For Boston Ballet, There’s A Big Spring in Their Step

Published on February 18, 2020

It’s February, which means that The Nutcracker is firmly in the rear-view mirror and it’s time for Boston Ballet to launch its spring season of boundary-challenging programs.

rEVOLUTION

First comes rEVOLUTION, from February 27th to March 8th. The program offers works by three choreographers whose work transformed the way we see ballet. First comes George Balanchine’s Agon, set to music of fellow Russian Igor Stravinsky. Next, Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces, which features the music of Phillip Glass. And then comes William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, which has taken the ballet world by storm since it first appeared in 1987.

“It’s like the first time the world saw Picasso paintings,” says Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “Once you saw his works, you could never look at art the same way. Each of these three amazing pieces has had the same effect on the ballet world. You could no longer look at classical dance, or any dance, the same way, once you saw each of these pieces. By putting them together, we are showing the world how ballet not only evolved but was revolutionized.”

Carmen

Next up: Carmen, from March 12th through March 22nd. The choreographers are George Balanchine, Helen Pickett, and Boston Ballet Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo. Balanchine’s piece, Serenade, is the first piece he choreographed in the United States back in 1935.

 “Balanchine created this piece on ballet students. He wanted to show how women turn into ballerinas, and that’s what this piece is about. The Tchaikovsky music makes it a masterpiece. It’s a unique dance that explores femininity,” said Nissinen Helen Pickett’s work, Tsukiyo, is a sensual ballet that explores the complexities of human interaction.

The program also includes Petal by Helen Pickett, making its Boston Ballet premiere, and an updated version of Jorma Elo’s Carmen, which receives a contemporary, modern reading.

“No flamenco or red roses in this Carmen,” Nissinen says. “Just a very strong woman demonstrating her power through dance. All of the pieces on the Carmen program are about the power of women.”

Swan Lake

Then comes the classic Swan Lake, from May 1st to May 31st, and finally, from May 8th to May 29th, a program called Off the Charts. This final program for the spring features choreography by two of the most important choreographers in the world today, Jiří Kylián and William Forsythe. Balletomanes will also enjoy world premiere by Stephen Galloway, former Creative Movement Director for The Rolling Stones.

Michael Levin is a News Columnist at Grit Daily.

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