Best Ballet (2003)

Madame Butterfly

Stanton Welch may have clinched the artistic directorship of Houston Ballet when he set his highly stylized 1995 Madame Butterfly on the company last fall. This not-quite-full-length story ballet married a moving tale with crisp, modern movement. And Ben Stevenson's dancers looked at home in the choreography -- a sign that the company's transition from the longtime director to the young Aussie would go well. Now ballet-watchers can't wait for Welch to set his first original evening-length story ballet on the troupe.