Houston Ballet Soloist Christopher Gray says they'll all be packing extra water bottles and Gatorade and they know the limited space backstage will be crowded, but all in all, performing at Miller Outdoor Theatre is a good time.
"The crowds at Miller are some of the best we get. You know that those are people who really want to come and see the ballet, and maybe they’ve been waiting a long time and haven’t been able to afford it and this is their opportunity," says Gray, who will be performing three very different roles in the pieces presented this year.
This is an opportunity for free to see three audience and critic favorite pieces performed by the Houston Ballet: Ghost Dances, Velocity and Act III of The Sleeping Beauty.
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Ghost Dances, with South American folk songs and choreography by Christopher Bruce, was inspired by President Salvador Allende's overthrow and assassination in Chile in 1973. Velocity, with music by Michael Torke and choreography by Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch, is a fast-paced rendition of classical dance moves done in a contemporary manner. And Act III of The Sleeping Beauty, with music by Tchaikovsky and choreography by Ben Stevenson, concerns the marriage of Princess Aurora and Prince Florimund.
Gray says some of his favorite memories are at Miller. Sometimes, he says, it's where they do their best work.
"We’re not doing thrown-together programs.," Gray says. "What you see is what we perform at the Wortham Theater."
Free performances by the Houston Ballet are scheduled for May 6-8. For information, visit milleroutdoortheatre.com. Picnic on the hill or reserve seating by the stage in advance.