Shakespeare’s classic love story vividly to life. Two teenagers from warring families meet, fall in love, and rush headlong towards their romantic destiny. With its magnificent evocation of Renaissance Italy by David Walker and Prokofiev’s gorgeous score, the ballet offers Houston Ballet dancers a feast of juicy theatrical roles as well as impassioned classical dance.

At 7:30 pm on March 10, 12, 18, 19, 2005

At 2:00 pm on March 13, 19, 20, 2005



The gifted young artists of Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, the company's professional training wing, cap their studies with a special one-night only concert featuring works tailor-made to show them at their best.

At 7:00 pm on April 22, 2005


SANDPAPER BALLET (Houston Ballet Premiere)

Music by Leroy Anderson

Choreography by Mark Morris

Costume design by Isaac Mizrahi

Lighting design by James F. Ingalls


Music by Igor Stravinsky

Choreography by James Kudelka

Designs by Santo Loquasto

Lighting by David A. Finn

Houston Ballet’s spring repertory program will open with the company premiere of the funny and incredibly musical Sandpaper Ballet, the first work by legendary modern dance choreographer Mark Morris to enter Houston Ballet's repertoire. Noted fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi’s witty costumes add an inspired note of whimsy to the ballet. James Kudelka's dazzling staging of the ballet classic, The Firebird, featuring magnificent Aztec-inspired costumes by Tony Award-winner Santo Loquasto, rounds out the program. Based on a beloved Russian folk tale, the ballet tells the story of Prince Ivan and the firebird, the magical creature who comes to his rescue in times of danger.

At 7:30 pm on May 26, 28, and June 3, 4, 2005

At 2:00 pm on May 29 and June 4, 5, 2005

VI. MANINYAS (Houston Ballet Premiere)

Music by Ross Edwards

Choreography by Stanton Welch

Scenic & Costume Design by Stanton Welch

Lighting Design by Lisa J. Pinkham

GISELLE (Houston Ballet Premiere)

Music by Adolphe Adam

Choreography by Marius Petipa, after Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot

Staged by Maina Gielgud

Designs by Peter Farmer

Lighting by Tony Tucci

Lighting recreated by Christina Giannelli

Houston Ballet caps its 35th anniversary season with two company premieres: Stanton Welch’s sensual Maninyas, an intimate abstract work about relationships featuring five couples, and a vibrant, acclaimed new staging of Giselle by artistic associate Maina Gielgud. Set in a medieval Rhineland village, Giselle tells the story of a beautiful peasant girl who falls in love with Albrecht, a young aristocrat disguised as a commoner. Love, betrayal, and redemption are played out with stunning simplicity in this classic work.

At 7:30 pm on June 9, 11, 17, 18, 2005

At 2:00 pm on June 12, 19, 2005


$45 -- $660, depending on seat location and date of performances.

Students and seniors receive 15% off the regular price of selected seats when they purchase a full season subscription.

To subscribe, call (713) 5-BALLET (713-522-5538)


Single tickets will go on sale Monday, August 9, 2004 and may be purchased by calling 713-227-ARTS (713-227-2787) or purchased online at www.houstonballet.org

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I have a question: I'm a ballet student, so money is a little on the short side. :sweating: Needless to say, I still want to see the ballet. Which ones should I opt for, besides Giselle?

(Romeo and Juliet, The Firebird...?)

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Do you know about the student rush ticket prices? One ticket is $11.50 for designated areas, which is a good deal, although I know Houston Ballet can be stingy and ungenerous about giving them out sometimes...

If you were to choose between Firebird and R&J, I would suggest the Firebird program only because Morris's Sandpaper Ballet is being shown with it. I've never seen Stevenson's version of R&J, but I'm familiar with MacMillan's and can't say it's on my list of favorite ballets. I'm also suggesting the gala performance although it will probably be difficult to obtain tickets to that.

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I know about the student discounts except most of them are on Thursdays and I live in a suburb of Houston. So the mother is not very happy about me staying out late on a school night. :rolleyes:

Either way, the Houston Ballet telemarketers keep stalking me and i'm thinking about maybe buying a subscription, but if only a few ballets are really worth seeing, then I think just buying the tickets on their own is more worth it.

Also, I'm thinking of taking the not-really-into-ballet boyfriend (who saw Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella earlier with me and loved it, or so he says), if that makes the decision any harder. Hehe. So I kinda want to show him something with a bit of "pyrotechnics" to jolt his interest a little more.

Thanks for the suggestions, though! :wink:

Edited by iceydeville

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That's the problem I have with their rush program- it's like they purposely have the discount on days they know most people our age wouldn't be able to make it to. Funny how I never have this problem with HGO... Yes, the telemarketers are pushy, but I'm not going to subscribe to a season when half the stuff doesn't interest me.

Take your boyfriend to see Sandpaper Ballet. From most reviews I've read it's a fun piece of "fluff" and supposed to be pretty witty. As for Kudelka's Firebird that is on the same program, it seems the consensus on that is the choreography isn't top-notch but the production and design are beautiful.

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I didn't know that they had a student rush thing - that's too bad. There were a couple of ballets last season that looking back, it would have been loads of fun to have taken them too (for example, In the middle, somewhat elevated - I loved that ballet. Loved it.)

I'm really only interested in Suite en Blanc, Firebird, and Giselle at the moment, but I imagine that the other ballets will actually turn out to be really cool (even rather mediocre ballets can be interesting, and I know nothing bad about these ones).

I am glad though that this year my mom got our season's tix on Saturday nights, rather than Sunday afternoons ...

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