Hurricane Harvey Has Canceled Houston Ballet's Opening Performance—Here's How Dancers Are Working to Rebuild

The recovery process has begun for much of Texas following the destruction of Hurricane Harvey, and that includes the dance community. Earlier this week, Houston Ballet's executive director Jim Nelson and artistic director Stanton Welch released a statement updating us on the company. "We are grateful to be able to share with you that our dancers, artists, and staff are safe, although many have been displaced and otherwise affected by this terrible storm." They then announced some more difficult news, saying, "Our season-opening performances of Poetry in Motion, scheduled for September 8-17, have been unavoidably canceled."

Despite how disappointing it is for the dancers and audience to be missing out, Houston Ballet is hopeful that its North American premiere of Sir Kenneth Macmillan's Mayerling, which is scheduled to begin on September 21, will still take place. And in the meantime, we've been seeing so many acts of kindness to lift everyones' spirits.

HB principal dancer Connor Walsh shared on his Facebook page that he rescued kittens from drowning in his backyard during the storm.


Miami City Ballet made this heartfelt video.


Demi soloist Harper Watters wrote the following message on Instagram. "I've created a fundraiser benefiting the Houston Ballet on my Facebook page. The goal is 1000$. Please join me and the many other people who are galvanized and ready to face the reality of the devastation head on and begin the rebuilding of our beloved Houston. We might be down but we are not defeated. We are strong. We are #houstonstrong. Texas will be back on its feet dancing again."


The Actors Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) provide assistance to and funding for affected arts organizations.

And Stagestep also announced that they will contribute 50% of the cost of its dance floor systems to dance companies, schools and centers trying to rebuild damaged facilities.

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How to Support the Black Dance Community, Beyond Social Media

The dance community's response to the death of George Floyd was immediate and sweeping on social media. Dance artists, including Desmond Richardson and Martha Nichols, used their social platforms to make meaningful statements about racial inequality. Theresa Ruth Howard's leadership spurred ballet companies including Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre, and New York City Ballet to pledge #BalletRelevesForBlackLives. Among the most vocal supporters have been dance students, who continue to share the faces and gut-wrenching last words of Black men and women who have died in police custody on their Instagram feeds and Stories.

The work we're doing on social media as a community is important and necessary—and we should keep at it. But now, that momentum must also carry us into taking action. Because to be a true ally, action is required.

A responsible ally amplifies Black voices­­. They choose to listen rather than speak. And they willingly throw their support, and, if they can, their dollars, behind Black dancers and Black dance organizations. Here are some ways you can do your part.

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Class of 2020, These Ballet Stars Have a Heartfelt Video Message Just for You

Congratulations to this year's graduating seniors!

You might not have had the chance to take that long planned-for final bow, but we're here to cheer you on and celebrate all that you've accomplished. And we've brought together stars from across the ballet world to help us; check out the video to hear their best wishes for your futures.

To further fête all of the ballet grads out there, we're also giving away 100 free subscriptions to Pointe... plus, one lucky bunhead will receive a personalized message from one of ballet's biggest stars. Click here to enter!


Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/27/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

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