Houston Ballet doco airing on TV

Artists of Houston Ballet in Stanton Welch’s La BayadereOn Saturday, January 17, Houston Ballet’s documentary Houston Ballet: Breaking Boundaries will air on KPRC Channel 2 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The 85-minute documentary travels through the rich history of Houston Ballet starting with the city’s budding interest in ballet in the 1930s and continuing to the present.


The film traces the directorships of each of Houston Ballet’s five artistic directors since the company’s founding in 1955. In the documentary, the voices of many key players, including not only the artistic directors but dancers, board leaders and dance critics who helped propel Houston Ballet to its current international stature. The documentary had its world premiere at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival in November 2013 with wonderful success and demands for additional showings.


Key themes presented in the film include the early impact of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in the 1930s and 1940s in instilling a love of dance among Houstonians, the determination and perseverance of a handful of Houston’s founding families during the 1960s and 1970s, the making of a legendary ballet star through color-blind casting in the 1980s and 1990s, diplomatic struggles and international incidents, and exposure to the world’s best artistic talent.


Dance critic Nancy Wozny proclaims, “The documentary provides breathtaking footage of the company, some shot from the wings, some shot from even the catwalk above the stage.”


The director of the documentary is John Carrithers of Carrithers Studio, a Houston-based filmmaker who served as photography director on several recent feature documentary projects, including: Mothers At War, a film about women combat veterans; 38 Pieces, a documentary about the Byzantine Frescoes rescued by Dominique de Menil; and Relocation Arkansas, a chronicle of Japanese Americans growing up in an internment camp in Arkansas during WWII. Carrithers has also created numerous works for Houston Grand Opera, Asia Society Texas and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, among others.


For more information on Houston Ballet: Breaking Boundaries, visit www.houstonballet.org. Watch a preview below.



Photo: Artists of Houston Ballet in Stanton Welch’s La Bayadere. Photo by Amitava Sarkar.