BOSTON BALLET PRESENTS THE BEST OF AMERICAN BALLET WITH BALANCHINE/ROBBINS AT THE BOSTON OPERA HOUSE
A Quadruple Bill of Works By Two Dance Giants Takes the Stage to Close the 2010-2011 Season
BOSTON, MA – April 29, 2011 – Boston Ballet presents Balanchine/Robbins, a tour de force of four works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins at The Boston Opera House, May 12-22, to close the momentous 2010-2011 season. The quadruple bill includes George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15 and Symphony in Three Movements and Jerome Robbins’ Antique Epigraphs and Afternoon of a Faun.
“Balanchine/Robbins is the perfect program to close the 2010-2011 season. This program is a feast for ballet-lovers and a great entrée to American ballet for those new to the art form,” said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “George Balanchine’s lovely, rich Divertimento No. 15 and bold, unstoppable Symphony in Three Movements showcase his signature styles. Robbins’ delicate Antique Epigraphs and the intensity of Afternoon of a Faun will make for incredibly special moments at the theatre. Balanchine/Robbins has it all, and is the perfect note to close this remarkable season on.”
Balanchine/Robbins showcases 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 Balanchine considered “the finest ever written.” The ballet was created in 1956 and premiered with New York City Ballet at the Mozart Festival. Divertimento No. 15 features five movements for five women, three men and corps women, and showcases Balanchine’s unrivaled ability to complement music and choreography. The New York Times wrote of the work, “Balanchine meets Mozart in Divertimento No. 15, and the audience comes away knowing each a good deal better. It is a prime example of the sensitivity to music that [shapes] Balanchine’s 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.” The work premiered in June 1972 with New York City Ballet. The New York Times described Balanchine’s choreography in Symphony in Three Movements saying “he makes you hear the music better, [and] does so by drawing us deep into musical meters. [It adds] up to one of his most audaciously poetic inventions.” Susan Hendl staged Divertimento No. 15 with Russell Kaiser and Susan Pilarre staged 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, premiered in 1953, is set in a dance studio with two young dancers, each equally transfixed by their own reflections in the mirror. The original cast included Tanaquil LeClercq and Francisco Moncion. 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. Boston Ballet previously presented Vaslav Nijinsky’s Afternoon of Faun in 2009 as part of the Ballets Russes Centennial Celebration.
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 and premiered in February 1984. Boston Ballet will be the first Company outside of New York City Ballet to perform Antique Epigraphs. Jean-Pierre Frohlich staged Afternoon of Faun and Christine Redpath staged Antique Epigraphs with Jerri Kumery.
MORE INFORMATION, RELATED PROGRAMS AND EVENTS:
Boston Ballet will present Conversation with Mikko, a post-curtain Q&A session with Boston Ballet’s Artistic Director, following the Saturday, May 14, 8pm performance of Balanchine/Robbins.
Join Boston Ballet following the Thursday, May 19, 7pm performance of Balanchine/Robbins at BiNA Osteria for OFFSTAGE. OFFSTAGE is Boston Ballet’s post-performance event series for young professionals and arts enthusiasts every second Thursday of each performance run. A performance ticket is all you need for entry to this free event featuring specialty cocktails and complimentary appetizers.
Boston Ballet’s Pre-Curtain Talk series continues prior to the Saturday, May 21, 8pm performance of Balanchine/Robbins. These informational discussions are free for all ticketholders and begin one hour prior to curtain.
For more information about these and other events visit the Boston Ballet website.
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 the Boston Ballet wesbite 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
Massachusetts Cultural Council
National Endowment for the Arts