BOSTON BALLET TOURS TO SPOLETO FESTIVAL AND THE KENNEDY CENTER
BOSTON, MA – February 20, 2008 – Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen announces today two special engagements for Boston Ballet after the close of the Company’s 2007-08 Boston season. This Spring, the company will perform as part of the at the acclaimed Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina (May 24 and 25) and as part of the Ballet Across America series at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC (June 13 and 15).
“Following last season’s highly successful international tour to Spain and appearances in New York and California, I could not be more proud to showcase the artistry of these talented dancers at two of the country’s most established performing arts venues,” said Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “Touring is essential to the growth and advancement of the company. I’m thrilled to present Boston Ballet to these new audiences.”
For both engagements the company will perform Brake The Eyes, the 2006 commission by Boston Ballet Resident Choreographer, Jorma Elo. Premiered to audience and critical acclaim, Brake The Eyes was praised by Theodore Bale in the Boston Herald as, “a stunning premiere” and called “the prize/surprise of the evening” by Iris Fanger in Dance Magazine. The Company’s Spoleto Festival USA engagement also features excerpts from Nissinen’s production of Swan Lake and Twyla Tharp’s In The Upper Room.
Spoleto Festival USA
Carolina First Dance Series
Saturday, May 24 at 7pm
Sunday, May 25 at 2pm and 8pm
77 Calhoun Street
Tickets: www.spoletousa.org <http://www.spoletousa.org/> or (843) 579-3100
Popular American contemporary choreographer Twyla Tharp has choreographed more than 135 dances, five Hollywood movies and three Broadway Shows. Her 1986 piece, In The Upper Room, is an explosive and energetic work created to a pulsing composition by Philip Glass. The mastery of Tharp’s choreography is evident and the excitement infectious during this critically acclaimed work.
Boston Ballet’s Spoleto Festival USA engagement also features Brake The Eyes, Jorma Elo’s fourth commission for Boston Ballet. The piece was inspired, in part, by a remark made to Elo by Boston Ballet Music Director Jonathan McPhee, who said that his approach to choreography is to “deconstruct” it. Intrigued by the comment, Elo set out to deconstruct Mozart. Brake The Eyes is danced to six movements from five works by Mozart, mostly chamber pieces for piano and/or violin. The ballet begins with a soundscape, which is heard between each piece of music.
“Mozart’s music is organized beauty,” said Elo, “But there’s all this madness within it. Nancy Euverink made a sound world that comes between the different pieces of music; sometimes a piece of music is cut in the middle, and this sound world comes in. It sounds like a submarine under the sea, and there’s a little bit of violin coming in now and then. I like the contrast to the music. It’s like the soundtrack in movies that builds tension.”
Elo has become one of the most sought-after choreographers in this country and abroad. He has created ballets for New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, Finnish National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theatre.
Boston Ballet will premiere a new work by Elo on March 6 and San Francisco Ballet on April 24 as part of their 75th Anniversary Festival of New Work. Elo was awarded the choreographic prize at the 2005 Helsinki International Ballet Competition.
Excerpts from Nissinen’s 2004 production of Swan Lake, called “a must-see” by Christine Temin in The Boston Globe, will showcase the Company’s mastery of the great ballet classics. With the passionate score of Tchaikovsky and the exquisite costumes of John Conklin, this Swan Lake thrilled Boston audiences when it premiered in 2004. Boston Ballet will perform two of the classical pieces from Swan Lake: the White Swan Pas de Deux from Act II and the Black Swan Pas de Deux from Act III for its Spoleto Festival engagement. In addition, the Company will perform Pas de Cinq, a new addition to Swan Lake choreographed by Nissinen as an abstract divertissement for Act III.
“This ballet is the crown jewel of classical ballets. Through a great deal of research of the version performed in St. Petersburg in 1895, I have re-staged the ballet as close to its original roots as possible. Over time, certain sections of Swan Lake have been lost or strayed from the original intentions, so I have re-choreographed some of the divertissements. Overall, this version is true to its masterful origins, honoring the artistry of Tchaikovsky, Petipa, and Ivanov,” said Nissinen.
The Kennedy Center
Ballet Across America Series
Friday, June 13 at 7:30pm
Sunday, June 15 at 1:30pm
The Kennedy Center
Tickets: www.kennedy-center.org <http://www.kennedy-center.org/> or (800) 444-1324.
Boston Ballet performs as part of The Kennedy Center’s Ballet Across America series joining eight other prestigious companies in celebration of the breadth and depth of American ballet. The company will perform Elo’s Brake The Eyes and will be featured on the same program with Joffrey Ballet and Oregon Ballet Theatre.
The Ballet Across America series consists of three mixed repertory programs--each featuring an envoy of dance from the eastern, middle, and western U.S. Other ballet companies performing as part of the series are: Pennsylvania Ballet, The Washington Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Houston Ballet, Ballet West and Pacific Northwest Ballet. The entire Ballet Across America series schedule is listed below.
June 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Ballet West--Serenade (Balanchine/Tchaikovsky)
Pennsylvania Ballet--In the Night (Robbins/Chopin)
Houston Ballet--Velocity (Welch/Torke)
June 12 at 7:30 p.m. and June 14 at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Pacific Northwest Ballet--Jardí Tancat (Duato/del Mar Bonet)
Kansas City Ballet--The Still Point (Bolender/Debussy)
The Washington Ballet--Nine Sinatra Songs (Tharp/various)
June 13 at 7:30 p.m. and June 15 at 1:30 p.m.
Boston Ballet--Brake the Eyes (Elo/Mozart)
Joffrey Ballet--Lilac Garden (Tudor/Chausson)
Oregon Ballet Theatre--RUSH (Wheeldon/Martinu)
About Boston Ballet
Founded in 1963, Boston Ballet is one of the leading dance companies in North America. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Valerie Wilder, the Company has 50 dancers and maintains an internationally acclaimed 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 made up of nine pre-professional dancers who gain experience by performing with Boston Ballet and as an independent group, presenting lecture-demonstrations and unique programs to audiences throughout the Northeast. The Boston Ballet Center for Dance Education reaches and instructs more than 5,000 students of all ages each year through Boston Ballet School, Young Dancers Summer Workshop, Summer Dance Program, DanceLab, Citydance, Adaptive Dance and Taking Steps.
Boston Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following institutional partners:
State Street Corporation, 2007 Sponsor, The Nutcracker
Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation/Linda S. Waintrup, Trustee
Massachusetts Cultural Council
National Endowment for the Arts
Boston Organ & Piano, Official Piano Supplier of Boston Ballet
Boston Ballet tours Spoleto Festival and the Kennedy Center
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