Boston Ballet launches new season

August 15, 2011

Press Releases


Boston Ballet’s 2011-2012 Season of Dance Features Classics, New  Works and Final Season of Current Nutcracker Production

BOSTON, MA – August 11, 2011 – Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen’s 10th Anniversary Season launches at The Boston Opera House this fall with the one-night-only Night of Stars, the greatest love story of all time, Romeo + Juliet, and the final season of the current Nutcracker production. Nissinen joined Boston Ballet as Artistic Director in 2001 and has since redefined the company’s image on stage, in the studio and in the community. The upcoming season of dance celebrates Nissinen’s vision of a “ballet company of the future” by presenting Boston Ballet’s signature world-class classical, neo-classical and contemporary repertoire.

“We are thrilled to unveil our 2011-2012 season at The Boston Opera House,” said Nissinen. “We are only two years away from Boston Ballet’s 50th anniversary season, and the company has more momentum than ever. I can’t wait to share these classic ballets and fresh, new works with our audiences – as well as one phenomenal, final season of this production of The Nutcracker. It will be a great time to honor this beloved production before we welcome in a new Nutcracker in 2012 with new sets and costumes. With this season, Boston Ballet continues to present a diverse range of repertoire that excites, engages and challenges our audiences. It will be an especially exciting season for me, as it marks my tenth year with the company and is a great time to celebrate how far we’ve come together.”

Boston Ballet’s 2011-2012 season begins on Saturday, October 29 with the sixth annual Night of Stars featuring the full company on stage in a variety of repertoire and special excerpts curated especially for the evening. The season continues with John Cranko’s Romeo + Juliet, November 3-13. Nissinen’s beloved The Nutcracker takes the stage November 25-December 31. After decades on stage, the 2011 Nutcracker run will mark the final season that the current production by Helen Pond and Herbert Senn, and costumes by David Walker, will be presented. The Nutcracker will return to the stage in 2012 with new sets and costumes.

Nissinen’s 10th anniversary season presents Boston Ballet’s signature range of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works – a wide-ranging repertoire that Nissinen has curated during his decade leading the Company. In his tenure with Boston Ballet, Nissinen has increased the Company’s neo-classical and contemporary repertoire, as well as obtained the finest classical ballets. Nissinen joined Boston Ballet in 2001 after dancing with San Francisco Ballet as a principal for ten years and directing Alberta Ballet in Calgary, Canada. Nissinen’s direction of Boston Ballet has positioned the company as one of the leading ballet organizations in the world, acclaimed for its excellence, artistry and versatility. Nissinen also leads as Artistic Director of Boston Ballet School. He has succeeded in engaging new audiences by making Boston Ballet inclusive to the community through a wide-ranging repertoire, increased engagement opportunities, and a high level of visibility on local, national, and international levels.

Highlights from Nissinen’s ten years with Boston Ballet include the Company’s first international touring engagements in 16 years to Spain, Korea and Canada, which received critical acclaim; appointment of Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo, who has since created seven world premiere works for the Company; leading in the dual role as Artistic Director and Interim Executive Director from 2008-2009; the major redesign of the organization’s image, branding and website; and the Company’s move to its permanent performance home, The Boston Opera House in 2009. Nissinen is a member of the Artistic Committee for the New York Choreographic Institute, an advisory board member of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship and the recipient of the Finlandia Foundation’s 2008 Arts and Letters Award, the 2007 United Nations Association of Greater Boston Leadership Award, and Boston’s Guide for the Arts 2009 Ambassador for the Arts Award.

In the 2011-2012 season, beyond Boston Ballet’s work on stage, the organization will continue its extensive work in the studios and in the community with Boston Ballet School. Directed by Margaret Tracey, Boston Ballet School is the largest ballet school in North America reaching over 10,000 students annually through its classes and Boston Ballet’s unparalleled community outreach programs, Citydance, Adaptive Dance, and Taking Steps. Boston Ballet celebrates Citydance’s 20th anniversary beginning in fall 2011. Citydance, the leading provider of free dance education to Boston Public Schools, reaches nearly 3,000 students each year and has touched the lives of more than 60,000 children in its 20 year history. Through its education and outreach initiatives, Boston Ballet continues to reach thousands of lives each year and encourage access to the art form of dance for students of all backgrounds and experience levels.

The Company returns to the stage in 2012 with Simply Sublime featuring Florence Clerc’s world premiere staging of Les Sylphides, Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, and George Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements, February 9-19, 2012. Play with Fire continues the season with three cutting-edge works including Jorma Elo’s Sharp Side of Dark, a revival of Jiří Kylián’s Bella Figura, and a Company premiere of Christopher Bruce’s Rooster, featuring music of The Rolling Stones, March 1-11.  Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote takes the stage next, April 26-May 6, and Fancy Free, featuring Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, Peter Martins’ Barber Violin Concerto, and Harald Lander’s Etudes, May 10-20, concludes the season.

