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October 04, 2013
Vol. 55 No. 5

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Houston Ballet II to dance, present classics at SU

"These are very young dancers, high school age, college age, that are dancing at an international level," Associate Professor of Music Marcus Krieger said of the Houston Ballet II, scheduled to perform at Susquehanna on Tuesday, Oct. 8.
The Houston Ballet II is the second performance scheduled as part of Susquehanna's Artist Series. The most recent performance was Taikoza, a musical group with a focus on traditional Japanese music as well as choreography. Krieger said that the two groups' art forms are similar because of their rigor and physical demand
The Houston Ballet II is the second company of the Houston Ballet, which is the fourth largest ballet company in the U.S. It features students from around the world. The group travels extensively, learning from other professional dancers and honing their skills. The members perform excerpts from many classics, including "Sleeping Beauty," "The Nutcracker" and "Swan Lake."
Krieger said that the company has been very difficult to schedule, as they are on the move quite often, performing and competing both nationally and internationally.
"We have been flirting with them for at least three years now, trying to see if we could get the scheduling to work," Krieger said. "They don't know where they may end up in five years from now. They travel a lot as part of their actual training."
The company is under the direction of Stanton Welch and Shelly Power, artistic and academy directors, respectively. The dancers are coached and taught by ballet master Claudio Muñoz, ballet mistress Sabrina Lenzi and the other faculty of the Houston Academy.
Krieger stated that the upcoming performance will consist of two major parts. Within the first half of the performance, one can expect the typical and classical style of Ballet. The second half of the performance is designed to be more contemporary.
He said: "It's a situation where you have people who were born dancing classical ballet that are also capable of using all of their languages onstage. They have mixed the position of old and new in a very interesting way."
One of the pieces to expect is an act from "Sleeping Beauty." For those new to ballet, this will be an opportunity to find a level of familiarity, while experiencing something new. Krieger referred to ballet as its own language. Through this act, it should become easier to understand that language through a familiarity with the story.
"It's such a beautiful expression of what the human body can do in terms of artistic expression," he said.
Krieger encourages all students to attend the performance.
"You are all in college. This is the time to see all that you have not seen yet," Krieger said. "That's why we bring these things here."

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