Houston Ballet Sets `Quixote' at KenCen

By Lewis, Jean Battey | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 12, 1997 | Go to article overview

Houston Ballet Sets `Quixote' at KenCen


Lewis, Jean Battey, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Choreographers find their inspiration in many places - a movement phrase, an item in the news, a piece of music. In the case of Ben Stevenson, director of the Houston Ballet, the inspiration to stage "Don Quixote" came from a dancer - or rather two dancers.

On Tuesday those two dancers, Lauren Anderson and Carlos Acosta, will appear as the high-spirited lovers in "Don Quixote" when the company opens a week's engagement at the Kennedy Center - its first appearance here in six years.

The leading roles in "Don Quixote" demand a certain kind of dancer - brilliant technically, flirtatious, fiery, sassy, comical, street smart and exuberant. Feeling he had the virtuosos who could do it, Mr. Stevenson mounted "Don Quixote" for them three years ago.

"It was the first thing I did for Carlos when he joined the company," says Mr. Stevenson, who caught a glimpse of Mr. Acosta, now 24, performing in England and snapped up the Cuban-born dancer. "He was a natural in flamboyant roles, but it's amazing how he's grown since then into more classical parts - like the Prince in `Cinderella.' He's very smart, and Lauren is a firecracker. Together they're very special."

Mr. Stevenson came to the company as artistic director 22 years ago, making him the longest-running director of a major ballet company in the country.

When he arrived in Texas from Washington's National Ballet, Mr. Stevenson was sure the key to building a first-rate company in a place so distant from dance centers on the East and West coasts was to nurture home-grown talent. Miss Anderson, 32, who studied at the Houston school since she was 7, is a product of that vision.

Dance companies all over the world have sought his talents as teacher and talent scout; he is one of the rare directors who has the choreographic skills and the sense of theater to create successful full-length ballets.

At 61, Mr. Stevenson finds himself busier than ever before.

"Somehow you feel as you get older, it's going to get easier, but actually it gets worse," he remarks with a laugh. "It's been a very positive the last few years. I don't know how long it can last, but it's fine while it does."

He has just signed a new contract with the Houston Ballet giving him 12 weeks off a year. "So if I want to go on a 12-week vacation in Hawaii or go around setting ballets, I have that time to do it."

In the past he has taught in Beijing virtually every year - but he has been too busy to return there the past couple of years. Recently, he has staged works for the Paris Opera Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and the Perm Ballet in Russia.

Mr. Stevenson's "Four Last Songs," which will be seen here in the company's mixed program Thursday and Friday, was danced this year by the San Francisco Ballet. His ballet "Peer Gynt," a big success in Henrik Ibsen's native Norway, is performed in Russia and Chile. His "Romeo and Juliet" was danced in China by the Houston Ballet in 1995 and seen there by millions on TV.

The Bolshoi Ballet has asked him to create a ballet, but he says, "I'm so busy I've had to ask them for a rain check."

For the past few weeks he has been polishing his recent full-length "Dracula" for its Pittsburgh Ballet premiere. Already a popular success in Texas, the ballet is a joint project of the Houston and Pittsburgh companies. (Sharing expenses for large productions is increasingly an option in this cost-cutting era.)

Mr. Stevenson's theatrical verve is bred in his bones. His first hero was not a ballet dancer, but Jimmy Cagney tap dancing in "Yankee Doodle Dandy" - an early inspiration, too, for Mikhail Baryshnikov growing up in Russia. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Houston Ballet Sets `Quixote' at KenCen
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.