Countdown to Clear and Madame Butterfly! Are you ready?

Houston Ballet is opening its exciting 2012-2013 season with Clear and Madame Butterfly, September 6-16, 2012 at Wortham Theater Center in Houston, TX.

Dancers: Amy Fote and Artists of Houston Ballet; Photo: Amitava Sarkar

The program starts with Stanton Welch’s Clear –an abstract work, for seven men and one woman, showcasing Houston Ballet’s male dancers and set to Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor and the first and second movements from the Violin Concerto in G minor (Denise Tarrant, Violin; Elizabeth Priestly Siffert, Oboe). Noted fashion designer Michael Kors created the costumes for Clear. Sleek and sexy, Mr. Kors’s flesh-toned designs focus the attention on the dancers, emphasizing the emotional impact of Mr. Welch’s choreography.


Enter Madame Butterfly, the love story of a beautiful Geisha (Cio-Cio San) and handsome American naval officer, Lieutenant Pinkerton is told in an exhilarating two-act ballet. Cio-Cio San renounces her faith and her family to wed Lieutenant Pinkerton, the centerpiece of the work is a ravishing wedding night pas de deux. The production unfolds dramatically on Peter Farmer’s picturesque sets, which beautifully evoke the mystery and languor of nineteenth century Japan.

Dancer: Sara Webb; Photo: Jim Caldwell

Tons of exciting things to look for September 6-16, 2012! Madame Butterfly will feature dancers making their debuts in leading roles. Debuting in the role of Madame Butterfly will be soloist Nao Kusuzaki and debuting as Pinkerton are first soloist Linnar Looris and demi soloist James Gotesky. Principals Amy Fote, Mireille Hassenboehler and Sara Webb will revisit the role of Cio-Cio San, and principals Simon Ball, Ian Casady and Connor Walsh will reprise the role of Pinkerton.

Here’s what some of our dancers and artistic staff have to say about Madame Butterfly:

Principal, Amy Fote –

“Madame Butterfly is one of my favorite ballets I have ever danced. The emotional arc that Madame Butterfly endures throughout the story is so heart moving and tragic – experiencing a first love and getting married, to defying her religion and becoming an outcast, having a child and holding on to hope for years that Pinkerton will return, to eventually taking her own life.”

Dancer: Amy Fote; Photo: Maarten Holl

Soloist, Nao Kusuzaki –

“It is an honor to portray the role of Cio-Cio San through this beautifully poetic ballet Stanton has crafted, […] I am especially excited to share with the audience the Japanese cultural heritage which speaks to me most authentically, and to tell the story of this ballet’s pure beauty, unwavering strength, and passionate drama.”

Ballet Master, Steven Woodgate –

“Madame Butterfly was my first full length ballet that I have ever set and I have now set it on seven different companies. I understand all of the characters and what they do, so I am not struggling to figure out every step; you become more comfortable with it. […] It is a challenging ballet technically dance wise and pas de deux wise.”

Watch the Clear and Madame Butterfly preview to learn more!

Tickets may be purchased by calling 713-227-2787 or by visiting Please click here to view, print or download casting.


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