Ballet NEWS | Boston Ballet – Rethink Ballet with Boston Ballet’s Spring Season – Full-length Story Ballets to Contemporary World Premiere Works

February 4, 2011

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BOSTON BALLET PRESENTS ITS SIGNATURE RANGE IN FOUR DIVERSE SPRING PROGRAMS INCLUDING ELO EXPERIENCE, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, BELLA FIGURA, AND BALANCHINE/ROBBINS

Rethink Ballet with Boston Ballet’s Spring Season – Full-length Story Ballets to Contemporary World Premiere Works

BOSTON, MA – February 4, 2011 – Following a highly successful and lauded fall season featuring a sold-out Night of Stars, world premiere production of La Bayadère, and an extended run of The Nutcracker, Boston Ballet continues preparations for the 2011 spring season. The spring season will feature Elo Experience, March 24-April 3, George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, April 7-17, Bella Figura, April 28-May 8, and Balanchine/Robbins, May 12-22. Boston Ballet and Boston Ballet School will also present Next Generation, the second annual pre-professional student showcase, on May 18. All performances will take place at The Boston Opera House.

“The spring season is a perfect showcase of the dynamic range of repertoire that has become Boston Ballet’s signature,” said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “Six years after his appointment as Resident Choreographer, Boston Ballet is thrilled to present a full evening of Jorma Elo’s work – a testament to both Jorma’s deep connection to the Company and his stature as an international choreographer. George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream will take the stage like it has never been seen before in Boston, with sets and costumes from Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Two contrasting programs, Bella Figura and Balanchine/Robbins, fulfill the season. Bella Figura brings the U.S. premiere of Kylian’s Bella Figura, a Company premiere of Forsythe’s The Second Detail and three world premieres by Helen Pickett. Balanchine/Robbins will be an essential program for ballet-lovers and newcomers alike. I’m thrilled to see these brilliant works done by Boston Ballet.”

ELO EXPERIENCE

The Company returns to the stage in 2011 with Elo Experience, a full-evening contemporary choreographic experience by Boston Ballet’s Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo. The Finnish-born choreographer’s combination of strong classical and contemporary training has provided him with a unique perspective and voice. Elo’s works have thrilled and surprised audiences for many years, and his vision will come together for a complete evening and transformative journey for audiences with Elo Experience. The evening will be a world premiere presentation of a single work in two parts. Three commissioned works for Boston Ballet including Brake the Eyes, Plan to B, and In On Blue will be woven into the evening with four ballets created for the Royal Danish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. The work will be a true hybrid, incorporating sophisticated lighting design and narrative elements spoken by two dancers. The overall effect will be to trace Elo’s journey over the last decade, drawing on his experiences as a guest artist in the U.S. and Europe as well as his artistic home, Boston.

Elo, who danced with Netherlands Dans Theater for 15 years, become Boston Ballet’s Resident Choreographer in 2005 where he has since created six new works. These include Sharp Side of Dark (2002), Plan to B (2004), Carmen (2006), Brake the Eyes (2007) In on Blue (2008) and Sacre du Printemps (2009). He has also choreographed new works for New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater and Finnish National Ballet, among others. Elo has won the 2005 Helsinki International Ballet Competition choreographic prize and is a recipient of the Prince Charitable Trust Prize and the Choo-San Goh Choreographic Award in 2006.

Elo’s works has been performed by Boston Ballet at engagements including The Spoleto Festival in South Carolina, Ballet Across America in Washington, D.C., Fall for Dance in New York City, The National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada, and most recently on the company’s 2010 tour to Spain.  When Boston Ballet performed Elo’s work in Spain, Granada’s IDEAL newspaper wrote, “Boston Ballet showed an indisputable new category and found new expression in the perfect choreography of Jorma Elo.”

