Houston Ballet Presents a Mixed Rep Program With Intense Focus on Perfection

There's waltzing and the beautiful strains of the mazurka. Then a switch to extreme dancing requiring positions that go beyond the norm. Toss in a little neoclassic work and voila, there's this year's season opener for the Houston Ballet.

Three masterpieces, each different from the others and all challenging. That’s the assessment Houston Ballet Principal dancer Karina Gonzalez made when asked about the upcoming mixed repertory program Director’s Choice: American Ingenuity.

From the classical Balanchine ballet Theme and Variations to Jerome Robbins’ neoclassical Other Dances (originally designed for Natalia Makarova and Mikhail Baryshnikov) to the extreme movements of William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite, all three pieces require nearly perfect attention to form, she said.

It will be the first time Gonzalez is doing any of them, and she is rehearsing for all three.

Theme is the most intense classical ballet I have done. It’s pure ballet technique, but also it’s the stamina. It’s almost 30 minutes doing the perfect technique,” she explained. Dancers will be performing to the music of Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Bach and changing their costumes to match the style of dance.

“It's one of the most amazing programs I have danced,” she added.

Performances are scheduled for September 8-18 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For information call 713-227-2787 or visit houstonballet.org. $25-$195.

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