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Arts / Performing Arts

Houston Heiress’ Multi-Million Dollar Gift Ensures that a Special Show Will Go On Forever

A Huge Ballet Fan Puts Her Money Where Her Heart Is

BY // 11.13.17
photography Amitava Sarkar

Ah, the generous ladies who love the Houston Ballet. First, Lynn Wyatt underwrites the cost of a portable dance floor for the displaced company. Then, Margaret Alkek Williams steps up with the family foundation checkbook in hand to guarantee that one of the company’s most popular programs, Jubilee of Dance, continues into perpetuity.

Houston Ballet is announcing that as a thank you for her multi-million dollar gift, which permanently endows the one-night performance extravaganza, and her long-time generous support of the ballet, the evening of dance has been renamed the Margaret Alkek Williams Jubilee of Dance.

This once-a-year presentation has become a favorite of balletomanes and those just dipping their toes into world of pirouettes and tour jetés. The varied program embraces every aspect of the ballet repertoire showcasing its range of talent and versatility.

Houston Ballet’s Stanton Welch established the evening of dance shortly after being named artistic director. His concept was to take the audience through seasons past and seasons to come in a colorful and varied parade of dance.

“Jubilee of Dance is one of the performances I most look forward to every year,” Alkek Williams noted in a statement. “The program is always exciting . . . It’s an exhilarating celebration of dance. I know it means a lot to Stanton to ‘show off’ the diversity of talent throughout the company and to ensure each dancer has challenging work to perform on this special evening.”

The 2017 Jubilee of Dance takes place Wednesday night, November 15, at Sarofim Hall in the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts and will feature Clear, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Carousel (A Dance), Marie, The Sleeping Beauty, Punctilious, Raymonda, The Ladies, and Symphony in C.

 Alkek Williams has served on the ballet board since 1989 and on the executive committee board since 2003. She is an inaugural member of the ballet’s highest giving society, Etoile.

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