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

George Balanchine’s classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream continues the spring season. This lucid and inventive telling of Shakespeare’s play was Balanchine’s first full-length ballet. Called by critic Clive Barnes, “a fantasy spectacle of love,” this work is a masterful combination of storytelling and choreography danced to the exquisite sounds of Mendelssohn. The ballet tells a story of love, illusion and adventures of two pairs of mortal lovers and the king and queen of the fairies. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was choreographed for New York City Ballet and premiered in 1962. The production includes a cast complete with 25 students from Boston Ballet School. When Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was last performed by Boston Ballet it was called, “a winner, a gorgeous, spirited production given strong performances throughout the ranks,” by The Boston Globe. Costumes and sets by Louisa Spinatelli from Teatro alla Scala in Milan create a delicate and subtle vision in this 2011 presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Sandra Jennings will stage the ballet on behalf of The Balanchine Trust.

BELLA FIGURA

Boston Ballet presents Bella Figura, showcasing the great depth and versatility of the Company’s artistry. Bella Figura features an extraordinary collection of works by three of the world’s most exciting contemporary choreographers.

Nissinen headlines the program with Bella Figura by Jiří Kylián, Resident Choreographer at Nederlands Dans Theater. The work has not yet been performed by any other American company. The Los Angeles Times wrote of it, “in an increasingly dark world, [Kylián’s] dancers are beautiful enough to give almost anyone renewed faith.” Bella Figura will be an addition to Boston Ballet’s Kylián repertoire, which includes the five-ballet Black and White program presented by the Company in 2009 to rave reviews and again in 2010. Ken Ossola will stage Bella Figura. The work is tangibly sensual in its adoration and reverence towards the human body and contains partial nudity.

The program also includes William Forsythe’s The Second Detail, a Company premiere, which is an electrifying combination of classicism for an ensemble. Forsythe, one of the preeminent American dancers and choreographers, has created ground-breaking, exhilarating works which have been performed by the world’s finest ballet companies. Jill Johnson will stage The Second Detail. Boston Ballet’s Forsythe repertoire includes In the middle, somewhat elevated, last performed in 2005, and excerpts from Vile Parody of Address, performed in Boston Ballet’s 2009 Night of Stars.

Former principal dancer with William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt, Helen Pickett, also presents three works. Pickett’s PART I, II and II are all set to music by Arvo Pärt.  PART I, 月夜 Tsukiyo, is a sensual pas de deux, first premiered with Boston Ballet in 2009. The work will premiere in April with new sets. PART II, LAYLI O MAJNUN, will be inspired by the centuries-old, Persian story of star-crossed lovers. It received a preview in 2010 at Boston Ballet’s Night of Stars by principals Larissa Ponomarenko and Lasha Khozashvili. PART III, Tabula Rasa will be a world premiere. Pickett has created two other commissioned works for Boston Ballet, Eventide in 2007 and Etesian in 2005, as well as works for Royal Ballet of Flanders, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and Ballet West.

BALANCHINE/ROBBINS

The season closes with Balanchine/Robbins, a set of four works by the two master choreographers, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, considered two of the greatest proponents of American dance. Balanchine, widely regarded as the most influential choreographer of the 20th century, co-founded New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet. Robbins, as a young dancer, performed many of Balanchine’s works, later dancing for American Ballet Theatre, creating numerous works for Broadway, and finally becoming ballet master for New York City Ballet. Robbins has been described by The New York Times, “the moon to George Balanchine’s sun.”

Balanchine/Robbins is book-ended by Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15 and Symphony in Three Movements. Divertimento No. 15 is set to Mozart’s work of the same title which was a favorite of Balanchine’s. The ballet features five movements for five women, three men and corps women, and showcases Balanchine’s unrivaled ability to complement music and choreography.  Symphony in Three Movements, by contrast, is a large ensemble work marked by its breath of energy and complexity. Balanchine choreographed for Stravinsky’s score saying “[the movements] I arranged… try to catch the music and do not, I hope, lean on it, using it instead for support and time frame.” Susan Hendl will stage Divertimento No. 15 and Susan Pilarre will stage Symphony in Three Movements.

