Readers' Choice: The Nutcracker<$f"Alternative-HTF2-Roman">
A streamlined classic with touches of pre-Raphaelite dressing by the late Kristian Fredrikson, Stanton Welch's new $1.6 million Swan Lake was the high point of the dance season this year. Beautiful to look at and swift of foot, this version of one of ballet's most beloved tales of love and loss showcased the Houston Ballet corps at its finest. Who knew the gals of HB could perform in such fluid unison as the graceful swan flock? Artistic director Welch is known for his contemporary, plotless works, but with this bird, he's shown he's also capable of reinventing the classics with style and verve.