Houston Ballet Proudly Announces Its 2021-2022 Season



Jacalyn Lawton 

Public Relations Manager JLawton@houstonballet.org Press@houstonballet.org 


HOUSTON, TEXAS [May 3, 2021] — Houston Ballet proudly announces its 2021-2022 season and return to live  performances at its home theater at Wortham Theater Center this fall. After canceling part of its 2019-2020 season and  the entirety of its 2020-2021 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Houston Ballet is thrilled to share the joy of its  jubilant return to the stage.  

“We’re overjoyed to return the Wortham Theater Center stage and bring back our talented artists and supporters into the  same space to share these joyous occasions once more,” says Stanton Welch AM, Houston Ballet Artistic Director.  “We’ve grown from this difficult time and have been inspired by our community to keep creating art that reflects the  diverse and innovative city we call home.” 

The 2021-2022 season lineup includes an array of works by world-renowned artists, continuing to showcase Houston as a  mecca for global talent. In addition to Welch’s own works being presented, patrons will enjoy distinct stylings from  choreographers such as George Balanchine, Trey McIntyre and Houston Ballet Principal Dancers Melody Mennite and  Connor Walsh. Accompanying the visually stunning performances, audiences will hear iconic scores from famous  composers such as Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Leo Delibes, in addition to works set to sounds from music legends like  David Bowie.  

“Our subscribers and supporters are as thrilled as we are to return to live performances in September, and we’re counting  on the community’s continued financial support as we return after two back-to-back crises,” says Jim Nelson, Houston  Ballet Executive Director.  

Full season subscriptions for the 2021-2022 season are on sale now online at houstonballet.org. Patrons in need of  assistance purchasing a subscription may call Houston Ballet’s Box Office at 713.227.ARTS(2787). Full season packages  start at $95 and include Jewels, Madame Butterfly, Pretty Things, Originals and Sylvia. Patrons who purchase season  subscriptions now may also purchase add-on ballets, offering priority seating to The Nutcracker and Academy Spring  Showcase ahead of single tickets buyers. Houston Ballet will continue to follow the guidance provided by the Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention and City of Houston as it plans its return to live events.  

Houston Ballet’s 2021-2022 season is generously sponsored by: Bank of America, Baker Botts L.L.P., ConocoPhillips,  H-E-B, Houston Methodist, KPRC, Shell Oil and United Airlines. 

The 2021-2022 season programming lineup includes: 

Margaret Alkek Williams Jubilee of Dance 

Sept. 30 – Oct. 3, 2021 

As integral to Houston’s art scene as its namesake and endower, the Margaret Alkek Williams Jubilee of Dance is an  annual celebration of the range of talent within Houston Ballet’s professional company. These one-of-a-kind performances  throughout Houston Ballet’s rich history have included an array of beloved moments from iconic ballets alongside world  premiere works. This year’s program will also celebrate Principal Dancer Melody Mennite’s 20th anniversary with the  Company. Houston Ballet’s glorious return to the stage will undoubtably be a can’t-miss event.  

The Nutcracker (2016) 

Choreographer: Stanton Welch AM | Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 

Nov. 26 – Dec. 26, 2021 

Bring the family back to the theater to share the joy of Clara’s magical journey to the Kingdom of Sweets this holiday  season! Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker is a grand spectacle of opulence and one of the most splendid versions of this  holiday classic ever staged. With hundreds of roles and a myriad of exquisite details that will leave you discovering  something new in every performance, Welch’s The Nutcracker is a positively joyous treat for ballet lovers of all ages.  Rejoice in the return of this time-honored tradition! 

Jewels (1967) 

Emeralds, Rubies, Diamonds 

Choreographer: George Balanchine | Music: Gabriel Fauré/ Igor Stravinsky/ Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky February 24 – March 6, 2022 

Houston Ballet’s 2021-2022 season glimmers with George Balanchine’s Jewels. Each of the three acts in this full-length  ballet embody their namesake jewel through ambience and the unique musical stylings of their corresponding composer.  Balanchine drew inspiration from Claude Arpels’ visionary jewelry designs to create his French evocative Emeralds set to  Gabriel Fauré, delightfully witty Rubies that epitomizes his collaboration with Igor Stravinsky and illustrious Diamonds set  to Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky. The distinct moods of each of these precious gems nods to Balanchine’s own spirit and  influences. This stunning work of art is welcomed back to the Wortham Theater Center stage for a spring awakening that’s  sure to sparkle.  

Madame Butterfly (1995) 

Choreographer: Stanton Welch AM | Music: Giacomo Puccini, arranged by John Lanchbery 

March 10-20, 2022 

Stanton Welch’s internationally acclaimed Madame Butterfly reemerges to captivate audiences once more. With a  magnificent score by Puccini, in an arrangement by John Lanchbery, Madame Butterfly tells the love story of a beautiful  Geisha and a handsome American. Since its premiere, Madame Butterfly has become Welch’s international signature  piece, having entered the repertoires of Houston Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Royal New Zealand Ballet,  Singapore Dance Theatre, Boston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Ballet West and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. 

