Houston Ballet presents ‘The Tempest’
From May 25 – June 4, Houston Ballet will present the North American premiere of David Bintley’s magical ballet The Tempest. In celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Bintley has created a fantastical production based on The Bard’s well-known play.
The Tempest takes place on a remote island where Prospero, 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. Prospero’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. It 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 an 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.
The music for The Tempest was composed by well-known British composer Sally Beamish. Experienced designer Rae Smith created the sets and costumes.
A co-production with Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Tempest is the second work of Bintley’s to enter Houston Ballet’s repertoire. The company previously performed Bintley’s Aladdin in 2014. For more information, visit www.houstonballet.org.
Photo: Jenna Roberts as Miranda and Joseph Caley as Ferdinand in David Bintley’s The Tempest. Photo by Bill Cooper, courtesy of Birmingham Royal Ballet.