ballet dancers on pointe

Boston Ballet company logo


ballet dancers on pointe
Polyphonia Photograph : Gene Schiavone

Boston Ballet Takes The Stage February – May at The Boston Opera House Presenting Four Programs Spanning The Company’s Repertoire

BOSTON, MA – January 4, 2012 – Boston Ballet presents Simply Sublime, February 9-19, at The Boston Opera House to begin the 2012 spring season of dance. The program features Florence Clerc’s world premiere staging of Michel Fokine’s Les Sylphides, Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, and George Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements.

Simply Sublime is the perfect program to begin the spring season at Boston Ballet,” said Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “The program presents three exquisite examples of the purest choreography on stage in one evening. This program will be a rich experience for audiences.”

Simply Sublime includes three powerful works by three master choreographers George Balanchine, Michel Fokine and Christopher Wheeldon. Symphony in Three Movements is a large ensemble work, distinct in both its complexity and energy. The work is set to a score by Stravinsky, Balanchine’s long-time collaborator, and premiered in 1972 at the Stravinsky Festival at New York State Theater. The choreography, marked by its turned in movements and athletic sequences, is set to three movements originally composed by Stravinsky for three different films.

Florence Clerc’s world premiere staging of Michel Fokine’s Les Sylphides, is also included in this program. This one-act romantic work follows a poet as he dances with ghostly sylphs in a forest. The corps de ballet is integral to the feeling and character of Les Sylphides and appears onstage throughout almost the entire work. Les Sylphides first premiered at the Maryinsky Theatre in 1908, under the title Reverie Romantique: Ballet sur la musique de Chopin. The work received its U.S. premiere by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes at the Century Theatre in New York in 1916.

Polyphonia, Christopher Wheeldon’s playful romance for four couples, completes the program. The New York Times has described the work as “[handling] the classical vocabulary of Balanchine, Ashton and others without being inhibited or retro… with a constant supply or inventiveness.” Wheeldon’s mastery is displayed in his unique ability to weave classical and more contemporary dance movement in to four pas de deuxs which exude distinct qualities. Polyphonia first premiered in 2001 with New York City Ballet and has been in Boston Ballet’s repertoire since 2007. The Company presented Polyphonia to critical acclaim on its 2008 tour to Korea.

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.

The 2011-2012 season marks Nissinen’s 10th anniversary season and 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 spring 2012, 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. The largest ballet school in North America, Boston Ballet School, reaches 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 this season. Citydance, the largest provider of free dance education to Boston Public Schools, reaches nearly 3,000 students each year and has touched the lives of more than 40,000 children in its 20 year history. The program will be held at Boston Ballet’s 19 Clarendon headquarters January 31-April 14. 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.



All performances are held at The Boston Opera House




February 9 – 19, 2012


Les Sylphides

Music: Frederic Chopin

Choreography: Michel Fokine

Staging: Florence Clerc



Music: Gyorgy Ligeti

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon


Symphony in Three Movements

Music: Igor Stravinsky

Choreography: George Balanchine




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

Play with Fire includes a trio of contemporary works by three of today’s most noted choreographers Jorma Elo, Jiří Kylián, and Christopher Bruce.

Boston Ballet’s Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo premiered Sharp Side of Dark with Boston Ballet in 2002. It was his first commission for the Company. The work is choreographed to Bach’s Goldberg Variations and features large-scale architectural sets and a haunting lighting design.

Elo, who danced with Netherlands Dans Theater for 15 years, became Boston Ballet’s Resident Choreographer in 2005 where he has since created more than seven new works. His works for Boston Ballet include Sharp Side of Dark (2002), Plan to B (2004), Carmen (2006), Brake the Eyes (2007) In on Blue (2008) Sacre du Printemps (2009), and his 2010 world premiere presentation Elo Experience. 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. In 2005, Elo won the Helsinki International Ballet Competition choreographic prize and he is a recipient of the Prince Charitable Trust Prize and the 2006 Choo-San Goh Choreographic Award. Most recently, Elo was awarded the prestigious Benois de la Danse prize for best choreography in 2010. The New York Times has written of Elo, “he knows classical technique and how to use it in new ways, how to transform it. This is not modern dance and ballet: it is modern ballet.”

