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"Animal Magnetism” is a delicious three-course ballet Photo by Drew Donovan SAT%20-%20ANIMAL%20MAGNETISM.JPG' The Houston Ballet’s Barbara Bears is the sexiest thing in the Seven Seas.

Creating a mixed-rep program is kind of like a meal,” says Stanton Welch, artistic director for the Houston Ballet. “You have to plan your entrée, your appetizer and your dessert.” He says the selections for “Animal Magnetism” create a three-course show sure to satisfy audiences’ visual and musical appetites.

Starting off the performance is Welch’s own Clear, which was created in the aftermath of 9/11. The piece uses seven men and one woman to show the importance of support and family in times of tragedy, with the lone female, Welch says, representing “the thing that leads you home and out of the mess you’re in.” Designer Michael Kors created the skin-tight, skin-toned costumes. Next on the menu is Svadebka, which Welch says is “truly a masterpiece.” The piece, choreographer Jiÿí Kylián’s reworking of Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Noces, chronicles the story of a Russian peasant couple as they meet, marry and bid farewell to their parents. The night ends with Carnival of the Animals, which Welch calls “a wonderful dessert…that’s fluffy and flavorful and sweet.”

The Houston Ballet isn’t the only local institution with food on the brain. Night & Day® has the lowdown on section the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s exhibit of deserts and sandwiches stitched into classic works of art , the Health Museum’s educational foray into the world of candy and the stomach-turning treat that ties into the reopening of the Museum of Natural Sciences’ Butterfly Center. Here’s a hint -- it’s not egg salad. -- Dusti Rhodes

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