the big 5-0

Houston Ballet leaps into new year with an artful 50th anniversary season

Houston Ballet leaps into new year with 50th anniversary season

Houston Ballet: Nutcracker, Nozomi Iojima, Connor Walsh
The Houston Ballet celebrates five decades this year.  Photo by Amitava Sarkar

Grown from an initial company of 16 dancers into one of the nation’s most renowned companies, the Houston Ballet is celebrating the anniversary of its 50th season. The company’s golden anniversary will toast the true spirit of the ballet with its penchant for timeless performances.

“It’s going to be an exciting year that’s full of great history and adventurous new works,” says artistic director Stanton Welch in a statement. “Part of the mission in creating the season’s repertoire was to look back at what we have done. Our body of work is so rich, and we’ve drawn from it an extraordinary collection of ballets and choreographers. We are so excited to share this anniversary season with Houston.”

Each and every ballet in the upcoming season was painstakingly selected and specifically created on Houston Ballet dancers. Launching the season is Giselle, which opened the Houston Ballet season in 1967, marking a proud turning point for the company and its eventual international acclaim.

The season is also features three mixed repertoires, featuring both iconic works from the past and brand new performances, as well as The Margaret Alkek Williams Jubilee of Dance, a one-night celebration of Houston Ballet through the ages.

Houston Ballet’s former artistic director, Ben Stevenson, will be paid tribute through the spectacle of Sleeping Beauty, and the season closes with the legendary love story, Romeo and Juliet. Of course, the season will also feature Welch’s opulent production of the holiday favorite The Nutcracker.

Having grown from an initially petite company to gaining recognition as the fifth-largest ballet company in the nation, the Houston Ballet draws global talent in terms of dancers, choreographers, and staff. With 50 seasons under its belt, the company boasts exemplary performers such as principal dancers Connor Walsh, Soo Youn Cho, and Chun Wai Chan.

“This season is a time to reflect on everything Houston Ballet has accomplished over the past five decades,” says Houston Ballet executive director, Jim Nelson, also in the statement. “We are thrilled to celebrate this anniversary with all our loyal patrons and the Houston community. We hope everyone will join us as we continue this momentum into our next 50 years.”


Season ticket packages will go on sale February 12 and will available by calling the box office at 713-227-2787 or by visiting the Houston Ballet’s website.