Houston Ballet Announces Tour To Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Ashleigh Aiken

OCTOBER 24-27, 2018
Company to Perform Artistic Director Stanton Welch’s Swan Lake

HOUSTON, TEXAS [February 1, 2018] — Houston Ballet is proud to announce their first ever tour to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. From October 24-27, 2018, Houston Ballet will perform Artistic Director Stanton Welch’s Swan Lake. Audiences in Dubai will have the opportunity to enjoy this timeless tale by Mr. Welch that has cemented him as one of the most innovative and in-demand choreographers in the world.

Houston Ballet has toured extensively both nationally and internationally, and this will be the company’s first tour to Dubai. “Houston Ballet is thrilled to enchant audiences across the globe and continue building touring relationships,” Houston Ballet’s Executive Director Jim Nelson states, “and maintaining a strong international touring presence positions Houston Ballet and our Academy as a global company able to attract talent from around the world.”

Swan Lake was created for the company in 2006, with music composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) and featuring sumptuous scenery and costumes by Kristian Fredrikson. One of the great love stories of classical ballet, Swan Lake tells the story of Odette – a beautiful maiden transformed into a swan by an evil knight – and the Prince who swears his eternal love for her. In his staging, Mr. Welch imbues the main characters with greater psychological complexity, and gives the work a twenty-first century pace. Mr. Welch, who collaborated with Mr. Fredrikson on Swan Lake, was inspired by John William Waterhouse’s painting, The Lady of Shalott (1888). Mr. Welch commented, “When I saw this painting I said, ‘this is our Odette.’ Here is a woman, a young heroine, lost in a forest by a lake, touched by tragedy.”

Jasper Hope, Chief Executive at Dubai Opera, commented: “Swan Lake is a ballet masterpiece and one of the most popular works for audiences today. I am delighted to announce that Houston Ballet will be bringing their brilliant production of this eternal story to the Dubai Opera stage in October, accompanied of course by Tchaikovsky’s incredible score performed by a live orchestra, all-in-all a thrilling treat for ballet fans throughout the region.”

The company will give six performances of Swan Lake at Dubai Opera and tickets are on sale now.

For more information visit: houstonballet.org/ontour or dubaiopera.com.

Houston Ballet’s 2018-19 season is generously sponsored by United Airlines, Houston First Corporation, Houston Methodist, and the Fayez Sarofim and Company Tour Fund. This production is generously underwritten by Houston Ballet Trustee Margaret Alkek Williams.

Houston Ballet’s Global Exclusive Representative is IMG Artists. IMG Artists is a global leader of performing arts, social media, and festival and events management. For more than thirty years, the company has set the standard for excellence across fields of artist and celebrity management, touring, dance and attractions, festival and event management and cultural consulting. Their specialists in offices across four continents offer unparalleled international reach and depth of experience to the company’s artists, clients and partners. For more information, please visit imgartists.com.

About Houston Ballet

Houston Ballet has evolved into a company of 60 dancers with a budget of $33 million (making it the United States’ fifth largest ballet company.) With a state-of-the-art performance space built especially for the company, which is the largest professional dance facility in America, Houston Ballet’s $46.6 million Center for Dance opened in April 2011, with an endowment of just over $74.1 million (as of July 2017).

Australian Choreographer Stanton Welch AM has served as Artistic Director of Houston Ballet since 2003, raising the level of the company’s classical technique and commissioning works from dance makers such as Christopher Bruce, Alexander Ekman, William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Trey McIntyre, Julia Adam, Edwaard Liang and George Balanchine. Executive Director James Nelson serves as the administrative leader of the company, a position he assumed in February 2012 after serving as the company’s General Manager for more than a decade.    

Houston Ballet has toured extensively both nationally and internationally. Over the past fifteen years, the company has appeared in London at Sadler’s Wells, at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia, in six cities in Spain, in Montréal and Ottawa, at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in New York at City Center and The Joyce Theater, at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, at The Arts Center Melbourne State Theatre in Melbourne, Australia, in Los Angeles at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and in cities large and small across the United States. Houston Ballet has emerged as a leader in the expensive, labor-intensive task of nurturing the creation and development of new full-length narrative ballets. 

Writing in Dancing Times, dance critic Margaret Willis praised Houston Ballet and highlighted the fact that “During his own tenure, (Stanton) Welch has upped the standard and Houston Ballet now shows off a group of dancers in splendid shape. With fast and tidy footwork, they are technically skillful and have strong, broad jumps and expansive, fluid movements. The dancers’ musicality shines through their work, dancing as one with elegance and refinement – and they are a handsome bunch too! If ballet were an Olympic sport, see Houston Ballet well on the way to achieving gold.”

Houston Ballet Orchestra was established in the late 1970s and consists of 61 professional musicians who play for Houston Ballet’s performances at Wortham Theater Center under Music Director Ermanno Florio.

Houston Ballet’s Education and Community Engagement Program reaches more than 60,000 individuals in the Houston area annually. Houston Ballet Academy teaches more than one thousand students every year, and approximately 50 percent of the current company was trained by the Academy.

For more information on Houston Ballet visit houstonballet.org.


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