The Houston Ballet is now the forth largest ballet companies in America. It’s goal was to become one of America’s best ballet companies and it has done just that.
The company started as a school in 1955 and was called the Houston Ballet Academy. It was originally under the direction of Tatiana Semenova who was a former dancer of the Ballet Russes. Today the school has students from all over the world and its graduates go on to perform with the company as well as other leading companies around the world.
In 1969 the company was formed under the direction of Nina Popova, also a former dancer with the Ballet Russes and the American Ballet Theatre. Since then Ben Stevenson took over the role as artistic director from 1976-2003 followed by Stanton Welch in 2003.
The company has 54 dancers and performs about 75 ballets each season. Their home is in the Wortham Theater Center in Houston, Texas where they have been since 1987. Plans are in effect to build a new home for the company which will be completed in 2011.
The Houston Ballet is credited as being the first full American ballet company to tour in China in 1995. In 2002 they were also the first American company to perform at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia.