Costume designs for Zodiac, provided by Houston Ballet.

From the original choreography to the hand-stitched costumes, the Houston Ballet's new show, Morris, Welch & Kylián, looks like a knockout. The program features two world premieres: Stanton Welch's Zodiac, which tells a story based on the Greek astrological signs, and Mark Morris's The Letter V, which promises light-hearted fun. Rounding out the program is Jirí Kylián’s modern work Svadebka. There's a 20-minute intermission between each performance.

The music should provide something for everyone. Two pieces feature classic composers—Haydn (The Letter V) and Stravinsky (Svadebka)—and there's also a commissioned suite by composer Ross Edwards (Zodiac) featuring the Houston Chamber Choir.

What to expect from that last piece? The sensual costumes come courtesy Eduardo Sicangco, whose designs have been featured in shows at Radio City Music Hall, on Broadway and at productions from ballet troupes around the world.

Dancer Madeline Skelly as Taurus from Welch's original, Zodiac.

And as for the dance itself: “Stanton Welch has created new choreography for Romeo & Juliet, Swan Lake and Giselle. His re-tellings look at where dancers are today as storytellers, not where they were back then,” says James Nelson, executive director of the Houston Ballet. “He incorporates this into his original works, like Zodiac. Older versions had small roles for men. If you weren’t the principle male dancer, you were a prop. But Stanton makes a point of including very strong, very challenging moves for the men.”

The program runs through June 7 at the Wortham Theater Center.

 

 

 

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