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Photo Flash: A Look at THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet

From May 25, through June 4, Houston Ballet presents the North American Premiere of David Bintley's magical ballet, The Tempest. In celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, Mr. Bintley has created a fantastical production based on The Bard's well-known play. Scroll down for a look at the dancers in action!

The Tempest takes place on a remote island where Prospera, a sorcerer and the rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter, Miranda, to her rightful place by using his magical powers. He conjures up a storm (the tempest) in order to shipwreck his usurping brother, Antonio, and the complicit King Alonso of Naples on the island. Prospera's actions bring about a story of love and redemption.

Shakespeare's play The Tempest, is most commonly thought to have first been performed sometime between 1610 -1614.1t did not receive much attention until adapted versions of the play surfaced after the Restoration of the British monarchy in 1660. In the mid-19th century, theater productions began reinstating the full-length of Shakespeare's words to the work, which lead to a reexamination of the play by critics and scholars. Now, the play is considered one of Shakespeare's greatest works and serves as a stunning example of The Bard's ability to juggle the struggle between the light, romantic and darker, more compelling themes. This critical acclaim has inspired artists over the years and The Tempest has been adapted numerous times in a variety of art forms: operas, orchestral works, paintings, poetry and films.

Mr. Bintley's talent at creating beautiful works routed in classicism led Dance Magazine to proclaim, "Whether Bintley is choreographing on a grand scale or in miniature, whether a piece has an intricate plot line or is plotless, there are certain characteristics intrinsic to his ballets, no matter how different they are in style and substance. Each shares a riveting theatricality, strong visual sense, intelligent craftsmanship, emotional resonance, and prominent roles for dancers." (September,1996).

The music for The Tempest was composed by well-known British composer Sally Beamish. Ms. Beamish was born in London. Initially a viola player, she moved from London to Scotland in 1990 to develop her career as a composer. Her music embraces many influences: particularly jazz and Scottish traditional music. The concerto form is a continuing inspiration, and she has written for many internationally renowned soloists.

Rae Smith brought a lot of the National Theatre to her ideas when designing the sets and costumes for The Tempest. Her designs include The Prince of the Pagodas for Birmingham Royal Ballet, Wonder.land, The Light Princess and War Horse (Olivier, Tony and Evening Standard awards) at the Royal National Theatre, on world tour,West End and Broadway; Pelleas and /VIelisande (Scottish Opera); Cavilieri rusticano and Pagliacci (Met, New York); and Benvenuto Cellini (ENO). With several additional award winning designs, she was an easy choice for Mr. Bintley.

The Tempest is a co-production with Birmingham Royal Ballet and the second work of Mr. Bintley's to enter Houston Ballet's repertoire. The company previously performed Mr. Bintley's Aladdin in 2014.

Performances take place at the Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Avenue. Tickets start at $25. Call 713-227-2787 or visit houstonballet.org. Also available at the Houston Ballet Box Office at Wortham Theater Center downtown at 501 Texas at Smith Street. Monday through Friday 9AM- SPM.

high res photos Photo Flash: A Look at THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet
The cast of THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet Photo Flash: A Look at THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet
The cast of THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet Photo Flash: A Look at THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet
The cast of THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet Photo Flash: A Look at THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet
The cast of THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet Photo Flash: A Look at THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet
The cast of THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet Photo Flash: A Look at THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet
The cast of THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet Photo Flash: A Look at THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet
The cast of THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet Photo Flash: A Look at THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet
The cast of THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet Photo Flash: A Look at THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet
The cast of THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet Photo Flash: A Look at THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet
The cast of THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet Photo Flash: A Look at THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet
The cast of THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet Photo Flash: A Look at THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet
The cast of THE TEMPEST at Houston Ballet

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