Curtain Up

October 17, 2011

Radiance. A divine delight in dancing. Finely tuned muscles. Eyes that captivate. These are attributes that have made Karina González an audience favorite in just one year at Houston Ballet. I was fortunate to see her dance with Tulsa Ballet, and now Houston Ballet is fortunate to have her. A transplant from Caracas, Karina can fill the stage with pathos as well as with joy. Read Nancy Wozny’s “A Delicate Fire” to learn how this young dancer thrives not only on the wide-ranging repertoire of Houston Ballet but, as she says, on artistic director Stanton Welch “pushing me to the limit.”

Every year it’s our pleasure to honor the greats in the dance field. In preparation for our Awards evening on December 5, we take a look at our five outstanding recipients. They are Dr. William Hamilton, a pioneer of dance medicine; Kathleen Marshall, the director/choreographer who brought us the shimmering revival of Anything Goes; Yvonne Rainer, the renegade who helped transform modern into postmodern; Jenifer Ringer, a ballerina of glowing warmth; and Alexei Ratmansky, the busiest ballet choreographer on earth. They enrich our world immeasurably.

All dancers have a complex relationship to the mirror. We love it, we hate it. It loves us back, it hates us back. In “The Mirror Mystique,” the always imaginative Allegra Kent talks about the reflection as a catalyst for magical things to happen—in class, rehearsal, and onstage. Of course, the mirror can also be consuming in a detrimental way. When Allegra extends her contemplation to other dancers and certain choreographers (yes, Jerome Robbins is one) and artistic directors, the picture—and the reflection—gets even more complicated.

I hope you’ve discovered the “From the Vault” section that’s graced our “Letters” page since January. This time we dug up a photo of a favorite dancer of my teenage years, the Joffrey’s Lisa Bradley. Sensual, strong, and feminine, she captured my imagination, and obviously Doris Hering’s too, 45 years ago. Stay tuned for more treasures from the vault to come.



Photo by Matthew Karas.