Houston Ballet has enjoyed excellent artistic leadership since its inception, beginning in 1969 with Nina Popova, a former dancer with both the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo and American Ballet Theatre. Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., led the company to nationally respected standing by putting together a strong core group of permanent choreographers, including Sir Kenneth MacMillan and Christopher Bruce. MacMillan worked with Houston Ballet until his death in 1992 and Bruce remains an associate choreographer with the company. Acclaimed Australian ballet choreographer Stanton Welch now heads up the company of 54 dancers, the fourth largest in the country.
Each year, Houston Ballet kicks off the holiday season with its Nutcracker Market. Modeled after European and Latin American street markets, this extravagant four-day shopping event draws more than 300 merchants to booths at the Reliant Center and offers specialty items for everyone in the family. Tickets are generally $10 and children under 6 may enter for free. Proceeds are put toward funding the Houston Ballet training academy and scholarship programs.
Houston Ballet Information
- Public Transportation: Poor
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Four different programs per year, plus the annualNutcracker. Each program runs about two weeks with six performances
- Ticket Prices: $17–$136. On select nights, students and seniors may purchase discounted tickets 90 minutes prior to the performance. Student tickets are $10; senior (65+) tickets are $17 or $30.50, depending on seating. Available dates are published on the Houston Ballet website
- Group Discounts: Groups of 10 or more can receive up to 50% off ticket purchases
- Subscriptions: Subscriptions are available for the Spring series shows, a select-your-own series of four, five, or six shows, or a maximum flexibility option of six passes to use any way you like. Benefits include two free upgrade certificates, free exchange privileges, 10% discount on additional tickets, and a one-year subscription to Houston Ballet News
- Membership: Donor fees start at $40 and include a quarterly newsletter. Donors of $500 or more receive recognition in playbills
- Special Membership for young Adults: Junior Patrons is a membership program for children ages 3 through 13. Membership is $50 and includes special seating at matinée performances, private receptions, backstage tours, and photos.