The Houston Ballet Presents JUBILEE OF DANCE Tonight

Houston Ballet presents its eleventh annual Jubilee of Dance, a special one-night only performance tonight, December 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm. This year's program will feature the great American ballerina Julie Kent, a principal dancer with New York's American Ballet Theatre, who will make a special guest appearance. Ms. Kent will perform the leading female role in Stanton Welch's Clear (2001), a role she created at the work's premiere in 2001 in New York. Houston Ballet will also pay tribute to beloved first soloist Kelly Myernick, who is retiring after 14 years with the company. The Jubilee of Dance will close the evening with an excerpt of Stanton Welch's high-speed Velocity (2003), a ballet that pays homage to classical conventions in a contemporary manner. The Jubilee of Dance will be held at Wortham Theater Center in downtown Houston. Tickets may be purchased by calling 713 227 2787 or by visiting

A highlight of this year's Jubilee of Dance is the appearance of acclaimed ballerina Julie Kent, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT). Ms. Kent will reprise the lead female role in Mr. Welch's Clear, a role that was created on her when Mr. Welch first created the work on ABT in 2001. Ms. Kent's dancing has been described as "rapturous" by the San Francisco Chronicle and "marvelous" by the Chicago Tribune.

Ms. Kent began her dance training with Hortensia Fonseca at the Academy of the Maryland Youth Ballet. She attended the American Ballet Theatre II Summer session and the School of American Ballet before joining American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in 1985. In that same year, Kent won first place in the regional finals of the National Society of Arts and Letters at the Kennedy Center. In 1986, she was the only American to win a medal at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition, and she became a member of ABT's corps de ballet. She was appointed a Soloist with ABT in 1990 and a Principal Dancer in 1993.

In Ms. Kent's stunning career she has danced numerous roles including Calliope in Apollo, Nikiya in La Bayadère, the title role in Frederick Ashton, James Kudelka and Ben Stevenson's Cinderella, The Dying Swan, Giselle in Giselle, Tatiana in Onegin, Desdemona in Othello, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, and leading roles in Ballet Imperial, Dark Elegies, Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, Duets, The Garden of Villandry, Gong,Kaleidoscope, The Leaves Are Fading, Meadow, Mozartiana, Overgrown Path, Sinfonietta, and Theme and Variations.

She created Artemis in Artemis, Sibyl Vane in Dorian, His Memory and His Experiences in HereAfter and leading roles in Apothéose, Americans We, Baroque Game, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, C. to C. (Close to Chuck), Chamber Symphony, Clear, Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra, Cruel World, Getting Closer, Glow - Stop, Known by Heart, Rigaudon, Seven Sonatas, States of Grace, Within You Without You: A Tribute to

George Harrison and Without Words.

First soloist Kelly Myernick will be honored at the 2014 Jubilee of Dance. Ms. Myernick is making her swansong appearance with Houston Ballet by dancing the role of The Mother in Christopher Bruce's Hush (2006), which was created on her in 2006. A native of Portland, Oregon and a graduate of Houston Ballet Academy, Ms. Myernick joined Houston Ballet in 2000, and was promoted to the rank of first soloist in 2008. In her 14-year career at Houston Ballet, Ms. Myernick has performed the roles of Myrtha inGiselle, Kate in Madame Butterfly, the Hungarian Princess in Swan Lake, the Fairy Tempermant in The Sleeping Beauty, Flora in Dracula, Gamzatti in La Bayadère and Hanna in The Merry Widow. Her favorite contemporary work includes Balanchine'sApollo and Serenade; Christopher Bruce's Ghost Dances, Hush, and Sergeant Early's Dream; Ji?í Kylián's Forgotten Landand Svadebka; and Stanton Welch's Indigo, Maninyas, Red Earth, and Velocity.

Company Principals Perform Excerpt from New Works,
Signature Ballets and Beloved Classics

Houston Ballet's principals will star in excerpts of signature works and beloved classics, providing an opportunity for each artist to shine onstage. Principals Karina Gonzalez and Connor Walsh will perform a pas de deux from Act I of Stanton Welch's epic La Bayadère (2010). Principals Melody Mennite and Simon Ball will dance inAssaf Messerer's Spring Waters (1977). An excerpt from Ai-Gul Gaisina's staging of the romantic ballet Giselle(2011) will feature first soloists Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews.

Excerpts from several other ballets will be performed, including Mr. Welch's Maninyas (1996), Tapestry (2011), the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (2014) and Velocity (2003).

Photo Credit: Amitava Sarkar

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