Houston Ballet is celebrating 40 years with a new production of La Bayadère, the story of the doomed affair between temple dancer Nikiya and her warrior Solor. Set in India, the historic masterpiece, reworked here by HB Artistic Director Stanton Welch, is known for its Kingdom of the Shades scene, in which the murdered Nikiya returns to her lover in a dream along with a 24-woman, white-tutu-clad corps de ballet. Principal dancer Sara Webb, who will perform as Nikiya for this production, remembers this scene well - she danced as a shade during her first year with the Houston Ballet. "I remember thinking, 'Oh my gosh, this is the hardest thing I've ever done and I can't ever imagine having to be the person in the front,'" says Webb, "I never even thought, 'Oh, I hope I'm going to do that someday,'" Webb says. "[It never] crossed my mind. I was just hoping not to fall down the ramp." 7:30 p.m. February 25 and 27, and March 5 and 6; 2:30 p.m. February 28, and March 6 and 7. Wortham Theater, 501 Texas. For information, call 713-227-2787 or visit www.houstonballet.org. $18 to $140.
Thu., Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 28, 2:30 p.m.; Fri., March 5, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., March 6, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 7, 2:30 p.m., 2010