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One of the largest and most accomplished ballet houses in the country, the Houston Ballet traces its origin back to 1955.Under the guidance and artistic direction of Tatiana Semenova, the ballet house started off with the aim of training and patronizing young dancers. Gradually, the house expanded to become one of the most recognized and appreciated professional dance houses in the country. With publications like the New York Times deeming the Houston Ballet to be one of America's best Ballet companies, there's no doubt that the company has achieved far more than what it initially set out to achieve, and nothing can stop it from making its name in the top annals of theater and dance productions.
With some of the biggest names in dance associated with the Houston Ballet, the company has maintained its reputation for having one of the most prized collections of dancers, choreographers and artistic directors of our time. Sara Webb, Simon Ball, Stanton Welch and Ben Stevenson have been names often attached with the company, and their artistic repertoire is an apt reflection of what the company celebrates in terms of innovation in dance and art.
Over the years, the Houston Ballet has championed many performances. Among them, some of the most famous and most critically acclaimed ones have been their rendition of Con Spiritu, The Nutcracker, Carmina Burana, and Through a Glass Lightly.
For the current season, the Ballet Company has perfected one of the most anticipated collaboration of the season. Mark Morris, Stanton Welch and Jiri Kylian are coming together for a piece that many are already anticipating eagerly. Welch brings the long overdue production of Zodiac, a piece that traces the tangents on which the astronomical signs are built upon. Morris brings his first funded production for the Ballet house. And the most awaited is Kylian's revival of Svadebka.
Winner of the Lawrence Olivier Award for outstanding artistic abilities, the Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands Medal of Honor for Art And Science and the Prix Benois de la Danse, Jiri Kylian is a choreographer who needs no introduction to theater enthusiasts. Born in 1947, Kylian was destined to be a performer since birth. Initially, circus theatrics sparked his interest and he trained in acrobatics. When his mother, who also happened to be a dancer, took him to see his first ballet, the influence on Kylian was so strong that he settled on dance as his final and ultimate calling. In 1967, at the age of twenty, Kylian won a scholarship to the Royal Ballet School of London. Spotted by John Cranko, Kylian became a regular at the Stuttgart Ballet in 1968 and since then, Kylian has only risen in fame and artistic capability.
Growing up under varied influences, Kylian lived in a communist era, but he had the luck of finding liberal instructors and mentors throughout his training and career. Socialized into an era where Kylian witnessed persecution and hardship, his choreographic works represent his struggle and externalize his feelings from that era. Using dance as a medium to express himself, Kylian was applauded by several contemporary performers for his prowess in using movement as a language. Out of all those who praised Kylian, it was the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) that gave him a chance to build upon his individualism and uniqueness. As artistic director of the NDT, Kylian has produced some of his most phenomenal works. His choreography channels the confines of the human body and he uses dance to highlight the various nuances surrounding life. Some of his most popular and most loved choreographies include Symphony of Psalms, Transfigured Night, Falling Angels, A Way a lone and Sleepless.
Kylian brings not only a huge reservoir of experience to the Houston Ballet, but he also brings a massive amount of talent and skill. The transcendent quality of his movement allows for a unique experience that very few exceptionally qualified professionals can give. For this season, he is reviving the Svadebka routine. Originally by Les Noces, Svedebka, or the Russian Wedding, is a feminist piece about the reality of marriage beyond the shallow festivities. Followers of Kylian are thrilled that he is reinterpreting this iconic routine and bringing it to a wider audience. Those who want to watch one of the greatest dance routines of today can now purchase Kylian tickets.