HOUSTON BALLET ANNOUNCES PROMOTIONS AND ADDITIONS TO THE COMPANY FOR THE 2011-2012 SEASON
Australian Danielle Rowe Promoted to Principal at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands
Jessica Collado Promoted to Soloist
HOUSTON, TEXAS – Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch announced plans today for the company’s 2011-2012 season, including promotions and additions of new dancers. First soloist Danielle Rowe was promoted to principal dancer and demi soloist Jessica Collado was prompted to soloist. Australian Luke Ingham, formerly with The Australian Ballet, begins his first full season as a demi soloist with Houston Ballet. Houston Ballet’s roster now stands at 52 dancers.
Promotions: Danielle Rowe and Jessica Collado
Danielle Rowe was promoted to principal onstage Friday, August 5 after a stellar performance at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands. Reviewing her performance in Ben Stevenson’s staging of The Sleeping Beauty in March, Houston Chronicle dance critic Molly Glentzer found that “Rowe brought a beautifully refined aura to her turn as the Lilac Fairy”. (March 11, 2011)
“Danielle is a beautiful dancer with natural talent whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with for many years. I have watched her develop from a corps de ballet member to a principal in Australia,” notes Mr. Welch. “I created Carabosse on her in The Sleeping Beauty as well as a featured role in the original Velocity. She always delivers an interesting and exciting performance because she is a dynamic and diverse dancer who knows how to tell a story.”
Principal ballet master Louise Lester comments, “Danielle has a refined and delicate aesthetical approach to her work. She has a great sensibility in movement creating a wonderful lightness and ethereal quality when she dances. Since joining Houston Ballet Danielle has shown she is a remarkable actress in, both humor and drama, with exquisite footwork and a beautiful sense of line. All of these qualities bring a very professional quality to the stage.”
Danielle Rowe was born in Shepparton, Australia in 1982 and trained at the Cheryl Bradley Dance Studios in South Australia for eleven years, then with Marie Walton-Mahon in Newcastle before moving to Melbourne to join The Australian Ballet School. During her years as a student Ms. Rowe received many scholarships including the Fauldings Bursary, which allowed her to complete her training with The Australian Ballet School. She joined The Australian Ballet in 2001. In 2005 Ms. Rowe was promoted to soloist and awarded the Lissa Black Memorial Scholarship, which she used to travel to Europe. After many acclaimed lead performances she was promoted to senior artist in 2007 and principal artist in June 2008. Her repertoire highlights include Graeme Murphy’s Nutcracker – The Story of Clara in 2009; Baroness von Rothbart in Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake in 2008; Stanton Welch’s The Sleeping Beauty in 2005, 2006 and 2007; Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker in 2007; as well as numerous other ballet classics. In 2009 and 2010, she also appeared with Christopher Wheeldon’s company Morphoses. In January 2011 Ms. Rowe joined Houston Ballet as a first soloist.
Jessica Collado was promoted to soloist. Ms. Collado was born in Coral Springs, Florida and was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She trained with Lisa Sheppard Robson at Gwinnett Ballet Theatre. During her summers, Ms. Collado attended programs at South Carolina University and Boston Ballet. Between 2001-2003, Ms. Collado attended Houston Ballet’s Academy summer intensive training programs as well as performing for a year with Houston Ballet II. Ms. Collado joined Houston Ballet as an apprentice in 2004 and was promoted to a corps de ballet member in 2005. Ms. Collado has performed many roles with Houston Ballet, including rooster girl in Christopher Bruce’s Rooster; red girl in Stanton Welch’s Maninyas; Suzuki in Mr. Welch’s Madame Butterfly; lead purple girl in Mr. Welch’s Red Earth; and Summer in Mr. Welch’s The Four Seasons. Ms. Collado was featured in Jiří Kylián’s Forgotten Land, Svadebka, and Petit Mort; Christopher Bruce’s Hush and Sergeant Early’s Dreams; Hans Van Manen’s Five Tangos, William Forsyth’s In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, and Brian Enos’s Dark and Lovely Mmm… In January 2009, Dance Magazine featured her as one of the “top 25 dancers to watch.” Ms. Collado was promoted to demi soloist in March 2009.
