History Becomes HERstory As Stanton Welch's Marie Closes Houston Ballet's 2018/19 Season
In this dramatic retelling of France's infamous young monarchs, history becomes HERstory as Stanton Welch's Marie returns to the Wortham Theater Center to close Houston Ballet's 2018/19 season.
The past unfolds in the three-act ballet that chronicles the Queen's life in a time of immense social and political strife for the people of France. Returning to the role originally created on her in 2009, Houston Ballet Principal Dancer Melody Mennite will dance the ballet's namesake once again.
There is something really special about telling a historical story, says Mennite. Marie was a real person, not just a character. Knowing her as someone's daughter, someone's wife, someone's mother, it brings a visceral element as a dancer and the audience will feel that too.
Welch aimed to tell the whole story of Marie Antoinette, showing one woman's complex struggle to protect her family, friends and nation. He has done so with the powerful blend of storytelling, artistry and choreography he is known for.
Transporting audiences to 18th century France, Marie is beautifully designed by Kandis Cook. The Canadian born designer created both costumes and scenic designs for Welch's work, making it the second time she had done so for Houston Ballet. Fit for any queen, her collection is both remarkably attune to the era and danceable for the modern-day Company.
Marie is comprised of compositions from Dmitri Shostakovich's rich body of work. Welch and Ermanno Florio, Houston Ballet's Music Director and Principal Conductor, spent more than 10 months compiling this exquisite score, later realizing the parallels between Shostakovich and the Queen. In addition to each of their persecutions, Marie's closing at the guillotine accompanied by the Adagio from the Ballet Suite No. 2 came from The Limpid Stream. This would be the last ballet the 20th-century Russian composer would ever composed.
With every detail of Marie carefully thought out from every hand that has touched it, Marie is history in movement and not to be missed. Join Houston Ballet for the poignant and powerful return June 14-23 by reserving your seats now at HoustonBallet.org or 713.227.ARTS(2787).