The Houston Ballet bids adieu to its 2017-2018 season of resilience with the ultimate swan song, artistic director Stanton Welch’s realization of one of the most beloved ballets of all time, the classic Swan Lake.
Welch created this Swan Lake especially for the Houston Ballet in 2006, using Tchaikovsky’s full score for a rich, complex three-act production. Yet, Swan Lake’s story of an everlasting love and beauty that defies will likely resonates even greater today when viewed with a mind towards the ballet’s own, real life story of perseverance this year. When Hurricane Harvey’s damage to the Wortham Center, left them without their usual stages for a year, they made a promise to the city that the dance would go on. The company embarked on a hometown tour, pirouetting into to a different venue for each of their major productions.
Quite fittingly, they end the season flying into their Theater District neighbor Jones Hall, which was originally one of HB’s early venue homes.
“Jones Hall—for many years—was the place where Houston Ballet performed all of its repertoire. So, after all this chaos we’ve had with the storm and shifting from venue to venue, we return to the original place where Houston Ballet started to do these big full-length ballets. It does feel like a homecoming to us as an organization,” described Welch of the significance of staging Swan Lake in Jones Hall, in a statement.
After attending the opening performance of this mad, tangled danced love story of a prince, the cursed swan-maiden of his dreams, her dark doppelgänger, and the evil knight magician who puts the tragic fairytale into motion, I can attest that it takes an expansive space like Jones to hold all the lush, majesty of Welch’s Swan Lake.
The company will stage its triumphant return to the Wortham Center with its 2018-2019 season, but unfortunately, we’ll have something of a wait, as the season won’t begin until November with the Nutcracker. So ballet fans will need to commit to some bird watching by July 1 for a last chance to see a major production from the Houston Ballet before it migrates back into the Wortham this fall.
Swan Lake soars in Jones Hall through July 1. Tickets start at $25.