It's been eight or nine years since Houston Ballet Principal Sara Webb danced in Christopher Wheeldon's Carousel (A Dance) or George Balanchine’s Symphony in C, but she's more than ready to do them again as part of the company's season opener.
"I'm trying to build upon how can I make it better. How can I tell the story better, to make it more exciting for the audience and more interesting for me," she says.
Houston Ballet is presenting Poetry in Motion, a mixed-repertory outing that also includes the Houston Ballet premiere of Artistic Director Stanton Welch's Powder (1998), with music by Mozart which was commissioned for the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Originally scheduled for September 8-17 but disrupted by the Harvey flooding that beset the Wortham Theater Center, the ballet program will now be performed on two days in late October.
Audiences will be introduced to several new company dancers as well as others who’ve moved up in the ranks, Webb says. Webb will be dancing as “the girl” in Carousel and has the first movement principal role in Symphony in C. She'll be partnered with principal Connor Walsh.
“Christopher Wheeldon took the best part of [Carousel], the part at the carnival where they fall in love. It’s just fun and happy,” she says. As for Symphony in C, she says, “It’s typical Balanchine. It’s very beautiful; the patterns are very musical. It’s very grand. It will be the final piece on the program showcasing the entire company.”
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Webb, who became interested in ballet after a trip to The Nutcracker when she was 8 years old, says she appreciates both classical and contemporary dance and thinks that what she learns in one form helps her to be better in the other.
"I saw that there were so many different ways you could make your body move. Classical ballet I think is the hardest thing, the most challenging for me. I think you become a more well-rounded dancer if you can do both. Learning contemporary movement will help you not be so stiff but then the classical will help you be stronger in your core so you can have a good base for your contemporary."
Calling the mixed rep program "family-friendly," Webb says, “Three different kinds of dancing and musicality. People will be able to find something in each one that they will like.”
Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on October 26 and 27 at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-227-2787 or visit houstonballet.org. $35 to $135.