Play with Fire also includes Jiří Kylián’s Bella Figura, a work Boston Ballet gave its U.S. premiere by an American company in April 2010. 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. The work is tangibly sensual in its adoration and reverence towards the human body and contains partial nudity.

Christopher Bruce’s Rooster completes Play with Fire. This distinct work, first premiered in 1991 with the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, is set to music by The Rolling Stones. The Brittish choreographer is known for his the unique settings and concepts of his pieces and often pulls inspiration from literature and more contemporary music. Rooster features eight well-known tunes from The Rolling Stone’s song book, including Paint it Black, Ruby Tuesday, Lady Jane and Not Fade Away. Rooster has taken international stages to both popular and critical acclaim. When asked what he thought of Rooster after the London premiere performance, The Rolling Stone’s front man Mick Jagger responded, “I love it! It was great. I was looking at them and thinking ‘that’s a good move, I must nick that.”

Don Quixote


April 26 – May 6, 2012


Music: Ludwig Minkus

Choreography: Rudolph Nureyev

Rudolph Nureyev’s acclaimed production of Don Quixote was last performed by Boston Ballet in 2006. The production was originally staged on Boston Ballet by Nureyev himself in 1982 when Nureyev danced the leading role of Basilo, first in Boston and then on a tour of the U.S., Mexico and Europe. He first choreographed his version of Don Quixote in Vienna in 1966 and it would later become one of his greatest successes. Nureyev’s Don Quixote is based on the Marius Petipa-Alexander Gorsky production familiar to him from his days with the Kirov. The focus is not on Miguel de Cervantes’ hero but on the romance between two of the novel’s minor characters, Basilo and Kirtri.  The production is danced to the score by Ludwig Minkus, arranged by John Lanchbery with sets and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis.




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

Fancy Free is headlined by Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, and includes Peter Martins’ Barber Violin Concerto and Harald Lander’s Études. Robbins’ Fancy Free was the master choreographer’s first ballet, premiered on April 18, 1944. It would become one of his greatest successes and be one of the most popular ballets in American history. The work marked the emergence of both Robbins’ talent as a choreographer and the talents of a young composer, Leonard Bernstein. Robbins, a member of American Ballet Theatre at the time, danced in the ballet’s premiere. It would later become a musical comedy entitled On the Town and then adapted for the screen sensation starring Gene Kelly. Fancy Free follows the story of sailors on shore leave getting into a bit of romantic mischief.

Martins’ Barber Violin Concerto continues the program. This work, set to Samuel Barber, presents three movements for two couples in various pas de deuxs. Barber’s masterful music evokes distinct styles of movement from each couple from melancholy, to lyrical, to energetic. The dancers, dressed all in white, provide a blank canvas for the distinct choreography and composition of this work.

Danish dancer and choreographer Harald Lander’s Études completes Fancy Free. Études is considered Lander’s most acclaimed and popular choreographic work. It has an original score by Carl Czerny, arranged by Knudage Riisäger. The one-act ballet has been referred to as “an homage to classical ballet training.” The work begins simply with dancers at a barre and ends with a sequence of thrilling choreography. The work, premiered in 1948 with the Royal Danish Ballet is beloved for its adoration of the art form of ballet and its magnificent culmination. Études is a fitting way to end the 2011-2012 season.

2011-2012 Season Tickets

Individual tickets, subscriptions, and Group Sales tickets are on sale now.  Subscriptions and individual tickets are available online 24 hours a day at Boston Ballet’s 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.  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 providing excellence and access to dance education. It reaches more than 10,000 students, ages 9-month to adult each year through its four core programs: Children’s Program, Classical Ballet Program, Adult Dance Program and Pre-Professional Program. Boston Ballet’s award-winning community outreach initiatives include 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 at community centers and in the Boston Public Schools.