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Capsule Reviews

Our critics weigh in on local theater

Women@Art Houston Ballet's Women@Art turns ballet's good-ol'-boy network upside down by featuring three women who excel in the traditionally male-dominated field of choreography. In Natalie Weir's The Host, nine men knock one another over like power brokers in an Enron boardroom, though they get temporarily distracted from their predatory behavior by a beautiful seductress. A lot of the dance consists of men taking turns jumping atop a table, and the ballet's repetitive arm thrusts and exaltations never really get off the ground. Julia Adam's masterfully crafted The Accidental, the most captivating on the program, suggests that if women ruled the world, things might be more peaceful. Sara Webb elegantly interpreted her role as a bird separated from its flock, turning into a beautiful but broken bird after confronting the only male in the dance. And Lila York's Celts, created in 1995, mixes gods, goddesses and pagans through Irish-inspired steps. Despite its near-mathematic precision and impressive reverence to Irish roots, the dance has no real conflict. Unlike the other two ballets, it doesn't explore how we all might get along. Thankfully, taken as a whole, the program intelligently raises questions on why, sometimes, we don't. Brown Theater at Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas, 713-227-ARTS.

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