The most coveted "A-List" in the dance world has just been released, Dance Magazine's annual 25 to Watch. In Houston and elsewhere, all eyes will be on Houston Ballet's Allison Miller, who made the cut.
The 2011 list is particularly meaningful because they were selected by 25 previous 25 to watchers. Principal Melody Herrera who graced Dance Magazine's cover in 2007 when she made the list, chose Miller for her splendid dancing and joyous personality.
Miller names Balanchine's Theme and Variations as her favorite ballet, but it was her performance in his Ballo della Regina that caught Herrera's eye.
"Allison is the best mix: a strong technician with a very graceful and elegant quality. She has pure and strong technique, but there’s also something so feminine and delicate about her dancing — it’s enchanting to watch. When we did Balanchine’s Ballo della Regina, the second she came out, it was like she was flying across the stage," Herrera wrote about her colleague.
Miller, a native of St. Petersburg, Fla. joined the company in 2006. Previously, she danced with American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, where she worked with such distinguished choreographers as Sean Curran, Benjamin Millepied (Natalie Portman's husband-to-be), Stephen Mills, Brian Reeder and Houston's own Dominic Walsh.
"It's a great honor to be named one of Dance Magazine's '25 to Watch,' a yearly list that I have anticipated reading since I was a young dancer," Miller says. "Being recognized for one's hard work and dedication to their art is always uplifting. To be selected by a dancer whom I truly look up to as an artist solidifies how lucky I am to be a part of such a supportive company."
Miller is looking forward to dancing in Sleeping Beauty, opening on March 10.
Miller is not the only dancer with good news, Houston Ballet has also just announced the promotions of Katharine Precourt to soloist. and Lauren Ciobanu to demi soloist. I pegged Precourt as a dancer on the move in Dance Magazine's On the Rise about a year ago.
Well she has risen, and rightly so, she's a stunning dancer with gorgeous lines and sharp technique. Ciobanu also received praise for her recent performance in Garret Smith's brave new work, Vivacious Dispositions.