Kick Off the Holiday Season With the Houston Ballet’s Jubilee of Dance
Kelsey Whittington | 11/22/2017, 2:02 p.m.
The Houston Ballet’s annual Jubilee of Dance is always an amazing treat to get into the holiday season and this year was no different.
The impact of Hurricane Harvey had the Houston Ballet out of commission for two weeks but the saying “the show must go on,” really stuck with these amazing dancers. Many feared that the exclusive one night only event would be canceled but through hard work and dedication Houston was able to witness amazing dancing. Just a few short weeks after the Houston Astros won the World Series we were able to see that great talent does not stop on the baseball field.
Stanton Welch AM, an Australian choreographer who has been artistic director of the Houston Ballet since 2003, helped to develop dancers by raising the intensity level and focusing on perfecting the dancer’s techniques and stage presence. He has also helped grow the company into one the world’s largest ballet companies which have resulted in them touring nationally and internationally.
The dancers showed pure raw talent and dedication which caused many of the audience members to be blown away. The evening consisted of different world-renowned ballet numbers including Don Quixote, Swan Lake, and Punctilious, each telling a story and helped to highlight the passion that every member on that stage has for the world of ballet. Talent from past seasons and seasons to come was shown though principle dancers that included Jessica Collado, Ian Casady, and Yuriko Kajiya along with new talent that included Naazir Muhammad, Shaelynn Estrada, and Austen Acevedo. Since ballets don’t have any dialogue it is very important for the dancers to exhibit emotion through their dancing to keep the audience hooked on their performance and that is exactly what they did. Whether in box seats or the mezzanine the audience was able to feel as if they were a part of the story.
With Houston being one of the most diverse cities in the country, the Houston Ballet shows that off by having so many different races and nationalities represented within the company. “I am really glad I came. This was my first ballet and it was amazing to see so much talent from such a diverse cast. We do not see this enough and I am glad I was able to experience something so great,” said Joy Olurebi.
Having such a diverse company is only one factor that makes the Houston Ballet a great organization but the success of the company cannot be done without the help of a few dedicated people. The Jubilee of Dance was permanently changed to the Margaret Alkek Williams Jubilee of Dance in honor of Williams for her amazing support to the Houston Ballet over the years and her gift to endow the annual gala event. With the help of Williams and many others including musical director Emanno Florio, the night could not have been the success it was. Ballet Master’s Louise Lester, Steven Woodgate, and Barbara Bears worked countless hours along with Welch and Florio to make sure they were putting their best foot forward to give the city a powerful and remarkable performance. Over the years the Houston Ballet has had many supporters that have come together in order to make it a night that many look forward to all year.
To keep up with the Houston Ballet and future performances visit www.houstonballet.org.