Dramatically speaking, the Houston Ballet is cutting no corners as it opens its 39th season with Onegin. Its laden with passionate romance, violent duels and a heady dose of Russian remorse. The evening-length story ballet is based on Alexander Pushkins epic narrative poem, written in 1837, about the aristocrat Onegin, who shuns the young Tatiana when she professes her love only to realize his great mistake after shes married to someone else (this sets up the famed pas de deux at the end). Fifty-two years after the poems publication, Tchaikovsky transformed it into an opera, and then the late, great choreographer John Cranko staged his version in 1965. Houston Ballet fans might remember the companys performance of Onegin just three years ago, but this time theres an added bonus: Elisabeth Daltons ultra-lavish costumes and sets, adding drama to drama. 7:30 p.m. today, September 6, 12 and 13, 2 p.m. September 7 and 14. Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Texas. For information, call 713-227-2787 or visit www.houstonballet.org. $17 to $150.
Thu., Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 7, 2 p.m.; Fri., Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 14, 2 p.m., 2008