Neoclassical ballet

Boston Ballet Announces 59th Anniversary Season

Boston Ballet’s 2022-23 season at Citizens Bank Opera House will include world premieres by William Forsythe and Nanine Linning, a pair of works by George Balanchine, the return of ‘Don Quixote’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and, of course, the company’s annual Nutcracker production.

“My Obsession” (October 6-16) will combine Balanchine’s “Apollo” and “Allegro Brillante” with Helen Pickett’s “Tsukiyo” and Stephen Galloway’s “DEVIL’S/eye”. “Apollo” is Balanchine’s earliest surviving ballet; Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen describes it as “the epitome of neoclassical ballet. It’s so contemporary it looks like it could have been done tomorrow. “Allegro Brillante,” which Boston Ballet hasn’t performed since 1992, he calls “a brilliant little ballet,” and he looks forward to the company not just “doing it, but mastering it. Let’s see how brilliantly you can dance it; there are bubbles in the champagne for me.

Boston Ballet’s next season will feature “My Obsession,” pairing George Balanchine’s “Apollo” (pictured) and “Allegro Brillante” with Helen Pickett’s “Tsukiyo” and Stephen Galloway’s “DEVIL’S/eye.”Brooke Trisolini; courtesy of Boston Ballet

“Tsukiyo,” which Boston Ballet debuted in 2009, is a 10-minute duet inspired by a 10th-century Japanese tale and Arvo Pärt’s hypnotic “Spiegel im Spiegel.” The play was part of the March 2020 “Carmen” program which was canceled due to the COVID pandemic. As for “DEVIL’S/eye,” which was part of Boston Ballet’s “DREAMstate” program last March, Nissinen says it’s “back by popular demand. We have so many new audiences who have never been to ballet. It really resonated with the community. »

“As Anticipated” (November 3-13) will feature Forsythe’s “Artifact Suite” as well as a world premiere. In 2017, Boston Ballet became the first North American company to perform Forsythe’s 1984 “Artifact” evening. “. It’s like a punch in the face, it’s like a freight train. Every day I have the chance to see it anywhere is a good day in my life. As for the world premiere of Forsythe, Nissinen says he expects it to be set to John Cage’s compositions for prepared piano, “and that’s all I know”.

After “The Nutcracker” (Nov. 25-December 31), the spring season will begin with “Don Quixote” (March 16-26). Forty years ago, Rudolf Nureyev adapted his version of the 1869 ballet Marius Petipa for the company and also danced Basilio. This production and the subsequent tour of the United States and Mexico put the Boston Ballet on the international dance map. Nissinen says, “It’s one of the most believable releases out there, and I love it. It’s a little less patchwork. It’s often said that ‘Don Q’ is the ballet that gives you a great excuse to dance fantastically, but I’m very happy with what Rudolf did with it.

“Our Journey” (April 6-16) will pair New York City Ballet resident choreographer and artistic advisor Justin Peck’s 2014 “Everywhere We Go” with the as yet untitled world premiere of Linning. The Boston Ballet staged Peck’s “In Creases” in 2018. “‘Everywhere We Go,'” Nissinen says, “is a work that Justin has never given, only New York City Ballet has. It’s a really big cast, about 30 people, and a tour de force of dancing, it’s tons of dancing for tons of people.

Lia Cirio, Lasha Khozashvili and the Boston Ballet in “Sleeping Beauty” by Marius Petipa.Liza Voll

Linning’s “La Voix Humaine” was part of Boston Ballet’s April 2021 virtual “Process & Progress” offering. The new work will be set to Claude Debussy’s “La mer” and “Sirènes,” but these pieces will be interwoven contemporary pieces of music. “It’s going to be a huge production,” says Nissinen, “probably somewhere near 50 minutes. We’re using very cutting-edge visuals and costumes and a full LED screen.

There will be nothing avant-garde in “Sleeping Beauty” (May 25-June 4). The Boston Ballet will once again present the Royal Ballet’s version that Nissinen describes as “faithful to the original intention”, the one that Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn toured the world, with sets and costumes by David Walker and choreography based on the premiere of Petipa in 1890. Nissinen does not apologize for sticking to it. “I’ve never seen a better ‘Sleeping Beauty’, can’t say enough good things about it. ‘Beauty’ doesn’t get any better than this.”

Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this story misidentified the March 2020 program that Boston Ballet canceled due to COVID. Due to incorrect information provided to The Globe, the previous version also misstated the name of Nanine Linning’s new work which will have its world premiere next season. The Globe regrets the errors.


Jeffrey Gantz can be contacted at [email protected]