Dance Center Houston, the new six-story home of the Houston Ballet, officially opened its doors this Saturday with a ribbon cutting ceremony that featured Mayor Annise Parker, Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch, co-chair of the capital campaign and trustee Jesse H. Jones, II and Houston Ballet Managing Director C. C. Conner.
Mayor Parker addressed the crowd during the opening ceremonies, saying the arts are good for Houston, enriching the city both culturally and economically. Stanton Welch acknowledge Mayor Parker's continued support of the building project, which was completed ahead of schedule and at a cost of $46.6 million, some $6.4 million under the original budget.
There was a large and happy crowd at the opening, many of them dance fans as well as the parents of ballet students that will be attending classes in the Dance Center.
Inside visitors watched excerpts of upcoming performances by Houston Ballet II, the student company.
Mayor Parker took a tour of the new facilities, including the six dance studios.
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Windows overlooking the rehearsal studios and class spaces allow visitors to watch what's happening without disturbing the dancers.