The Houston Ballet will bring an intense night of contemporary ballet to the Lied Center this week with a program that includes "Indigo," "Esmeralda pas de deux" and "The Firebird."
The concert is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Residency activities include a lecture by Kansas University professors Dan Politoske, Joan Stone and Jerel Hilding to the New Generation Society at 4 p.m. Monday in the Seymour Gallery at the Lied Center and a master class with KU intermediate ballet students from 12:30 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. Tuesday in room 240 at the Robinson Center.
One of the leading ballet companies in the United States, the Houston Ballet features choreography by James Kudelka, former director of the National Ballet of Canada.
The 54-member company also capitalizes on the unique set design of Santo Loquasto, who won Tony Awards for "The Cherry Orchard" and "Cafe Crown."
The show features Igor Stravinsky's "The Firebird." Based on two Russian fairy tales, the ballet is about Prince Ivan, who captures the firebird and then releases her after she gives the prince one of her plumes, which can be used to summon her help. The prince falls in love with Princess Vasilisa, but their love is thwarted by the spell of the demon king. Together the prince and the firebird defeat the king.
The ballet's set design is inspired by Mayan art and Central American culture.
The rest of the concert includes a revival of Australian choreographer Stanton Welch's "Indigo," a showcase for speed and athleticism. Next will be the classic showpiece "Esmeralda pas de deux," with choreography by Ben Stevenson.
Tickets for the two-hour show are from $16 to $38. Tickets are available at the Lied Center Box Office, 864-ARTS; Murphy Hall Box Office, 864-3982; Student Union Activities Box Office, 864-3477; Ticketmaster outlets, (785) 234-4545 and (816) 931-3330; and online at TICKETS.COM.