Stanton Welch AM’s “Velocity” – Choreographer’s Notes

A high-speed riff on traditional ballet technique for eight men and eight women, Velocity pays homage to classical conventions in a contemporary manner. “Velocity is true classical dance at its most agile and exciting,” commented Welch. “I’m playing with the speed and agility of classical ballet. This work tests the limits and talents of the dancers, because they’re going as fast as they can, pushing their technique and bravado.”

Welch created Velocity for The Australian Ballet, and it premiered in 2003 to critical acclaim. Jill Sykes, dance critic for The Sydney Morning Herald wrote, “Velocity is well named. It is a headlong gallop of virtuosic dance that is stamped with the classical technique, yet races ahead with explosive twists which test the dancers’ skills.” Lee Christofis, writing for The Australian, remarked, “The Australian Ballet had a winner in Velocity. A dazzling display of formal structures and fireworks…it is rich and dangerous.” In an article appearing in The Age before the world premiere, David McAllister, artistic director of The Australian Ballet, was quoted as saying, “Velocity is triple-million-dollar pointwork sort of stuff! There’s no holding back.” In a review for the same publication, Hillary Crampton wrote, “In Welch’s Velocity, ballet is the star.”

– Provided by Houston Ballet