Thinking of taking your children out for something but not sure where to go? We understand your pain, what with so many possible locations out there in the city of Houston. Luckily for you, we’re here to make your life a little easier with our top pick today – the Houston Ballet!
While parks and places of recreation are good places to go, sometimes you’ would want to take your little ones to a place that carries more of a cultural tone to it. If you’re currently in this frame of mind, or are totally clueless but looking for a change, this is one place you can definitely take your little ones to!
Operated by the Houston Ballet Foundation, the Houston Ballet Company is the 4th largest ballet company in the United States of America. Hailed by several different organizations and media outlets such as the New York Times, Houston Ballet has some of the largest endowments in the United States, with over $55 million worth as of the year 2011.
The Houston Ballet opened its Center for Dance in Downtown Houston in April 2011. Known as the largest American professional dance company facility, the building is worth $47 million and is sprawled over an impressive expanse of 115,000 square feet. The building itself, which has been designed by Gesler, is six-storeys-tall, sports 9 dance studios, has a high-performance dance lab with a seat capacity of two hundred and room for rehearsals and artistic ventures. This facility is an overall double of the Houston Ballet’s previous facility.
Ballet performances are held both at the Houston Ballet’s main facility and at various other theaters both in various places in Houston and at other places across the United States and even across the globe.
The Houston Ballet has a long and wide history spanning more than five decades. The ballet company was first established as the Houston Ballet Foundation in 1955 by Tatiana Semenova, a veteran ballet dancer who formerly danced with the Ballets Russes. The foundation later took the form of a professional ballet company in the year 1969, and went under the leadership of Nina Popova, who, like her predecessor, worked as a ballet dancer with the Ballet Russes, and also with the American Ballet Theater.
Ben Stevenson, a former dancer with the English National Ballet and Britain’s Royal Ballet, took the title of the artistic director in 1976 – a post that he maintained for 26 years till his retirement in 2003. It was under Stevenson’s leadership that the Houston Ballet turned into a nationally proclaimed ballet organization from a regionally well-known organization.
The Houston Ballet company was also joined Keith MacMillian, who worked there as an artistic associate from 1989 till 1992 (his death). Chris Bruce took over the post of resident choreographer, and currently hold the title of associate choreographer, with four works under his belt designed exclusively for the Houston Ballet. Trey McIntyre took over the position of choreographic associate in 1995, and went on to create 7 full-length world premieres, including the company’s first full-length Peter Pan production.
Aussie choreographer Stanton Welch joined the Houston Ballet as an artistic director in 2003.
The Houston Ballet also accomplished various firsts, with Nebraska-born Sandra Organ graduating as the first African-American ballerina in 1982 at the age of 19, and Lauren Anderson becoming the Houston Ballet’s first African-American dancer in 1990. Anderson worked till her retirement at the age of 41 in 2006. The Houston Baller also has several laurels to its name, such as Rudolf Nureyev Prize for New Dance, among others.
The Houston Ballet is open from Mondays through Fridays from 9 am to 6 pm. Special hours are set up in case of performances.
The Houston Ballet’s administrative office is generally closed on Sundays as well as on public holidays, barring the days when there is a performance.
The Houston Ballet is located 601 Preston Street, Houston, Texas, 77002. Those looking for inquiries can reach them by email at [email protected]
Those looking to make an inquiry related to tickets call the Houston Ballet at 713 227 2787, while those looking for ticket exchanges can call them at 713 236 0321. All subscriptions-related inquiries can be directed to their subscriptions department at 713 522 5538
There is no free parking for Houston Ballet performances. That being said, the paid parking services that are available that both convenient and affordable, and within easy reach of the venue.
Parking services are available at the parking garage of the Hobby Center (which is located directly behind the place), at Theater District Parking (which offers several garages throughout the theater district of Houston), Park First at Chronicle Garage (at the corner of Milam and Prairie), and the surface lot of Park first (at the corner of Milam and Preston). Each of these places are very affordable, have a large number of parking hours at their disposal, and accept all credit cards. You can see their individual websites for more details.
The Houston Ballet Academy:
Has your child taken a liking to ballet? Why not enroll them at the Houston Ballet Academy?
Ever since laying down its roots in the year 1955, the Houston Ballet has been offering ballet classes, which train enrolled student in high-quality ballet dancing. The academy offers a host of programs through which it trains over a thousand students annually.
Trained by stellar faculty consisting of instructors who are themselves veteran dancers and have performed with some of the biggest ballet companies in the world, students at the academy learns everything, from their first introduction to movement, to advanced movements pertaining ballet study.
The highlights of the academy include its summer Intensive Audition Tour, which will be held at eighteen different cities across the globe, as well as the San Antonio Annual Summer Workshop, which will include teacher workshops and master classes being taught over a period of two weeks. To take a look at other programs offered by the academy, and the academic calendar at large, visit their website.
The Houston Ballet Academy also offers financial aid and tuition waivers for professional, pre-professional and preschool programs. More information on this can be obtained at their website.
For general inquiries regarding admission to the academy, you can email the academy at [email protected]