Sara Webb, Principal
Academy of Nevada Dance Theater
The Harid Conservatory
Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy
Joined the Company
Promoted to Principal
The title roles in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella and Glen Tetley's Voluntaries
"A ballerina who dances from the soul, bleeding musicality, technical virtuosity, speed, fearlessness and spunk through her gracefully arched feet and liquid arms. Her lightness of being is so palpable, she seems to float even when she's standing; and when a partner lifts her, you almost wonder if she's attached to flying wires." - Molly Glentzer (Houston Chronicle review of Romeo and Juliet, featuring Ms. Webb as Juliet)
"What makes her so powerful is her astounding versatility. With languid arms, she bourrées her petal-petite frame across the stage — embodying the period's reverence for the delicate ballerina, only to erupt moments later into a dynamic attack of balance, extension, strength, musicality and expression.
My first impression of her as being flower-like was brushed aside for the impression of towering strength and back and forth I went — two seeming opposites that Webb somehow reconciles into a single space. There were moments when the rolling span of her upper body, sky-scraping développés and brightness of presence seemed to add not merely inches but whole feet to her small stature.
Webb has another, equally important talent: She plays an innocent, giddy teenager with as much ease as a reawakened, wiser Aurora, proving that even within the strict parameters of classical ballet, onstage emotion can live large." -Heather Hays (Deseret News review of The Sleeping Beauty, featuring Ms. Webb as Aurora)
One defining moment...
Being coached by Glen Tetley for Voluntaries was truly inspiring.
Sara Webb received her early training at the Academy of Nevada Dance Theatre and at the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida, from which she graduated in 1996. Ms. Webb was invited to join Houston Ballet in 1997. She was promoted to principal in 2003. She has performed the lead roles in a number of Ben Stevenson's classical productions, including Aurora and Blue Bird in The Sleeping Beauty, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Kitri in Don Quixote, Swanilda in Coppélia, Alice and Tiger Lily in Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella in Cinderella, Svetlana in Dracula, the pas de deux from Esmeralda, and both Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker. Equally familiar with the work of other classical choreographers, she has also been featured in the lead roles in Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardée; Johnny Eliasen's staging of La Sylphide; Stanton Welch's Swan Lake, Madame Butterfly and Marie; John Cranko's The Taming of the Shrew (Bianca); Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Manon; Ai-Gul Gaisina's and Maina Gielgud's staging of Giselle; James Kudelka's The Firebird; Valencienne in Ronald Hynd's The Merry Widow; Princess Badr al-Budur in David Bintley's Aladdin; and Titania and Hermia in John Neumeier's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Trey McIntyre created and set on Ms. Webb the role of Wendy in his Peter Pan (2002) and the role of Thumbelina in The Shadow (2003). The role of Nikiya was created on Ms. Webb in Stanton Welch's 2010 staging of La Bayadère.
In addition to her classical work, Ms. Webb has performed feature roles in a number of Houston Ballet's repertory works, including Stanton Welch's TuTu, Nosotros, Divergence, Maninyas, A Dance in the Garden of Mirth, Indigo, Velocity, Bruiser, and Of Blessed Memory; Mr. Stevenson's Four Last Songs and Five Poems; Christopher Bruce's Ghost Dances, Sergeant Early's Dream, Rooster and the world premiere of Hush; Antony Tudor's The Leaves are Fading (fourth movement); Glen Tetley's Voluntaries (Central Couple); Trey McIntyre's Second Before the Ground; Serge Lifar's Suite en Blanc; Harald Lander's Etudes; Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort, Forgotten Land and Falling Angels; Song of the Earth (The Woman); Sir Kenneth McMillan's Gloria (Pas de Quatre); George Balanchine's Theme and Variations, Apollo (Terpsichore), Western Symphony, The Four Temperaments (the Sanguinic couple), Serenade (Russian Girl and Waltz Girl) and Symphony in C (first movement), Ballet Imperial (Ballerina); Sir Frederick Ashton's Les Patineurs; Nacho Duato's Without Words; Christopher Wheeldon's Carousel and Rush; William Forsythe's In the middle, somewhat elevated and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude; Lila York's Rules of the Game; Natalie Weir's Steppenwolf and The Host; Julia Adam's The Accidental; Mark Morris's Sandpaper Ballet and Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes; Twyla Tharp’s The Brahms-Haydn Variations; Edwaard Liang’s Murmuration; Jerome Robbin's In the Night (first couple) and Afternoon of a Faun; Jorma Elo’s ONE/end/ONE. Ms. Webb was honored to perform Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux at the 2008 Fall For Dance Festival at City Center in New York as well as at Houston Ballet's Jubilee of Dance the same year. She was a finalist at the 2002 International Ballet Competition, performing Mr. Stevenson's Twilight, which he choreographed and set on Ms. Webb and Ian Casady for the competition, and they performed in its world premiere at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 2002.
In the summer of 2004, Ms. Webb guested with The Australian Ballet performing La Fille mal gardee. In the fall of 2008, Ms. Webb made guest performances at Ballet West, performing the role of Miranda in Michael Smuin's The Tempest and Ben Stevenson's Three Preludes in their annual gala. Ms. Webb returned to Ballet West in the fall of 2009 and performed Ashton's The Dream. She had the wonderful opportunity to work with Sir Anthony Dowell on the role of Titania. She also performed Flames of Paris pas de deux in Ballet West's annual gala and returned again in February 2011 to dance the role of Aurora in their newly created production of Sleeping Beauty. Sara also performed in the Stars of the 21st Century Gala in Panama City in February 2012. In the summer of 2012, Sara performed Manon with National Ballet of Japan at the New National Theatre, Tokyo.
Sara Webb is married to Ryan Bardo. They have two children, Joshua and Lillian.
Houston Ballet's Sara Webb
Resource Links Below
Celebrating 10 Years of Pointe Magazine – Pointe Magazine
Profile on Sara Webb- Mormon Artist Magazine
Pregnant ballerina makes a pointe about good health – Houston Chronicle
Houston Ballet Principal Sara Webb Calls Cypress Home – CyFair Magazine
Dancing from a new perspective – En Pointe Blog
Meet the Artist: Sara Webb
Stanton Welch's La Bayadère
Christopher Wheeldon's Carousel (A Dance)
Stanton Welch's Nosotros
Ben Stevenson's The Sleeping Beauty
Sara Webb and Joseph Walsh talk about their roles in Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Manon on The Front Row (KUHF 88.7)
Sara Webb and Connor Walsh talk about dancing Ben Stevenson’s Don Quixote on The Front Row (KUHF 88.7)
Sara Webb and American Ballet Theatre star Marcelo Gomes talk about Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker on The Front Row (KUHF 88.7)
Headshot by: Busath Photography
Dance photo: Amitava Sarkar