Guest writer: Lori Lang, PR intern
We are so excited to introduce the newest member of our company, first soloist Danielle Rowe! Danielle joins Houston Ballet from The Australian Ballet just in time to perform in Stanton Welch’s Marie. Onstage, critics have praised her “seductive assurance” and “transfixing vigour”. Here, Danielle tells us a little more about herself, offstage:
When did you start dancing?
I began dancing at the age of four. I was a rather hyperactive child so my mother thought ballet might be a good outlet for my energy. She was right, and not only did I expel some of my excess energy, I also discovered a life-long passion!
What was the first ballet you ever saw?
The first ballet I ever saw was The Australian Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty. I was eight years old, and I still remember falling in love with the beautiful costumes and music. My mum said I couldn’t stop dancing all the way home.
What is the most exciting thing about joining Houston Ballet?
Mostly, I’m looking forward to the varied repertoire Houston Ballet performs. I’m used to doing up to forty performances of one ballet, so the thought of performing a ballet for only one or two weeks and then moving quickly onto the next ballet is quite appealing and refreshing to me.
What are you most looking forward to dancing in the spring?
I have heard such wonderful things about Stanton Welch’s Marie. I can’t wait to see the production and anticipate witnessing some divine costumes and sets. I’m also looking forward to the Raising the Barre program. I have not yet seen a work by Christopher Bruce or Jorma Elo, so I am intrigued to see what their choreography is like.
What do you love most about dancing professionally?
I love the sense of fulfillment I experience when I know that I have invested all of myself into a performance. When I step out on stage and allow my nerves to dissipate, I can be whoever or whatever I want to be.
Do you have a favorite moment in you dance career?
I was fortunate enough to perform on opening night in Graham Murphy’s Swan Lake at the Théâtre Du Châtelet in Paris. It will always be a night that I remember fondly. To dance in a theatre so beautiful and rich in history is every ballerina’s dream, and I feel so lucky to have experienced that.
Any embarrassing or funny moments from the stage you’d like to share?
I have had so many embarrassing moments on stage, it’s hard to know where to begin! Possibly the funniest moment was when I was dancing the Snow Fairy in The Nutcracker and my tiara got caught on the wing. I was completely stuck and had to thrust my head around like a mad woman to release myself. Not a very elegant look! After freeing myself from the tiara (and the wing!), I only then realized that the corps de ballet were already in their final position and the curtain was coming down. Needless to say, there were a lot of suppressed giggles on stage that night!
What do you like to do when you are not dancing?
I love reading, listening to records, sewing, going to the theatre, sifting through vintage stores and sleeping!
What is your favorite…
I would love to dance Odette/Odile in Swan Lake again.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Photo by Jo Duck.