La Sylphide/A Doll’s House

The Houston Ballet features a war to end all wars…in Mattel terms. The dance company closes its season with the world premiere of A Doll’s House, a ballet that pits teddy bears against action figures and Barbies against Kens in an all-out battle to be King (or Queen) of the toy store. HB Artistic Director Stanton Welch set the steps to this combative staging of István Márta’s percussion composition “A Doll’s House Story.” Welch says he was inspired by Márta’s description of the music. “He wrote the synopsis like a news feed,” Welch says. It included phrases like, “The teddy bear has just been massacred in the toy castle…The Barbie is suspected.”

Thanks to the somewhat graceful nature of kung fu, creating a piece that reflected dance as much as battle wasn’t as difficult as most would think. “It lends itself well in the shape [of ballet],” Welch says. The choreography is not the only thing that will catch your eye; the entire piece is only a half step away from the style of anime – including a standout character based on Aquaman.

The performance also includes Danish ballet master Johnny Eliasen’s staging of August Bournonville’s 1836 La Sylphide. This Romantic Era classic depicts the story of a farmer in Scotland who falls in love with a fairy. (We thought that kind of thing only happened in Ireland…) The show runs at 7:30 p.m. on June 5, 7, 13 and 14, and at 2 p.m. on June 8, 14 and 15. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For tickets and information, call 713–227–2787 or visit www.houstonballet.org. $17 to $144.
Thu., June 5, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., June 7, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., June 8, 2 p.m.; Fri., June 13, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., June 14, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., June 15, 2 p.m., 2008

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Dusti Rhodes
Contact: Dusti Rhodes