Celebrate 50 Years Of The Houston Ballet With Giselle

Lawrence Elizabeth Knox | September 11, 2019 | Lifestyle


Houston Ballet’s 50th anniversary celebration kicks off in September with Giselle, a two-act production deeply rooted in the company’s history. The 19th century Romantic ballet opened the 1967 season of what was then a preprofessional troupe under the leadership of Nina Popova, and the performance marked a turning point for the organization’s future as a world-class ensemble based here in the heart of Houston. We present a by-the-numbers look at Houston Ballet’s season-opening production—and the last five decades that got them here.

Number of 40-foot-tall containers it took to get Giselle scenery to Houston from Italy

Number of artistic directors that Houston Ballet has seen, including Tatiana Semenova, Nina Popova, James Clouser, Ben Stevenson OBE and, presently, Stanton Welch AM

Number of pairs of pointe shoes the ballet provides to company women each season

Year the longest-standing company member, principal Ian Casady, joined the company as a corps de ballet member

The ballet’s estimated budget in its first year (compared to its current $33.9 million annual budget)

Number of dancers in the company currently, compared to the 16 in 1969

Percentage of the annual budget that comes from community support outside of ticket sales

Number of guests who will join Houston Ballet Sept. 6 for the Onstage Dinner following the opening-night performance of Giselle

Approximate total spent on the first production of Giselle in 1967

Projected number of attendees for the season-opening production of Giselle in September

The year that the Wortham Theater Center opened and one of its two theaters, the Alice and George Brown Theater, became home to Houston Ballet

Amount spent on the 2016 world premiere of Stanton Welch’s Giselle, including costs for scenery, props, lighting and wardrobe, as well as the backstage crew and the dressers

Number of hours it takes to complete a single tutu for Giselle from patterning to finish

Number of ballets the company has commissioned in its 50 years

Highest ticket price during the ballet’s first season

Tags: Arts

Photography by: Amitava Sarkar/Houston Ballet