ANDREW NIELSEN TO JOIN HOUSTON BALLET AS
DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION
Houston, Texas – Houston Ballet is pleased to announce that Andrew Nielsen will join its artistic leadership team as Director of Production. Mr. Nielsen will oversee all technical and production management duties for Houston Ballet locally and internationally.
“It is my pleasure to welcome Andrew to Houston Ballet as our new Director of Production. A production department requires a leader with immense talent, creativity, and attention to detail. I believe that Andrew encompasses all these qualities and I look forward to working with him for many years to come,” said Houston Ballet Artistic Director, Stanton Welch AM.
Mr. Nielsen’s past work experience includes leadership roles at American Conservatory Theater, Milwaukee Ballet Company, Fox Theatre (Atlanta) and Atlanta Ballet. Throughout his career Mr. Nielsen has lead teams in the design, construction and tech process of staged productions across the country. At Houston Ballet, Mr. Nielsen will work closely with Artistic Director, Stanton Welch AM, to create and maintain the organization’s long-standing reputation of world-class productions. Joining Mr. Nielsen in Houston are his wife, Raven and two year-old son, Sterling.
“Throughout my career there have been productions, such as Stanton’s Madame Butterfly and A Dance in the Garden of Mirth, that have made a profound impact on me because of their technical precision and artistry,” said Mr. Nielsen. “For this, I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Stanton again and am thrilled to join such a prestigious organization. I look forward to working with Houston Ballet to bring new and exciting productions to life.”
About Houston Ballet
On February 17, 1969 a troupe of 15 young dancers made its stage debut at Sam Houston State Teacher’s College in Huntsville, Texas. Since that time, Houston Ballet has evolved into a company of 59 dancers with a budget of $24.5 million (making it the United States’ fifth largest ballet company by number of dancers), a state-of-the-art performance space built especially for the company, Wortham Theater Center, the largest professional dance facility in America, Houston Ballet’s $46.6 million Center for Dance which opened in April 2011, and an endowment of just over $63 million (as of January 2016).
Australian choreographer Stanton Welch has served as artistic director of Houston Ballet since 2003, raising the level of the company’s classical technique and commissioning many new works from dance makers such as Christopher Bruce, Jorma Elo, James Kudelka, Trey McIntyre, Julia Adam, Natalie Weir, Nicolo Fonte, and Edwaard Liang. Executive Director James Nelson serves as the administrative leader of the company, a position he assumed in February 2012 after serving as the company’s General Manager for over a decade.
Houston Ballet has toured extensively both nationally and internationally. Since 2000, the company has appeared in London at Sadler’s Wells, at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Ottawa, in six cities in Spain, in Montréal, at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in New York at City Center and The Joyce Theater, at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, in Hamburg, Germany, and in cities large and small across the United States. Houston Ballet has emerged as a leader in the expensive, labor-intensive task of nurturing the creation and development of new full-length narrative ballets.
Writing in Dancing Times in June 2012, dance critic Margaret Willis praised Houston Ballet and highlighted the fact that “During his own tenure, (Stanton) Welch has upped the standard and Houston Ballet now shows off a group of 55 dancers in splendid shape. With fast and tidy footwork, they are technically skillful and have strong, broad jumps and expansive, fluid movements. The dancers’ musicality shines through their work, dancing as one with elegance and refinement – and they are a handsome bunch too!…if ballet were an Olympic sport, see Houston Ballet well on the way to achieving gold.”
Houston Ballet Orchestra was established in the late 1970s and currently consists of 61 professional musicians who play all ballet performances at Wortham Theater Center under music director Ermanno Florio.
Houston Ballet’s Education and Outreach Program has reached approximately 45,455 Houston area students (as of January 2016). Houston Ballet’s Academy has over a thousand students and has had five academy students win awards at the prestigious international ballet competition the Prix de Lausanne, with one student winning the overall competition in 2010. For more information on Houston Ballet visit www.houstonballet.org.