Academy Spring Showcase 

April 29-30, 2022 

Houston Ballet Academy is the training ground for some of the world’s most elite dancers and choreographers, making the  Academy Spring Showcase a first look at the bright future of ballet. These annual performances feature iconic moments  from beloved ballets as well as new works created by leading choreographers such as Stanton Welch. Be there for the  debuts of the next generation of professional dancers. 

Pretty Things  

ONE/end/ONE (2011) | Choreographer: Jorma Elo | Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  

Hush (2006) | Choreographer: Christopher Bruce | Music: Bobby McFerrin and Yo-Yo Ma  

World Premiere  

Pretty Things (2022) | Choreographer: Trey McIntyre | Music: David Bowie  

May 20-29, 2022 

This program of Houston-born ballets showcases Houston Ballet’s continued tradition of supporting the world’s most  respected choreographers, featuring works by Jorma Elo, Christopher Bruce and Trey McIntyre. Elo’s ONE|end|ONE reflects the dance maker’s quirky and unexpected movements to create an atmosphere of playfulness. Bruce’s Hush is a  comic and moving celebration of life set to the music of Yo-Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin. McIntyre’s Pretty Things, set to  music by David Bowie, features the men of Houston Ballet and explores peacocking behavior among male dancers.  Experience this wide collection of choreographic talent, all in one blockbuster performance.  


World Premiere | Choreographer: Melody Mennite 

The Young Person’s Guide to Orchestra (2014) | Choreographer: Stanton Welch AM | Music: Benjamin Britten  June 2-12, 2022 

Known for innovation and forward thinking, Houston Ballet fosters artists both on and offstage. Originals showcases a  returning Houston Ballet original ballet by Stanton Welch and the premiere of a new one-act ballet by Houston Ballet  Principal Dancer Melody Mennite. Welch’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra is set to Benjamin Britten’s iconic  work of the same title, a score written by Britten as a way to educate youth on the art of the orchestra. Created on  Houston Ballet in 2014, this large-scale, collaborative piece features the entire Company and the talented musicians of  the Houston Ballet Orchestra while demonstrating art’s place in our culture and city. Costume designs by Holly Hynes  and lighting by Lisa J. Pinkham harmonize with this exquisite work for a truly exhilarating performance. After the great  success of her earlier work for the Margaret Alkek Williams Jubilee of Dance in 2018, Mennite presents her first full  commissioned work for the Company, a very important achievement for the 20-year Company member and Houston  Ballet Academy alum. Audiences can expect enticing design and thrilling music from the growing choreographer’s new  work.  

Sylvia (2019)  

Choreographer: Stanton Welch AM | Music: Leo Delibes  

June 16-26, 2022  

After two glorious and critically acclaimed premieres in Houston and Sydney, Stanton Welch’s Sylvia makes a fierce  return to the Wortham Theater Center stage for story ballet bliss. Welch brings his own interpretation to the classic story  of the strong mythological heroine, the huntress Sylvia, and her love for a mortal shepherd. The ballet follows her journey  as she’s torn between her duty and her desires. Welch’s inspired work will showcase a constellation of figures from  Greek mythology woven together in a tapestry of three love stories. This ballet is set to Léo Delibes’ famous score and  provides an opportunity to see the classic story through Welch’s unique and creative narrative. This mythical romance is  surrounded by gorgeous costume and scenic designs by world-renowned ballet and opera designer Jerome Kaplan, with  lighting design by Lisa J. Pinkham and projections by Houston Ballet favorite Wendall K. Harrington, whose delicious  designs were featured in Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker.  


With more than 50 years of rich history, Houston Ballet has evolved into a 61-dancer Company with a budget of $33.9  million and an endowment of $79.2 million (as of June 2019), making it the country’s fifth largest ballet company. Its  Center for Dance is a $46.6 million state-of-the-art performance space that opened in April 2011 and remains the largest 

professional dance facility in America. Houston Ballet’s reach is global, touring in renowned theaters in Dubai, London,  Paris, Moscow, Spain, Montréal, Ottawa, Melbourne, New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and more. 

Houston Ballet attracts prestigious leaders in dance. 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 legends such as Julia Adam, George Balanchine, Aszure Barton, Christopher Bruce, Alexander Ekman,  William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Edwaard Liang, Trey McIntyre and Justin Peck. Executive Director James Nelson serves as  the administrative leader of the organization, a position he assumed in February 2012 after serving as the Company’s  General Manager for more than a decade. 

Beyond its stage presence, Houston Ballet maintains a strong foothold in continuing to foster a love for dance in future  generations. Its Education and Community Engagement program reaches more than 70,000 individuals in the Houston  area annually. Houston Ballet Academy trains more than 1,000 students every year, producing more than 50 percent of  the elite athletes that comprise Houston Ballet’s current Company. 

For more information on Houston Ballet, visit houstonballet.org.  


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