All performances are held at The Boston Opera House


Night of Stars – ONE NIGHT ONLY

October 29, 2011

Boston Ballet’s one-night-only Night of Stars opens the 2011-2012 season. Last season’s Night of Stars was a sold-out success. The Boston Globe called the performance “meticulously curated” and The Boston Herald asserted “there was something onstage for everyone.” The sixth annual performance promises to thrill audiences with a range of classical to contemporary highlights from the Company’s diverse repertoire. Night of Stars, a fantastic entrée to the world of ballet, will highlight all of Boston Ballet’s dancers from the accomplished principals and soloists to the promising second company, Boston Ballet II.

 Romeo + Juliet

 November 3 – 13, 2011

Music: Sergei Prokofiev

Choreography: John Cranko

Cranko’s Romeo + Juliet premiered in 1962 and was first performed by the Stuttgart Ballet. The exquisitely rendered ballet, set to Sergei Prokofiev’s magnificent score, is an inspired realization of William Shakespeare’s timeless tale. While Prokofiev’s original composition initially faced heavy criticism, it has become one of the most popular of all ballet compositions. When the Stuttgart Ballet danced the American premiere of John Cranko’s Romeo + Juliet in 1969, Clive Barnes wrote in The New York Times that this staging of Prokofiev’s score “is, quite simply, the best of a surprisingly distinguished bunch. Many choreographers have attempted the score . . . but it has been left to Cranko to give the work its complete fulfillment.” Upon its Boston Ballet premiere, the Company became the only American company to hold three of Cranko’s greatest works, including Onegin and The Taming of the Shrew, as part of its extensive repertoire. In Boston, Romeo and Juliet was met with rave reviews; The Boston Globe described it as offering “elegant dancing, eye-popping pageantry, and vivid storytelling.”

The Nutcracker

November 25 – December 31, 2011

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Choreography:Mikko Nissinen

New England’s most popular winter classic, Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker, returns to the stage for the holiday season. Last year’s production saw record sales and sell-out performances. The Boston Herald wrote, “This year’s “Nutcracker” again [served] up its great score and outstanding staging as a feast for all.” The production showcases the accomplished Company dancers with more than 250 children from Boston Ballet School in Nissinen’s exquisite choreography. Each performance features Music Director and Principal Conductor Jonathan McPhee’s expert direction of Boston Ballet Orchestra.

The 2011 Nutcracker run will mark the final season the current production, with beloved sets by Helen Pond and Herbert Senn and costumes by David Walker, will be presented on stage. The sets and costumes, beloved for decades, will be retired after taking the stage for a final year in November and December 2011. The Nutcracker will return to the stage in 2012 will new sets and costumes, as well as revitalized choreography by Nissinen.

“We are so excited to welcome old and new friends this year to experience Boston Ballet’s current Nutcracker production one last time,” said Nissinen. “This production has brought so much joy to New England for over 20 years. Boston Ballet looks forward to continuing in that great tradition and sharing The Nutcracker’s holiday magic with the community for decades to come.”

 Boston Ballet 2011-2012 Season at a Glance

All performances are held at The Boston Opera House.

Night of Stars – ONE NIGHT ONLY

October 29, 2011

Romeo + Juliet

November 3 – 13, 2011

Music: Sergei Prokofiev

Choreography: John Cranko

The Nutcracker

November 25 – December 31, 2011

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Choreography:Mikko Nissinen

Simply Sublime

February 9 – 19, 2012

Symphony in Three Movements

Music: Igor Stravinsky

Choreography: George Balanchine

Les Sylphides

Music: Frederic Chopin

Choreography: Florence Clerc after Michel Fokine


Music: Gyorgy Ligeti

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon

Play With Fire

March 1 – 11, 2012

Sharp Side of Dark

Music: Johann Sebastian Bach

Choreography: Jorma Elo

Bella Figura

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

Choreography: Jiří Kylián


Music: The Rolling Stones

Choreography: Christopher Bruce

Don Quixote

April 26 – May 6, 2012

Music: Ludwig Minkus

Choreography: Rudolph Nureyev


May 10 – 20, 2012

Barber Violin Concerto

Music: Samuel Barber

Choreography: Peter Martins

Fancy Free

Music: Leonard Bernstein

Choreography: Jerome Robbins


Music: Carl Czerny arranged by Knudage Riisäger

Choreographer: Harald Lander

2011-2012 Season Tickets

Subscriptions, Group Sales tickets, and individual tickets for The Nutcracker are on sale now.  Individual tickets for all other ballets go on sale on Monday, August 29.  Subscriptions and individual tickets are available online 24 hours a day at the Boston Ballet website, by phone at 617.695.6955, and in person at the box office at 19 Clarendon Street, Boston, Mon–Fri, 9:30am-5pm.  Tickets start at $25 for season ballets and $35 for Night of Stars and The Nutcracker.  Group Sales tickets for parties of 10 or more are available through 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.


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One Response to “Boston Ballet launches new season”

  1. Blond Duck Says:

    I can’t wait for the Nutcracker!