Karina Gonzalez

Houston Ballet

From Caracas to Houston


Karina Gonzalez is a native of Caracas, Venezuela, and trained at Escuela Ballet-Arte Fundación Gustavo Franklin and also danced professionally with Ballet Nacional de Caracas.

Gonzalez joined Tulsa Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2005.

In 2007, Gonzalez won the silver medal at the New York International Ballet Competition. That same year, she was promoted to principal dancer at Tulsa Ballet.

Pointe February/March 2008 cover provided courtesy of Pointe.

In 2010, Gonzalez joined Houston Ballet as a soloist and was promoted to principal dancer in 2013.

Dance Magazine November 2011 cover provided courtesy of Dance Magazine.


Karina Gonzalez reflects on her Hispanic heritage and how it has contributed to her success.

Selected Performances and Career Highlights

Gonzalez in a promotional image for Houston Ballet's performance of Divergence in 2012.

Divergence is the work that launched Stanton Welch AM's career. At the time of its premiere, it was said to be one of the most difficult and progressive ballets of the decade.

World-renowned photographer Jordan Matter, creator of the Dancers Among Us project, photographed the Houston Ballet company and captured this image of Gonzalez while on tour in 2013.

2013 marked the company premiere of George Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial and featured Gonzalez in the principal female role.

Balanchine choreographed Ballet Imperial for American Ballet Caravan. It premiered June 25, 1941, at the Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro.

Gonzalez with Lang Lang in a performance of Sons de L'âme.

In October 2013, Houston Ballet premiered Sons de L'âme at the historic Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, France. The piece, choreographed by Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch AM and set to music by Frédéric Chopin, featured an on-stage performance by distinguished pianist, Lang Lang. Sons de L'âme was taped for television and broadcast across several European countries.

Gonzalez first performed Petite Mort, one of Jiří Kylián's most popular works, with Houston Ballet in 2014.

Kylián created Petite Mort especially for the Salzburg Festival in 1991, on the second centenary of Mozart’s death.

In 2014, Gonzalez performed the role of Titania in John Neumeier's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Neumeier created A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1977 for Hamburg Ballet. In 2014, Houston Ballet became the first North American ballet company to perform the famous work.

Jorma Elo created ONE/end/ONE for Houston Ballet in 2011. Gonzalez was part of the original cast and performed it for the second time in 2014.

Karina Gonzalez and Connor Walsh performing Jorma Elo's ONE/end/ONE.

Edwaard Liang created Murmuration on Houston Ballet in 2013, with Gonzalez in the original cast.

Stanton Welch AM created the roles of Romeo and Juliet on Connor Walsh and Karina Gonzalez. Here, the two are pictured during the rehearsal process.

Houston Ballet premiered Stanton Welch AM's Romeo & Juliet on February 26, 2015, with Gonzalez in the title role.

As Houston Ballet toured Stanton Welch AM's Romeo & Juliet to Melbourne in July 2016, Gonzalez has now danced the role of Juliet in both the United States and Australia.

Gonzalez has performed Maninyas several times, most recently in Ludwigshafen and Bonn, Germany, in April 2017.

Maninyas was created for San Francisco Ballet in 1996 and was Stanton Welch AM's first commission outside of The Australian Ballet. Maninyas has been part of Houston Ballet's repertoire since 2005.

In 2016, Cottage Hill magazine spotlighted Karina Gonzalez and her husband, former Houston Ballet dancer Rupert Edwards, in an article titled "Dancing Through Life". The article was written by Kim Kimberlin with photographs by Karolina Kuras.

In 2016, Houston Ballet celebrated Ben Stevenson OBE's 80th birthday with a restaging of his The Sleeping Beauty. Gonzalez danced the role of Princess Florine (pictured here) and Aurora.

The late Desmond Heeley designed the sets and costumes for this lavish production.

Serenade, one of George Balanchine's most famous works, entered Houston Ballet's repertoire in 1983. Gonzalez first performed Serenade with Houston Ballet in 2016.

Houston Ballet premiered Stanton Welch AM's Giselle in June 2016. Gonzalez performed the title role, with Charles-Louis Yoshiyama as Albrecht.

Prominent Italian designer, Roberta Guidi di Bagno, designed both the sets and costumes for this production.

Gonzalez as Giselle in Act II of Stanton Welch AM's Giselle.

Houston Ballet first performed Other Dances in 2016 with Gonzalez part of the cast.

Jerome Robbins’ Other Dances is a pas de deux created on legendary dancers Natalia Makarova and Mikhail Baryshnikov. It premiered on May 9, 1976, at the Metropolitan Opera House, in honor of the opening of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Gonzalez as the title role in Stanton Welch AM's Cinderella.

Welch created his Cinderella on The Australian Ballet who premiered it on February 21, 1997. Houston Ballet first performed his production on March 6, 2008.

Gonzalez rehearsing the role of Nikiya with Stanton Welch AM for his production of La Bayadère.

Gonzalez dancing Nikiya in the "Kingdom of the Shades" scene in Stanton Welch AM's La Bayadère.

Gonzalez has performed the role of Nikiya in both the United States and Canada.

Credits: Story

Houston Ballet
Karina Gonzalez
Stanton Welch AM
Amitava Sarkar

Isabelle Dom
Sue Ellen Hill
David Rivera
Jennifer Sommers

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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