The Robbins works included in Balanchine/Robbins are his vision for the famed Debussy score, Afternoon of a Faun, and the rarely seen Antique Epigraphs. Robbin’s Afternoon of a Faun is set in a dance studio with two young dancers, each equally transfixed by their own reflections in the mirror. The unique trick employed by Robbins is that the space between the stage and the audience serves as the fourth wall of the studio, the figurative mirror. Antique Epigraphs, a ballet for eight women, was called by The New York Times, “a study in stillness and community.” The work was inspired by statues Robbins came across in his travels. Boston Ballet will be the first Company outside of New York City Ballet to perform Antique Epigraphs. Both works are beautiful in their simplicity and set to Debussy. Jean-Pierre Frohlich will stage Afternoon of Faun and Christine Redpath will stage Antique Epigraphs.

Beyond Boston Ballet’s work on stage, the company will continue its extensive work in the studios with Boston Ballet School and in the New England community through the institution’s various outreach initiatives. Boston Ballet and Boston Ballet School will present Next Generation on May 18, as the second annual pre-professional student showcase at The Boston Opera House in addition to several studio showcases. In the community, Boston Ballet will present special dance talks at Harvard University on February 18, Boston University on February 22, and make a second community performance at The Strand Theatre in Dorchester on March 11, among other special community events and appearances. 

Boston Ballet 2011 Spring Season at a Glance

ELO EXPERIENCE – WORLD PREMIERE        
March 24 – April 3, 2011

Music: Various

Choreography: Jorma Elo

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM        
April 7 – 17, 2011

Music: Felix Mendelssohn

Choreography: George Balanchine

BELLA FIGURA           
April 28 – May 8, 2011

The Second Detail – COMPANY PREMIERE

Music: Thom Willems

Choreography: William Forsythe

PART I, II and III – FEATURING WORLD PREMIERE WORKS

Music: Arvo Pärt

Choreography: Helen Pickett

Bella Figura – COMPANY PREMIERE

Music: Lukas Foss, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Allessandro Marcello, Antonio Vivaldi, and Giuseppe Torelli

Choreography: Jiří Kylián

BALANCHINE/ROBBINS          
May 12 – 22, 2011

Divertimento No. 15

Music: Wolfgang Mozart

Choreography: George Balanchine

Afternoon of a Faun – COMPANY PREMIERE

Music: Claude Debussy

Choreography: Jerome Robbins

Antique Epigraphs – COMPANY PREMIERE

Music: Claude Debussy

Choreography: Jerome Robbins

Symphony in Three Movements

Music: Igor Stravinsky

Choreography: George Balanchine

2010-2011 Season Tickets

Subscriptions and individual tickets are on sale now. Subscriptions and all tickets will be available for sales online 24 hours a day at www.bostonballet.org or by phone at 617.695.6955 or in person at the box office at 19 Clarendon Street, Boston, Mon–Fri, 9:30am-5pm and on performance days on Sat and Sun, 11am – 4pm.  Prices for season ballets start at $25.  Tickets to The Nutcracker start at $35.  Discounted group tickets (10 or more for season ballets and 20 or more for The Nutcracker) are available by calling the box office at 617.695.6955.

About Boston Ballet

Since 1963, Boston Ballet has been one of the leading dance companies in the world on stage, in the studio and in the community.  Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Barry Hughson, the Company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire and the largest ballet school in North America, Boston Ballet School.

Boston Ballet maintains a repertoire of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works, ranging from full-length story ballets to new works by some of today’s finest choreographers. Boston Ballet’s second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast. 

Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to excellence and access and reaches more than 10,000 students ages 2-adult each year through Boston Ballet School classes, Summer Dance Workshop, Summer Dance Program, Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance.  The wide array of dance programs are held at three studio locations in Boston, Newton, and Marblehead with additional programs throughout New England, as well as community centers and in Boston Public Schools.

Boston Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following institutional partners:

State Street Corporation, 2010 Presenting Sponsor, The Nutcracker

Jane’s Trust

Massachusetts Cultural Council

National Endowment for the Arts

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3 Responses to “Ballet NEWS | Boston Ballet – Rethink Ballet with Boston Ballet’s Spring Season – Full-length Story Ballets to Contemporary World Premiere Works”

  1. Val Says:

    I willl have to look into these! I have always wanted to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream in ballet and the Boston Ballet performs only 30 minutes from me. ~Val

  2. Ballet News Says:

    Val – thank you !! Hope you enjoy the performances,

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