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Ben Stevenson to jobshare in new Houston Ballet pas de deux
Houston Ballet has announced that Ben Stevenson and Trinidad Vives will serve as Co-Artistic Directors from July 1, 2001.

After 25 years in the role of Artistic Director, earning him the accolade of being the longest serving Artistic Director of a US ballet company, Ben Stevensonís decision induced surprise throughout the ballet world.

Rumours were quickly rife that conflicts with Managing Director Cecil C Conner had come to a head. Houston Balletís spokespeople promptly explained that Stevenson had decided to devote his full attention to coaching the company, choreographing new works, and teaching at Houston Ballet Academy, while Vives will focus on the administrative side of the company's activities.

Over the last year, Mr. Stevenson has been the recipient of several prestigious international awards and in December 1999 was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) by Queen Elizabeth II.

Since assuming the leadership of Houston Ballet in 1975, he has transformed the company from a small provincial ensemble to one of America's leading ballet companies. He has developed the troupe from 28 dancers then, to 52 artists today, and has taken the company on critically acclaimed tours across the globe.

Trinidad Vives, a native of Madrid, has served as Assistant to the Artistic Director since 1988. She has played a key role in the day-to-day management of the company's affairs, conducting rehearsals, and helping to set casting, and has also staged Mr. Stevenson's productions of Dracula and Cleopatra for numerous companies across the US.

Cleopatra will be performed at the Sadlers Wells Theatre during Houston Balletís forthcoming tour to London.

Sun Apr 1 2001 (9:39:30 PM)