Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch has announced that eight new works will enter the company’s repertoire for the 2013-14 season, including several world premieres.
From September 5-15, 2013, the company will present a mixed repertory program of premieres by emerging and established choreographers. James Kudelka will create a new work for the company, while British master and Houston Ballet associate choreographer Christopher Bruce’s “Intimate Pages” will have its American premiere. Bruce’s ballet has its musical and thematic basis in the “String Quartet No. 2” by the Czech composer Leoš Janácek. A victim of unrequited love, the composer wrote this delicate and finely crafted work in 1928, the last year of his life. For a little over a decade he had been corresponding with a young married woman he had met in 1917. The ballet conveys both the joy and the anguish expressed in the music. World premieres by Garrett Smith and Melissa Hough round out the program.
From September 19-29, 2013, Houston Ballet presents Ronald Hynd’s comic “The Merry Widow.” Adapted from Franz Lehár’s beloved operetta, it is a tale of high jinks, finance, romance, and intrigue. Christmas will be lit up as usual with Ben Stevenson’s production of “The Nutcracker.” The holiday ballet’s run will be interrupted on December 6 for a one night “Jubilee of Dance” featuring excerpts from signature works and beloved classics including Act III of “Paquita.”
From February 20-March 2, 2014, David Bintley’s “Aladdin” makes its North American debut. A run-in with palace guards leads young Aladdin into a whirlwind of adventure and romance, involving unbelievable riches, love at first sight, treachery, and of course a magic lamp containing a powerful genie. The three-act production boasts a stellar creative team with renowned film composer Carl Davis, famed costume designer Sue Blane and accomplished set designer Dick Bird.
In March, the company celebrates the tenth anniversary of Stanton Welch as artistic director with a mixed repertory program featuring three works by Mr. Welch, including a world premiere set to Benjamin Britten’s “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.” The evening will also include “Maninyas,” created for San Francisco Ballet in 1996 and “Of Blessed Memory,” a company premiere and one of the first works he created for The Australian Ballet in 1991.
In late May, a mixed repertory program titled “Modern Masters” will feature the company premiere of Jirí Kylián’s comic and delightful “Sechs Tanze” (Six Dances), along with revivals of his playful and sexy work “Petite Mort,” William Forsythe’s “In the middle, somewhat elevated” and George Balanchine’s “The Four Temperaments.” Houston Ballet caps the season with Mr. Welch’s theatrical staging of “Swan Lake,” which he created for Houston Ballet in 2006.