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Houston Ballet's Stanton Welch To Choreograph For Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

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2011 has been good to the Houston Ballet. After moving into a gorgeous, six-story new home, the company's off to garner more national acclaim.

Artistic director Stanton Welch has been handpicked to choreograph a work for Jacob's Pillow, one of the most selective intensive programs for ballet training. The Pillow, as it's called, invites only 22 dancers from all over the world to its school in Becket, Massachusetts each summer.

Welch's work will be featured in the opening gala of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.

"J.R." Glover, director of education for Jacob's Pillow, was on the selection committee that chose Welch to guest choreograph. Glover looks for accomplished choreographers, especially those who are artistic directors of leading companies. Welch fit the bill. "He has such a strong classical background," Glover said. "But in addition to the classicism, he's also exciting and innovative in terms of looking into how ballet can have new audiences."

Welch told Art Attack he was honored and surprised to have been chosen. He'll choreograph to the first movement of Mozart violin concerto #5. As for the work itself, he'll wait to meet the dancers first before choreographing.

"I think it will be a little bit quirky and humorous, hopefully youthful," he said. "Something that fits the beginning of a summer."

Welch's participation in the festival will enhance Houston Ballet's sterling reputation in the dance world. "Its great to be connected with such a long standing and important part of American dance," Welch said.

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