Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Boston Ballet Announces 2020–2021 Season

Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen announces programming for the 2020-2021 season. The season opens with a world premiere as part of a three-ballet program of William Forsythe's works. Nissinen's The Nutcracker returns to capture the imagination of audiences of all ages. The spring season includes a second world premiere by William Forsythe, Alexei Ratmansky's Symphony No. 9, and George Balanchine's Ballo della Regina, plus the Company premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's A Midsummer Night's Dream and the return of Marius Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty. The season concludes with a female-led program, part of Boston Ballet's ChoreograpHER Initiative. The Company's 57th season runs November 5, 2020 through May 30, 2021 at the Citizens Bank Opera House.

"Our upcoming season is a dream come true with many new works by today's greatest living choreographers paired with beloved classics," said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen.

The season opens with Triple Bill (November 5-15), featuring three works by creative powerhouse and internationally-acclaimed choreographer William "Bill" Forsythe. Just prior to the season opening, Boston Ballet will return to New York City to present this program at The Shed in October, which features a world premiere by Forsythe, co-commissioned by The Shed and Boston Ballet. Blake Works I returns by popular demand, transforming James Blake's "The Colour in Anything" into "sheer joy" (The New York Times). The international sensation Playlist (EP) returns after a record-breaking world premiere in Boston in March 2019 followed by the Company's successful Paris debut in June. Playlist (EP) pulls pop and R&B music from Forsythe's personal playlist to fuel the piece's "high-kicking exuberance" (The Boston Globe). The program continues Forsythe and Boston Ballet's long-term partnership formed in 2016.

Mikko Nissinen's The Nutcracker returns to the Citizens Bank Opera House November 27-December 31. The annual production "...remains a masterpiece of music, movement and theatrical spectacle" (The Boston Globe) and is a cherished holiday treasure for audiences of all ages. The critically-acclaimed production, featuring sets and costumes by award-winning designer Robert Perdziola, is set to Tchaikovsky's renowned score.

Opening the spring season, which marks Nissinen's 20th year as artistic director, Titans (February 18-28) highlights giants of the dance world: William Forsythe, Alexei Ratmansky, and George Balanchine. Forsythe returns to create another highly-anticipated world premiere. Prolific choreographer Alexei Ratmansky pays tribute to the revolutionary Russian composer Shostakovich, bringing his Symphony No. 9 to life with unparalleled musicality and stylistic versatility. George Balanchine's Ballo della Regina is a virtuoso set of variations, comparable to the Bel Canto style of opera. The choreography was originally made to challenge the lead ballerina who must appear to be carefree while performing technically challenging steps.

Christopher Wheeldon's A Midsummer Night's Dream (March 4-14) brings William Shakespeare's timeless tale of love's adventures and misadventures to life. Set to a score by Felix Mendelssohn, the ballet is set in an enchanted forest where mischievous fairies meddle with the fates of mortals. A flower pierced by Cupid's arrow at the hands of the feuding Fairy King Oberon sets into motion a comedy of errors. His servant Puck weaves a spell over three sets of lovers, who become crisscrossed in comedic love triangles before finding each other again. This marks the Company premiere of Wheeldon's production, which is " of the most effective and satisfying story ballets of modern times" (Tulsa World).

One of the Company's trademark works, The Sleeping Beauty, returns April 30-May 16. The iconic production, by Marius Petipa with additional choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton, tells the timeless tale of a beautiful princess and the power of true love's kiss. The ballet is a spectacular achievement of classical choreography, set to music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky with sumptuous sets and costumes by Emmy Award-winning designer David Walker.

The final program of the season is ChoreograpHER (May 20-30). The female-led program celebrates innovative voices across the art world with four new works. Dutch choreographer Nanine Linning will create her first work for a major ballet company in North America, pairing vivid imagery with strong physical movement. New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Tiler Peck will create a world premiere. She recently received accolades for her work at Vail International Dance Festival and directed movement for the film John Wick 3: Parabellum. Choreographer and Norwegian National Ballet Principal Dancer Melissa Hough, formerly a Boston Ballet Principal Dancer, returns to create a world premiere on the company where she got her start. Visual artist Shantell Martin-internationally-acclaimed for her landscape of lines and existential questions-will create a work in collaboration with Boston Ballet Principal Dancer and choreographer Lia Cirio. The program will also feature conceptual art by writer, researcher, and artist Emma McCormick-Goodhart. This program is part of Boston Ballet's ChoreograpHER Initiative, a multi-year commitment in support of emerging female choreographers. It was established in 2018 to give female dance students and professional dancers an opportunity to develop choreographic skills.

Tickets for The Nutcracker will go on sale July 21. Tickets for the rest of the 2020-2021 season will go on sale to the public starting September 1. Current subscribers may renew starting March 3, and new subscribers and groups of 10 or more can order starting March 10. For more information, visit or call 617.695.6955.

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

Related Articles View More Boston Stories

More Hot Stories For You