Houston Ballet dancers head for Argentina

June 23, 2011

Press Releases

 HOUSTON BALLET DANCERS INVITED TO ARGENTINA TO PERFORM THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

 JUNE 30 AND JULY 1 AT TEATRO COLÓN

Houston, TX – Houston Ballet’s Principal Connor Walsh and Soloist Karina Gonzalez have been invited to travel to Argentina to perform in The Sleeping Beauty after the closing of the company’s 2010/2011 performance season. Houston’s dancers will be featured in the show’s two opening performances, which will be held on June 30th and July 1st at Argentina’s historic Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, which recently underwent a five-year, $100 million renovation. Tickets can be purchased at the theater’s website.

French repetiteur and ballet master Karl Burnett — who has worked previously with Houston Ballet on the company’s staging of Manon in August of 2009 — will be re-staging and choreographing The Sleeping Beauty for the National Ballet Company in Buenos Aires. Originally choreographed by Marius Petipa in the 19th century, audiences will see Mr. Burnett’s fresh new take on this quintessential ballet. He has cast Mr. Walsh and Ms. Gonzalez in the lead roles of Prince Désiré and Aurora amongst the 50 member cast.

Originally from Fairfax, Virginia, Connor Walsh received his ballet training from highly renowned schools such as the Kirov Academy of Ballet, and Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy. He has enjoyed multiple honors since he joined Houston Ballet’s professional company in 2004. Some of these include the first annual gold award from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts in 2004, the encouragement award from the 3rd Shanghai International Ballet Competition in 2004, as well as his promotion to principal dancer at Houston Ballet in 2007. Mr. Walsh has recently been a guest artist with The Australian Ballet and Ballet Philippines, but he states “I have never been invited to perform with a company this large before, and the highlight of this experience will certainly be seeing the city of Buenos Aires and performing at the renowned Teatro Colón.

Karina Gonzalez joined Houston Ballet as a soloist in 2010 after being a principal dancer at Tulsa Ballet.  She received her training at the national ballet company of her hometown, Carcas, Venezuela. In 2007, she was the winner of the silver medal at the New York International Ballet Competition, and during her career, she has performed as a guest artist at various galas including the Gala International Colombia. Her performance in The Sleeping Beauty will be the first time that Ms. Gonzalez travels as a guest artist to perform a full length narrative ballet. Ms. Gonzalez observed, “It is a thrill to know that I have been invited to perform on such an iconic stage, and I am excited to perform in such a beautiful space after the theater’s extensive renovations. The idea of the experience gives me goose bumps.”

Houston Ballet, under the leadership of Artistic Director Stanton Welch, remains “…one of the nation’s best ballet companies” according to The New York Times. Houston Ballet dancers perform as guest artists with other ballet companies across the world, making appearances in Australia, Chile, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia. This is the first time that company members from Houston Ballet were invited to perform in Argentina.

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