25 years before Misty Copeland became ABT’s first African-American principal ballet dancer, Lauren Anderson was the first “brown girl” to be made principal at Houston Ballet. In a special Houston event, the pair came together to answer questions about their lives as dancers and the challenges of being black ballerinas in a still, traditionally white art form.
Ballet is as big as everything else in Texas, the Lone Star State known for guns, oil, and cowboys. That’s right y’all, find out what a broken down bus of Russian dancers has to do with the rich ballet history in the state’s three big cities, Houston, Dallas, and Austin, and which college created the first ballet major program in the U.S.
Nichelle interviews Dwight Rhoden whose company, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, which he co-founded with dancer Desmond Richardson is performing in Houston. We talk about the future of dance, the fusion of dance forms, and his work in commercial (namely So You Think You Can Dance) and concert dance, including the works Rise, set to selections by U2, and Richardson’s solo CLICK.
Guest, Lydia Hance has never been more fulfilled as a teacher as she has teaching students on the autism spectrum. A challenge and a mental, spiritual, & artistic reward for her, she shares a bit about what she’s discovered throughout the process. Whether you work with the autistic population, desire to, or simply work with teens, I think you’ll find her insight beneficial.
Houston Ballet apprentice, Madison Morris answers questions about what it’s like to perform in the corps during this busy holiday season. She reveals both the hard work and dedication required of apprentices and the corps and an insider’s view of the sometimes action-packed events going on behind the scenes at Nutcracker performances.
Easy access to drugs, internet, lack of phone and computer regulation and other challenges facing children and the teachers and parents entrusted with their care make all youth “at-risk” in Weiner’s eyes. And so, her programs at the Hope Center are open to any child on a first come, first served basis. Many Kids Play participants are recruited, however, from local organizations such as Archway Academy and Chinquapin (schools for troubled and disadvantaged youth), Baylor Pediatric AIDS Initiative, Baylor International Adoption Center, and group homes like Casa de Esperanza. “We love the mix of cultures and socio-economic levels,”