Houston Ballet Cancels New York City Tour

Article excerpt

HOUSTON, Texas--Houston Ballet (HB) [see page 54] has canceled the six performances that it had scheduled for November 9-13 at City Center theater in New York City. The decision was based on economic considerations.

Houston Ballet Foundation's executive committee announced its decision to cancel the tour just three weeks into HB's twenty-fifth anniversary season, on August 22.

"The financial risk is just too great," says Joyce Moffatt, the company's managing director. "To be self-presenting for a week in New York City would cost the company around $764,000--that's including transportation, per diem, hotel, hiring an orchestra, etc. Our anticipated ticket sales would only cover about one-third of that figure. In view of our projected deficit for 1994-95, it's simply too much to risk."

The company's operating deficit rose from $150,000 in 1993 to more than $700,000 by the end of the 1994 season. Essentially this was because HB lost its 1993 Nutcracker revenues in competition with Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which previewed in Houston for the entire month of December before opening on Broadway. Nutcracker sales usually fund most of HB's season, but Beauty and the Beast wiped them out last year. Because of low interest rates, the company has also had low returns on its endowment investments. …