The Texans of yore apparently could lasso tornadoes, use rattlesnakes as whips and ride atop mountain lions. Or at least these were several of the legendary accomplishments of Pecos Bill, who is celebrated in appropriately dramatic, flamboyant fashion in Pecos Bill, a Stanton Welch number that the Houston Ballet presents today in a mixed repertory program called Pecos. Focusing on Pecos's romance with Sluefoot Sue and set to an original score by Matthew Pierce, the ballet features a cast of characters in gaudy, cartoonish Wild West costume (yes, there are chaps), leaping, strutting and spinning their way through mock battles and other larger-than-life encounters of the idealized West.
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After Pecos, the relative minimalism of Mark Morris's Sandpaper Ballet - which features ultramodern costumes by Isaac Mizrahi - might be something of a relief, and ballet classicists will savor Ballo della Regina, a George Balanchine classic set to operatic tunes. Hey, you can't say the company doesn't have range. 7:30 p.m. today. Through June 6. For information and a full schedule, call 713-227-2787 or visit www.houstonballet.org. $18 to $145.
Thu., May 27; Sat., May 29; Sun., May 30; Fri., June 4; Sat., June 5; Sun., June 6, 2010