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Dominic Walsh Announces the closing of DWDT
HOUSTON— At the end of August of this year, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater will be closing the book on its 13-year history. Dominic spent the 2014-15 season on sabbatical from the company to work on personal art projects and prepare for his daughter’s arrival, who was born in February of this year. “I was spread thin at DWDT, with each sector of the organization in need of my attention. I found myself getting pulled into more and more administrative duties, which left little time for me in the studio doing what I opened the company to do. Now I have the priority of family and must make adjustments to my time commitments.”
Dominic is continuing with a busy schedule traveling the globe creating new works and staging existing creations. This season he will be creating/staging his works for Ballet San Antonio, Colorado Ballet, Festival Ballet Providence, Whim W’Him, and Asami Maki Ballet in Tokyo. He is also traveling, giving master classes and workshops, as well as staging works by his former director and mentor, Ben Stevenson. Last season Dominic staged Mr. Stevenson’s Romeo and Juliet, and this season, his Swan Lake. He has also staged his Esmeralda Pas de Deux in Tokyo and Cinderella for Tulsa Ballet in past years.
Dominic Walsh Dance Theater became an important cultural landmark for Houston as well as nationally and internationally. DWDT was often featured in national and international magazines and newspapers for its unique take on narrative works, collaborations and contacts with the most iconic choreographers of our day. (Recently the company was listed as one of the top 10 things about Texas in Air France’s March issue) DWDT performed the most recent work by Jiri Kylian, the 2007 Gala version of 27’ 52”. They were the first U.S. company to add the work of Mats Ek into its repertoire, and the only company outside of his own to dance a section from Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake.
“ I feel really good about all we have accomplished with relatively limited resources. I can close this chapter knowing that we have surpassed our artistic goals and I’m very proud of what we accomplished and contributed to Houston and the overall dance world,”says Dominic.
DWDT was also known for collaborating with other Houston groups like Musiqa, Opera in the Heights, Houston Grand Opera, Lawndale, MFAH, Blaffer Gallery, UH Clear Lake, local artists, and especially Mercury Houston, the longtime collaborating organization that helped to bring Romeo & Juliet, Contemporary Baroque as well as opera productions to the stage. Walsh has given talks and presentations at Houston Jung’s Center, TEDx Houston, City Art Works, as well as a number of Houston organizations.
To wrap up the journey, company photographer Gabriella Nissen has been working on a photo book documenting the company. Since 2006 Gaby has been with DWDT, capturing its sublime moments from behind her lens. She and Dominic will launch the 200 page coffee table photo book this winter. “It’s amazing how the book is finishing up now and how things come together at the right time,’ says Walsh. “Having this beautiful representation of all we have done is both cathartic and gratifying. I’m so thankful to Gaby and everyone who had contributed in whatever way they could to this beautiful endeavor.”
Dominic Walsh moved to Houston, Texas to attend Houston Ballet’s school in 1987 and joined the company in 1989. In 2002, while still a Principal Dancer with Houston Ballet, he founded the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. In 2004, Dominic left Houston Ballet in order to devote his time to choreographing and building his new company.
Following the its debut in February 2003, Dance Magazine declared, “At last Houston has a contemporary dance company on par with its symphony, opera and ballet companies.”
Season after season, DWDT has built a stellar reputation for taking the techniques and skills of classical ballet into more contemporary realm where sensuality and intimacy meet muscular fluidity. And, by October 2012 the company’s repertoire had grown to 60 ballets, many of which were choreographed by Dominic Walsh.
However, collaboration with other arts organizations, artists and choreographers has also been critical to the company’s artistic growth, integrity and respect for the craft. In addition to Walsh’s inventive works the repertoire also includes work by such iconic choreographers as Mauro Bigonzetti, Jirí Kylián, Ben Stevenson, Mats Ek and Matthew Bourne.
By bringing together the world’s greatest choreographers consummate dancers, musicians, designers, and visual artists, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater revolutionizes how you see, hear, and feel ballet.
To learn more about DWDT through the years please visit the Past Seasons section.
Dominic Walsh Dance Theater’s program Moving Bodies, Moving Minds is an Education & Outreach program that offers opportunities for all ages including outreach programs, lectures/demonstrations, master classes, and open rehearsals.
In addition to producing a vibrant Houston season, DWDT has toured nationally and internationally and has appeared at the IX International Ballet Festival of Miami, the Vail Valley International Dance Festival, the Extremadura International Contemporary Language Dance Festival in Mexico, Spain’s Torrevieja Gala, Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Joyce SoHo, Ballet Quad Cities, Friends University, and galas in Europe.
Since 2002, there have been so many incredible moments it is difficult to select only a few to highlight. We have included much of the history throughout the site with photos, a list of the repertoire and background notes on the works.
The work that Dominic Walsh and his company have been producing for since 2002 has touched the lives of people all over the world. Each production reminds us of the importance of protecting and supporting arts that provide innovative, thought provoking and internationally acclaimed performances year after year. Dominic Walsh Dance Theater continues to accomplish this and also collaborates with national and international artists.
The arts need our support, now more than ever and we hope you will consider making an investment today in Dominic Walsh Dance Theater’s future and in the future of arts in our communities.