We are thinking of taking your children out for something but are unsure 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 with a cultural tone. If you’re currently in this frame of mind or are clueless but looking for a change, this is one place you can 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 2011.
The Houston Ballet opened its Center for Dance in Downtown Houston in April 2011. Known as the most significant 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, designed by Gesler, is six-story-tall, sports nine dance studios, has a high-performance dance lab with a seating 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 at the Houston Ballet’s main facility and various other theaters in multiple places in Houston and other areas across the United States and even globally.
The Houston Ballet has a long and broad 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 1969. It went under the leadership of Nina Popova, who, like her predecessor, worked as a ballet dancer with the Ballet Russes and the American Ballet Theater.
Ben Stevenson, a former dancer with the English National Ballet and Britain’s Royal Ballet, took the title of 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 became a nationally proclaimed ballet organization from a regionally well-known organization.
The Houston Ballet company 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 holds 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 seven 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 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, such as Rudolf Nureyev’s Prize for New Dance.
The Houston Ballet is open 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 and public holidays, barring the days when there is a performance.
The Houston Ballet is located at 601 Preston Street, Houston, Texas, 77002. Those looking for inquiries can reach them by email at info@houstonballet.org.
Those looking to inquire about 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 questions 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 available are convenient, 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 intersection of Milam and Preston). Each of these places is very affordable, has many parking hours at its disposal, and accepts all credit cards. You can see their 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?
Since laying down its roots in the year 1955, the Houston Ballet has been offering ballet classes, which train enrolled students in high-quality ballet dancing. The academy provides various programs that train over a thousand students annually.
Trained by stellar faculty consisting of instructors who are veteran dancers and have performed with some of the most prominent ballet companies in the world, students at the academy learn everything, from their first introduction to the movement to advanced movements about ballet study.
The highlights of the academy include its summer Intensive Audition Tour, which will be held in eighteen different cities across the globe, and the San Antonio Annual Summer Workshop, which will consist of teacher workshops and master classes being taught over two weeks. To look at other programs the academy offers 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 HBAcademy@houstonballet.org.