HOUSTON – The Houston Ballet is celebrating its 50th year and the start of the holiday season. Friday is opening night for the company’s performance of Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker at the Wortham Theater Center.
The Houston Ballet started as a company of 16 dancers 50 years ago. It has since grown to 61. This year, The Nutcracker is showing at the Wortham Theater Center for the second time since Hurricane Harvey.
"It makes Christmas start and come alive," Michelle Cantoni, a Conroe resident, said.
"I just love the dancing, the music, the outfits," Mila Perez, another audience member from Deer Park, said.
This year, opening night was almost completely sold out.
By the numbers
There are a lot of moving parts in this production. Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:
- 61 company dancers
- 344 young dancers with 313 young dancers from the Houston Ballet Academy
- 30 dancers who were found during open call auditions
- 67 technicians built the set for the 2016 debut of Stanton Welch’s version of The Nutcracker
- 5 magical set changes
- Act I will have a 7-ton, two-story house
- 17,000 sq ft stage
- 3200 hours to complete the gold trim extension
- -5,000 patrons are expected to see the show
- The iconic Christmas tree will extend 39-feet
Fun for generations
The breathtaking, colorful sets and whimsical, beloved characters along with the beauty of ballet keep families coming back every year.
Sophie Cantoni attended this year with her mother and grandmother with three generations sharing in the nostalgia of winter wonder and togetherness.
“I’ve seen it in three really different parts of my life, and it’s really cool to grow up and watch it!” she said.
“The music —Oh, it just goes all through my head all throughout the Christmas season!” Sophie’s mother Michelle said.
“I’m going to cry... it’s very special,” said Sophie’s grandmother, Catherine Hopkins.
How you can attend
There will be 37 total performances including 3 student matinees. The show runs until Dec 29th.
You can get more information and tickets on the Houston Ballet website.