In 2002, Dominic Walsh, Principal Dancer and Choreographer with Houston Ballet, founded his contemporary ballet company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. After the company’s debut in February 2003, Dance Magazine declared, “At last Houston has a contemporary dance company on par with its symphony, opera and ballet companies.” Since then, the company has been racking up accolades and honors and has built a stellar reputation for taking the techniques and skills of classical ballet into groundbreaking territory. Today, the company’s roster includes dancers of the highest caliber and its repertoire features inventive works by Walsh and such iconic choreographers as Mats Ek, Jiří Kylián, Mauro Bigonzetti, and Matthew Bourne.
Walsh was born in Elgin, Illinois in 1971 and started his training at an early age with Lisa Boehm, Warren Conover, and Larry Long in Chicago. He joined Houston Ballet in 1989, was promoted to Soloist in 1993, and Principal Dancer by 1996. Walsh danced throughout Asia, Europe, and North America receiving praise from international critics including Anna Kisselgoff of the New York Times who called him “impressively virtuosic” and the New York Post’s Clive Barnes who described him as “excellent and exuberant.” Walsh has danced all the major classics including Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote, Romeo & Juliet, and Manon with international stars such as Nina Ananiashvili and Alessandra Ferri.
He danced Houston Ballet’s entire contemporary repertoire, and Ben Stevenson created numerous roles for him including Marc Antony in Cleopatra. Walsh was the inspiration for the lead roles in Natalie Weir’s Steppenwolf and In a Whisper. Some of the choreographers most influential to his artistic development include Ben Stevenson, Jiří Kylián, Nacho Duato, Natalie Weir, William Forsythe, Glen Tetley, Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillian, George Balanchine, and Christopher Bruce.
In 1998, Walsh created Flames of Eros when Ben Stevenson invited him to choreograph on Houston Ballet. This work won the prestigious Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography. He created three more works for Houston Ballet and Houston Ballet Academy. In June 2004, after 17 years with Houston Ballet, Walsh left to pursue Dominic Walsh Dance Theater full-time.
Walsh won a second Choo-San Goh Award in 2007 for Amadeus for Anita, and received a 2008 Princess Grace Award for Mozart. Walsh was named a winner of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s 2010 National Choreographic Competition, and he was the Audience Choice and one of two Judges’ Award winners in Ballet Austin’s 2010 New American Talent/Dance Choreographic Competition. Walsh has been prolific, creating as many as three to five new works each season. For Dominic Walsh Dance Theater he has choreographed Katharsis (2002), The Miller’s Daughter (2003), Mularra (2004), Duo (2005), Bello (2005), For the Two of you (2005), T’Kiah Lanefesh (2005), Romeo & Juliet (2006), Le Spectre de la Rose (2006), I Napoletani (2007), The Sleeping Beauty (2007), Terminus (2008), Titus Andronicus (2008), The Trilogy: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (2008-2009), The Dying Swan (2009), Afternoon of a Faun (2009), The Firebird (2009), Victor Frankenstein (2011), Clair de Lune (2011), Time out of Line (2011), Ancora lá (2011), Camille Claudel (2012), Uzume (2012) and Sound of Cells (2013).
Walsh continues to receive commissions to set and create works nationally and internationally including Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, Italy, Medea (2009) and The Sleeping Beauty (2011); Ballet Florida, Bello (2006); Ballet Quad Cities, The Nutcracker (2008); American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Alchemy (2004); London Studio Centre, Sub-Luminus (2010); Asami Maki Ballet Tokyo, À Bientot (2006); New National Theatre, Tokyo, Orfeo ed Euridice (2007) and Wolfgang for Webb (2010). After the premiere of Orfeo ed Euridice, critic Ryoko Sasaki wrote: “It is a sophisticated excellent work with meditation and emotion moderately blended with each other.” And critic Akiko Tachiki said: “The choreography in which techniques of classic ballet and contemporary dance fuse was full of deformations and twists, and sparkled with unique originality.” Walsh is also the Resident Choreographer for Sarasota Ballet of Florida, creating/staging Wolfgang for Webb (2008), The Trilogy (2009), and Time out of Line (2011).