Houston dance enthusiasts are lucky in that not only do we have Houston Ballet to satisfy our desire for classical story ballets, but we also have a contemporary ballet company that creates cutting-edge work that's pushing the boundaries of dance art in Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. This fall, the company heads to New York City's Joyce Theater to participate in Ballet v.60. The annual festival brings together choreographers and companies that present work outside the large-scale ballet establishment and provides them the opportunity to showcase progressive work in New York for minimal cost. The invitation to DWDT marks the first time the much loved Houston-based company will perform at the festival.
The program that will be presented at the Joyce will consist of three audience favorites: Camille Claudel, Afternoon of a Faun and Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake.
"Camille Claudel represents the psychological narrative works we produce," says Walsh. "Theatrically it's a strong work with a broad movement vocabulary and sheds light on a great artist whose career was cut short."
Bourne's interpretation of the seminal Swan Lake pas de deux was a natural choice. Not only does the piece give DWDT the distinction of being the only company other than Bourne's to have license to perform the choreographer's work, it's also a star vehicle for Domenico Luciano.
An invitation to the festival is a high honor and a continuance of Dominic Walsh's initiatives to bring world-class dance to Houston.
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"I wanted to build a reputation on quality and therefore obtain the rights to do works by some of the most celebrated choreographers such as Jiri Kylian, Mats Ek, Mauro Bigonzetti and Matthew Bourne. I wanted to offer dancers an environment with repertoire that was dependent on their versatility and investment in their craft," says Walsh.
But aside from recognition of his company, Ballet v.60 also offers the opportunity for a creative exchange.
"One of the best things about being included in these types of events is having the opportunity to meet, get to know and sometimes even work with amazing artists and people. That is the real great pleasure," says Walsh.
DWDT will host a fund-raiser on Thursday, May 2, at the Deborah Colton Gallery from 6 to 9 p.m. to support its upcoming New York City engagement. Appropriately entitled "Empire State of Mind," the fund-raiser will feature cocktails, light bites, a live auction and a short performance of Sound of Cells. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.dwdt.org or call 713-652-3938.