For over two decades, Houston Ballet has trusted Harlequin for first-class customer service and superior products. In August 2017 that relationship strengthened when disaster struck. Hurricane Harvey dropped unprecedented amounts of rainfall on the city of Houston. Over 40 inches of rain drenched the region causing substantial flooding in the Theater District area. The Center for Dance sustained significant water damage destroying the floors in both the Dance Lab and the “Little Brown” Studio. The Houston Ballet team soon discovered that their home theater, the Wortham Theater Center, also suffered damage. Over 15 feet of water in the basement rose all the way to the ceiling, leaving water on the stage level. The country’s fifth largest professional ballet company was left without rehearsal spaces and a performance venue for the upcoming season.
As reported by PLSN – Projection Lights & Staging News, “The Houston Ballet had to make an immediate and significant investment in a portable sprung floor, so Nielsen turned to… Harlequin Floors for assistance.” With the beginning of the 2017-2018 season just around the corner Houston Ballet was facing not just one but two crises post disaster. It was imperative to repair the dance studios and obtain a sprung floor for their new performance home as soon as possible.Andrew Nielsen, Director of Production for Houston Ballet contacted Harlequin, as he was confident they would deliver a solution for both spaces within the required timeframe.
The team at Harlequin was eager to help with the recovery efforts and took immediate action to begin restoring The Center for Dance rehearsal studios. Led by Harlequin Contracts Director, Larry Sullivan, installation crews were working on the studio floors within weeks after the storm hit. Larry worked closely with Andrew and his team to ensure that moisture and humidity levels in the rooms were acceptable prior to beginning installation of the new Harlequin WoodSpring sprung floors and Harlequin Studio marley floors.
With upcoming performances at The Hobby Center and other theaters in the Houston area Nielsen wanted a sprung floor that was ideal for touring and, in case of another hurricane, one that could be removed if needed. Harlequin recommended Harlequin Liberty LatchLoc sprung floor panels as the best option for a touring floor. There were concerns, however, about the weight limits of the panels and whether they would sustain the weight of the heavy scenery. With Harlequin’s extensive experience with this issue they would also provide specially customized panels to Houston Ballet. Eight carts of Harlequin Liberty LatchLoc panels were shipped within the week for The Hobby Center debut, while the customized panels were delivered just in time for The Nutcracker.
“For more than 20 years, we’ve turned to Harlequin Floors, and what they were able to do for us after Harvey was incredible.” – Andrew Nielson, Director of Production, Houston Ballet
Learn more about how Harlequin helped the Houston Ballet in aftermath of Hurricane Harvey here:
Project Profile: Harlequin + Houston Ballet = Perfect Partnership
Testimonial: 20 Years of Trust