Founded in 1976, Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre (BAHBT) strives to enhance cultural awareness through performing arts and develop aspiring performers in the diverse populations of the Bay Area Houston area. Dedicated to expanding the company’s audience and making the performing arts reachable to the widest and most diverse community possible, the mission is achieved through educational programs, collaborative projects and interactive experiences.
The company produces a season each year in their performing residence, the University of Houston – Clear Lake, which includes an eclectic array of classical ballet and contemporary dance.
The company also performs on a regular basis at various local events such as the Panhellenic, Go Texan and Lunar Rendezvous Festival Fashion Shows and Luncheons. In addition, they have performed at the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce Ball, the Ballunar Festival, the Nutcracker Market, Kemah Boardwalk and Baybrook Mall. Appearances at these and other community events are on a pro bono basis to demonstrate the company’s support and interest in collaborative projects and interactive experiences that are mutually beneficial for both organizations and particularly for the entire Bay Area Houston.
Since its beginning, BAHBT has brought many world-renowned performing artists and choreographers to work and perform with the company. The 2003-2004 season marked an evolution of the company with the addition of Artists in Residence to the BAHBT roster.
A significant artistic advance came in 2008 when Luis Fuente was appointed as BAHBT’s Ballet Master. In addition to an impressive and highly regarded career with the Joffrey Ballet, Fuente brought his equally impressive gift of choreography to BAHBT. He created an original production of Firebird for the 2009-2010 Season and an original production of Dracula with BAHBT’s then Ballet Mistress, Natalie Zundel, for the 2010-2011 Season.
In 2009, the company ventured past the confines of the theatre setting and took its art form “to the streets,” with the addition of Site Specific performances. In February 2011, in support of NASA’s GO BOLDLY campaign, BAHBT’s DANCE BOLDLY season included a site specific performance at NASA’s Rocket Park. BAHBT returned to Rocket Park in 2013 with Celestial Mechanics for an art installation.
The 2015-2016 season marked yet another milestone in BAHBT history. The world renowned ballet luminary and frequent guest artist, Nelson Madrigal, officially joined BAHBT in August 2015 as its Artistic Director. In fall of 2015, we brought the performing arts to local area schools. A short ballet of Snow White was specially staged and it was a huge success! Since it was enjoyed by students, faculty/staff and our dancers alike, we brought a short ballet of our latest, Cinderella, in spring of 2017.
In keeping with the company’s mission of providing diversified performances, as well as opportunities for aspiring Broadway bound company members, BAHBT has included musicals in their repertoire over the years. Gypsy, one of BAHBT’s inaugural musicals, featured the Tony Nominated performer, Andrea McArdle, who was the original Annie on Broadway. BAHBT has been fortunate enough to have Kevin Cahoon, a highly regarded Broadway veteran, to direct productions of Grease, Annie, Seussical, Bye Bye Birdie and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
BAHBT is proud to continue its long-standing commitment to bringing cultural enrichment to Bay Area Houston while providing a tutelage for the aspiring artists of tomorrow. Support from the community, be it financial donations, attendance at performances or participation in our annual fundraising events is greatly appreciated.