Houston Ballet Joins Companies Across the World in Honoring Antony Tudor
From March 12 – March 22, the Houston Ballet will introduce three works into its repertoire on its program Masters of Movement. The Leaves are Fading is a lyrical study in wistful dreaminess by famed English choreographer Antony Tudor. William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude is a neoclassical showpiece set to the music of Franz Schubert. Jiří Kylián’s Soldiers’ Mass is a commentary on the destruction and devastation of war. Houston Ballet will give six performances of Masters of Movement in Brown Theater at Wortham Theater Center in downtown Houston. Tickets may be purchased by calling 713-227-2787 or by visiting http://www.houstonballet.org.
This year marks the 100-year anniversary of Antony Tudor’s birth. Houston Ballet will be joining ballet companies across the United States to pay homage to Antony Tudor by giving the company premiere of The Leaves are Fading. The Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and The Juilliard School are joining together to perform works by Tudor in his honor.
With a cast of 15 dancers, Antony Tudor’s abstract work The Leaves are Fading is set to a collection of chamber music by Antonin Dvořák arranged for string orchestra, and presents a series of passionate pas de deux, beginning and ending with a single young woman drifting on stage, and evokes the memories of young love. The work was choreographed on American Ballet Theatre and premiered on July 17, 1975. The Leaves are Fading is staged for Houston Ballet by Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner, who each danced several leading roles in this work under Mr. Tudor’s tutelage at American Ballet Theatre.
British born Antony Tudor (1909-1987) was a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. He is best known for establishing the genre of psychological ballet. He was a master of understatement in his approach to choreography and storytelling, and feelings in his ballet are conveyed through subtle gestures, body language, and dramatic expression. Tudor preferred depicting the emotional lives of ordinary people in his ballets, as opposed to courtly characters and fairy-tale creatures which set him apart from Ashton and Balanchine. He also was the resident choreographer for two historic companies: Ballet Rambert in the U.K. and American Ballet Theatre in the U.S. Houston Ballet has two other works by Antony Tudor in its repertory: Dark Elegies, which the company first performed in 1987, and Jardin aux Lilacs (Lilac Garden) which entered the repertory in 1988.