Cover Story: Stanton Welch Celebrates Ten Years With Houston Ballet

Stanton Welch is the son of famed Australian dancers Garth Welch and Marilyn Jones. His brother Damien danced. So, of course, Stanton Welch would go into the family trade automatically right?

Not exactly, as writer Adam Castenada explains in this week's cover story about the ten years Welch has spent as artistic director of the Houston Ballet and the years before that. Initially, Welch didn't want dance as a career and it was only after he took a job as a dresser - helping performers with their costumes backstage - that he began to fall in love with being part of this particular art form.

"I saw that dance was an ultimate way of expression. You had music, you had movement, you had acting. Dance was the three coming together at a perfect point," Welch said. He began training at the advanced age of 17.

He also began doing choreography and did some work for the Houston Ballet. He became artistic director after the departure of Ben Stevenson and was able to build on his relationships with the dancers - they'd known him first as a dancer - to develop his own approach to how the company should perform.

His narrative ballets are the crowd pleasers, which also allows him to take some risks with some other productions.

"There is both a light and dark side to every character," he said. "No one is ever wholesomely good or completely bad. That's a large part of all my stories. The more baggage the characters have, the more interesting they are. We are all those people."

This week, to accompany our Best Of Houston issue, a look at what Stanton Welch and Houston Ballet have done and are getting ready to do, seemed in order.

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