A privileged flock of Houston Ballet supporters swept across the Atlantic last week to be in the audience at Paris' famed Theatre des Champs-Élysées for the company's premier performance in the City of Light. Sixteen dancers joined renowned concert pianist Lang Lang on stage for his Sons de L'Ame (Sounds of the Soul) project that combined Chopin's music as performed by Lang Lang with dance choreographed by Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch.
Following Friday night's performance, one of four, Anne and Albert Chao hosted a reception for the dancers, ballet leaders and patrons at the swank Gallerie Rauchfeld on the Left Bank.
Mingling throughout the display of bold contemporary sculptures by Rafael Barrios were Houston Ballet managing director Jim Nelson, the company's C.C. Conner with David Groover, Melza and Ted Barr, Marian Wilfert Beauchamp and Gary Beauchamp, Patti Murphy, Richard Lapin, Nancy and Ted Heywood, Kelley Lubanko, Jean May, Didier Piot and Akemi Saitoh.
An interesting aside regarding the colorful theater, according to Classical Ballet News, "The theater is steeped in ballet history, including the famous word premiere of The Rite of Spring May of 1913, which caused audience members to riot during the show." No such happenings reported during the Houston Ballet performances.