The eyes of the dance world are on The Kennedy Center, with The New York Times observing, “This week, Washington will be the nation’s ballet capital.”
Houston Ballet launched The Kennedy Center’s prestigious weeklong festival Ballet Across America yesterday (Tuesday, June 10), and was greeted by D.C. audiences with a rousing standing ovation from the packed house for its performance of Stanton Welch’s work Velocity. (The two other companies appearing on the program with Houston Ballet — Salt Lake City’s Ballet West and Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Ballet — were greeted warmly as well).
Tonight, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal will come to review Houston Ballet. To highlight Houston’s stellar performing arts scene, Lindsey Brown, marketing director for the Greater Houston Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, has organized a post-show media event, with tickets to the performance and a dessert reception with Houston Ballet’s dancers following the concert. Lindsey reports that the GHCVB has had a stellar response to their invitation from Washington-based media.
A group of intrepid ballet fans from Australia has flown over for the week to attend the festival, and artistic director Stanton Welch made a special appearance at an intermission reception at The Kennedy Center last night to welcome his compatriots from Down Under. Longtime Houston Ballet trustee Jean May and her husband Henry flew up from Houston to cheer the company on.
The Kennedy Center’s promotional materials are festooned with Houston Ballet images. A huge banner promoting Ballet Across America draped across the entrance to The Kennedy Center features an image of Houston Ballet dancers Mireille Hassenboehler and Nicholas Leschke, and the same image graces the cover of The Kennedy Center’s monthly newsletter.
Expect more news and pictures to come tomorrow from general manager Jim Nelson, who will recap our time here in D.C.