“Jessica is a dancer choreographers are drawn to because of her uniqueness. Her musicality is extraordinary and detailed, which makes her one of the strongest members of the company,” comments Mr. Welch. “This was recently exemplified in our first ever Choreographic Workshop in the new Margaret Alkek Williams Dance Lab where she was heavily featured in works choreographed by her fellow company members. I am glad the company was able to recognize someone with such a unique talent.”
New Company Members
Australian Luke Ingham who joined the company in May as a demi soloist will enter his first full season with Houston Ballet. Mr. Ingham grew up on a sheep farm in Mount Gambier in South Australia and joined The Australian Ballet in 2004 where he was able to tour internationally. He also won the Telstra People’s Choice award in Australia, with people around the country voting him their favorite dancer.
“Luke is a very strong, consistent, masculine dancer with excellent technique. I am looking forward to his development with the company. He has a very bright and promising future,” remarks Mr. Welch.
Houston Ballet Academy graduate Derrin Harper Watters joins the company as an apprentice. Mr. Watters won the contemporary category at the prestigious international ballet competition the Prix de Lausanne in 2011. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia and grew up in Dover, New Hampshire. He received his early training at the Portsmouth School of Ballet, under the artistic direction of Kristen Samson. To further his education, Mr. Watters attended the Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, where he trained with distinguished faculty such as Michael Owen, Samuel Kurkjian, and Diane Arvanites Noya. During his time at Walnut Hill, he attended Washington Ballet and Houston Ballet summer intensive programs on full scholarship. Mr. Watters joined Houston Ballet II in 2009 under Claudio Muñoz. With the second company, he has danced principal and soloist roles in ballets such as Stanton Welch’s Finger Prints, Blue, and The Long and Winding Road as well as performing in the world premiere of Ma Cong’s Calling.
Houston Ballet has six ranks of dancers: apprentice, corps de ballet, demi soloist, soloist, first soloist, and principal, the top level in the company.
About Houston Ballet
On February 17, 1969 a troupe of 15 young dancers made its stage debut at Sam Houston State Teacher’s College in Huntsville, Texas. Since that time, Houston Ballet has evolved into a company of 52 dancers with a budget of $19.2 million (making it the United States’ fourth largest ballet company by number of dancers); a state-of-the-art performance space built especially for the company, Wortham Theater Center; the largest professional dance facility in America, Houston Ballet’s $46.6 million Center for Dance which opened in April 2011; and an endowment of just over $57.6 million (as of May 2011).
Australian choreographer Stanton Welch has served as artistic director of Houston Ballet since 2003, raising the level of the company’s classical technique and commissioning many new works from dance makers such as Christopher Bruce, Jorma Elo, James Kudelka, Trey McIntyre, Julia Adam, Natalie Weir and Nicolo Fonte. Under the administrative leadership of managing director C.C. Conner since 1995, the company has maintained a strong financial position.
Houston Ballet has toured extensively both nationally and internationally. Over the last decade, the company has appeared in London at Sadler’s Wells, at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, in six cities in Spain, in Montréal, at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in New York at City Center, and in cities large and small across the United States. Houston Ballet has emerged as a leader in the expensive, labor-intensive task of nurturing the creation and development of new full-length narrative ballets.
Writing in The Financial Times on March 6, 2006, dance critic Hilary Ostlere praised Houston Ballet as “a strong, reinvigorated company whose male contingent is particularly impressive, a well-drilled corps and an enviable selection of soloists and principals.”
Houston Ballet Orchestra was established in the late 1970s and currently consists of 61 professional musicians who play all ballet performances at Wortham Theater Center under music director Ermanno Florio.
Houston Ballet’s Education and Outreach Program has reached over 22,000 Houston area students (as of the 2010-2011 season). Houston Ballet’s Academy has 419 students and has had four academy students win prizes at the prestigious international ballet competition the Prix de Lausanne, with one student winning the overall competition in 2010.
For more information on Houston Ballet visit the Houston Ballet website.
2011-2012 SEASON PRMOTIONS AND ADDITIONS
Danielle Rowe Principal
Jessica Collado Soloist
Beth Miller Corps de Ballet
Madison Morris Corps de Ballet
Aaron Sharratt Corps de Ballet
Brian Waldrep Corps de Ballet
Liao Xiang Corps de Ballet
New Company Members
Luke Ingham Demi Soloist
Derrin Harper Watters Apprentice