This is a bittersweet award this year. Dominic Walsh, a longtime leading dancemaker in Houston and this year's Best Choreographer award winner, is leaving town — at least for a little while. Walsh came to Houston as a teenager in 1987 and spent several years as a dancer with the Houston Ballet, working with then-artistic director Ben Stevenson, who created several roles for him including Marc Antony in Cleopatra. During his time with the Houston Ballet, Walsh earned an international reputation as a gifted and exciting performer. He founded the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater in 2002 and went on to win accolades as a daring, bold choreographer. Two of the dancers he has most closely worked with over the years have been Domenico Luciano, originally from Italy and Walsh's longtime partner, and Hana Sakai, from Japan. The two (either alone or as a pair) have been at the center of many of Walsh's most provocative creations, including Uzume (2012), Clair de Lune (2011), The Firebird (2009), Camille Claudel (2012) and, most recently, the film project Malta Kano, TX. Walsh has suspended the upcoming 2014-2015 season for his company and is joining Luciano in a move to Colorado. The future of the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater is uncertain, but audiences hope to see him again in Houston soon.