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2003-2004 season announced

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BOSTON BALLET ANNOUNCES 2003-2004 SEASON

Boston Ballet Celebrates its 40th Anniversary

Don Quixote October 16-19, 2003

Stars and Stripes October 23-October 26, 2003

Don Quixote October 30-November 2, 2003

The Nutcracker November 28-December 30, 2003

Lady of the Camellias March 18-March 21, 2004

Drink to Me... March 25-28, 2004

Lady of the Camellias April 1-4, 2004

Swan Lake May 6-16, 2004

(BOSTON, MA) - Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen today announced Boston Ballet's 40th Anniversary Season, starting and ending with two landmark Boston Ballet productions and featuring choreographers and works important to the Company's history and its future.

"The 40th Anniversary Season will take us in two directions," said Nissinen, "to commemorate Boston Ballet's achievements over the past four decades and to break new ground as we begin our fifth. We'll open with Rudolf Nureyev's Don Quixote, the production that placed Boston Ballet 'on the map' when Mr. Nureyev first toured with the Company in 1982. We'll conclude our Anniversary Season with our admired and beautiful Swan Lake. We'll honor one of the foremost choreographers in the world of ballet, George Balanchine, in his centennial year. Balanchine supported the Company in many ways in our early years. There will be three Balanchine ballets performed this season. Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes, a beautiful ballet by Mark Morris, considered one of today's most innovative and important choreographers, will be featured. Morris' early association with Boston Ballet was among his first with classical ballet companies at the beginning of his exceptional career. As always, we will also present fresh, new talent including David Dawson's astonishing work, The Grey Area. We will feature two of Val Caniparoli's works; his passionate, full-length ballet Lady of the Camellias and a world premiere he will create especially for Boston Ballet."

Don Quixote

Choreography: Rudolf Nureyev

Music: Ludwig Minkus

Sets and Costumes: Nicolas Georgiadis

Marius Petipa's 1869 ballet, Don Quixote, is based on Cervantes' famous novel. "Nureyev's exuberant Don Quixote is perhaps the most significant work in Boston Ballet's history," said Nissinen. "It is dramatic, passionate, and comic with bravura dancing that has thrilled audiences here and around the world. This version has not been performed by the Company in Boston since 1986 and we are especially pleased to bring it back for the 40th season." To pay tribute to Nureyev on the 10th anniversary of his death, Boston Ballet restores this exciting production with beautifully refurbished sets and costumes made possible by a grant from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation.

Opening night, October 16, 2003, the Company will host a 40th anniversary gala in The Wang Theatre with festivities prior to and after the performance for gala ticket holders. Further details will be announced in the spring.

Repertory I

Stars and Stripes

Choreography: George Balanchine

Music: John Philip Sousa

Mozartiana

Choreography: George Balanchine

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The Grey Area

Choreography: David Dawson

Music: Niels Lanz

Boston Ballet commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of George Balanchine, who played an important role in founding the Company by helping to secure the 1963 Ford Foundation grant that established it as the first professional ballet ensemble in New England. "With a list of over 425 extraordinary works, Balanchine is the greatest choreographer of our time, who successfully fused modern and classical concepts. This program explores Balanchine's extraordinary range with two contrasting pieces," said Nissinen. "The beautiful, reverent, Mozartiana was one of the choreographer's final works. The ballet's formal costumes, choreography, and music arouse a sense of bliss and reverence." Stars and Stripes, created in 1958, is set to the stirring music of John Philip Sousa and was performed at the opening of Lincoln Center's New York State Theater. "The ballet features uplifting patriotic touches and extraordinary dancing," says Nissinen.

English dancer and choreographer David Dawson created The Grey Area, a compelling contemporary ballet that explores the area between life and death, for the Dutch National Ballet. The ballet has achieved great critical success and was recently nominated for the Benois De La Danse choreographic award.

The Nutcracker

Choreography: Daniel Pelzig, Sydney Leonard, Bruce Marks, Mikko Nissinen,

Anna-Marie Holmes, and Gianni Di Marco

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

For many New Englanders, the holiday season is not complete without Boston Ballet's family favorite, The Nutcracker. Under Mikko Nissinen's direction, the 2002 production was hailed by The Boston Globe as "the finest performance of the Christmas classic" in the Company's history. This year's calendar includes 43 performances of The Nutcracker at The Wang Theatre.

Lady of the Camellias

Choreography: Val Caniparoli

Music: Frédéric Chopin

Sets and Costumes: Robert Glay de la Rose

Based on Alexander Dumas' 19th-century tale of the tragic affair between a gentleman and a courtesan, Val Caniparoli's Lady of the Camellias was inspired by the same work as Verdi's opera La Traviata. Nissinen calls it "lush and romantic, with all the passion, heartbreak, and inspired dancing of the very best story ballets." Choreographer Val Caniparoli's ballets have earned him national and international praise from critics and audiences alike. "Caniparoli's works are filled with energy and passion. He is a choreographer who knows how to blend music and dance with precision," said Nissinen. His works are performed by numerous companies including San Francisco Ballet, Ballet West, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Ballet Florida, Singapore Dance Theater, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Hong Kong Ballet, and Israel Ballet.

Repertory II

Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes

Choreography: Mark Morris

Music: Virgil Thomson

Duo Concertant

Choreography: George Balanchine

Music: Igor Stravinsky

World Premiere

Choreography: Val Caniparoli

Mark Morris is one of today's finest choreographers and, along with Mikhail Baryshnikov, is co-founder of the White Oaks Dance Project, a touring company that fosters the creativity of emerging and existing choreographers. Morris' works have achieved the highest critical acclaim, and have joined the repertory of Boston Ballet and major ballet companies around the world. In 1986, then an emerging choreographer, he created Mort Subite for Boston Ballet. Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes was commissioned by American Ballet Theatre and premiered in 1988 with a cast including Baryshnikov. "The heart-stopping beauty and flow of the ballet will captivate audiences," said Nissinen.

Val Caniparoli follows Boston Ballet's premiere of his passionate Lady of the Camellias with a world premiere created specifically for Boston Ballet. Balanchine's Duo Concertant offers a fascinating onstage dialogue between dancer and musician, in which the music-making itself becomes part of the

dance.

Swan Lake

Choreography: After Petipa and Ivanov

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Sets and Costumes: John Conklin

The 40th Anniversary Season culminates in the revival of another milestone

production: the Company's famed Swan Lake, which The New York Times called "the best production of this ballet in the United States." With the passionate score of Tchaikovsky and the exquisite sets and costumes of John Conklin, this Swan Lake has thrilled Boston audiences for over a decade. "It is a fitting finale for this special season," said Nissinen.

New Season Schedule

Boston Ballet will alter its performance schedule in 2003-2004, adopting a season format that has proved successful for other major North American ballet companies. The Company will perform two productions-a full-length ballet and a repertory program in tandem in a three-week period. The full-length production will run for five performances in the first week, followed by six performances of the repertory program, and five more performances of the full-length ballet in the third week. Boston Ballet's fall and winter programs will follow this pattern; schedule changes do not affect The Nutcracker or the final program of the season, Swan Lake.

Subscription Information

The subscription season includes all programs except The Nutcracker. Renewal packages are now being sent to current subscribers. New subscriptions go on sale as of May 1, 2003. All Boston Ballet performances take place at The Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont Street, Boston. For more information on the 2003-2004 season, please contact the Boston Ballet Box Office at (617) 695-6955 or log onto the Boston Ballet website, www.bostonballet.org http://www.bostonballet.org>.

***

Merrill Lynch is Boston Ballet's 2002-2003 Season Sponsor

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