By Eric Viudes, Copyright 2004
DANSE - European Dance News, Paris

Dance Salad 2004 turned out to be one of the big successes of the spring dance season in Houston, Texas. Nancy Henderek, the founder and producer of this annual anthology of outstanding international ballet excerpts, selects dancers of exceptional talent from a variety of companies and the work of some of the best choreographers in the business.

Once again, Henderek has brought the universal language of dance to an appreciative public in Houston and her Dance Salad has become the essential meeting point for some of the best international performances in Texas and beyond.

Two thousand and four makes the 12th year that Henderek has assembled such an impressive variety of dancers and dance-makers. By now, the fame of the yearly Dance Salads has spread far and wide. Whether classical or modern the repertoir ranges from the poetic to the powerful, thus providing audiences with a chance to discover and to enjoy performers and choreographers from a broad cultural background.

The Royal Danish Ballet contributed pieces by Peter Martins and Tim Rushton with four of the company's best dancers. The Nederlands Dans Theater provided samples by Jiri Kylian, Paul Lightfoot and Gustave Ramirez San Sano danced by the three groups that make up the company.

From Finland came the work of Susanna Leinonen and Sami Saikkonen, two Finnish choreographers, together with a group of dancers from the Finnish National Ballet. Belgium was represented by, among others, dancers from the Royal Ballet of Flanders performing a neo-classical piece by Christopher d'Amboise. Other leading troupes traveled to Houston from Hong Kong and Brazil, as well as from New York, Chicago and Miami.

Each new annual edition of Dance Salad gives further proof of its increasing reputation and stature in the wide world of dance.