Boston Ballet Announces its 2018-19 Season
Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen announces programming for the 2018-2019 season at the Boston Opera House. The season opens with Genius at Play, a celebration of Jerome Robbins' and Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthdays. Nissinen's The Nutcracker returns to enchant audiences with its beloved characters and brilliant dancing. The spring season includes an array of classical favorites and highly anticipated premieres, starting with the first world premiere by world-renowned choreographer William Forsythe created on an American company since 1992. Returning favorites include George Balanchine's Coppélia and Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella. The Company's 55th season runs September 6, 2018 through June 9, 2019.
"Our upcoming season is a colorful celebration of all that's great about dance," said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. "We're presenting both the new and old with a reflection on Robbins and Bernstein, who together created some of the most honest, human, and lively masterpieces in dance. I am also thrilled to show audiences the cutting-edge of ballet choreography by adding a brand new work by William Forsythe to our repertoire. We also have the return of two enchanting audience favorites-Cinderella and Coppélia."
Following a performance of Fancy Free with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood Music Center on August 18, 2018, Boston Ballet continues the centennial celebration of the storied friendship of choreographer Jerome Robbins and composer Leonard Bernstein. The season opens September 6-16, with Genius at Play, an all-Robbins program featuring Interplay, Fancy Free, and the Company premiere of Glass Pieces. Interplay is a brightly colorful work for eight dancers to a jazz score by Morton Gould. Fancy Free was the first ballet Robbins ever choreographed, with music by then up-and-coming composer Bernstein. It depicts the antics of sailors on shore leave in New York City in the 1940s and was the inspiration for their soon-to-follow Broadway musical On the Town. Infused with the buzz of urban life, Glass Pieces is an electrifying work for 42 dancers set to music by Philip Glass.
Mikko Nissinen's The Nutcracker returns to the Boston Opera House November 29-December 30. This annual production has become a delightful tradition for New England audiences and visitors.
Full on Forsythe opens the spring season, March 7-17, marking the third year of Boston Ballet's five-year partnership with world-renowned choreographer William Forsythe. Boston Ballet will present Forsythe's first world premiere created on an American company since 1992. The program also includes the North American premiere of Blake Works I, Forsythe's 2016 work for Paris Opera Ballet. This exuberant work is set to music from GRAMMY-nominated British musician James Blake's album "The Colour in Anything." Also on the program is Artifact Suite, a compilation of movements from his full-length work Artifact, which saw its Boston Ballet premiere in 2017. Forsythe is also an established installation and film artist whose work has been presented at numerous museums around the world. The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston will present William Forsythe: Choreographic Objects, the artist's first comprehensive U.S. exhibition, from October 31, 2018 through February 24, 2019.
Coppélia, George Balanchine's lighthearted romantic comedy of mistaken identity, returns to delight audiences March 21-31. Legendary ballerina Alexandra Danilova helped Balanchine stage the ballet in 1974 from her own recollections of Marius Petipa's 1884 production. Coppélia is based on the libretto by Charles Louis-Étienne Nuitter, after E.T.A. Hoffmann's Der Sandmann. Dr. Coppélius is a toy-maker and magician who builds a life-like doll named Coppélia that he treats like a daughter. The beautiful doll is so realistic that Franz is smitten and tries to win her attention even though he is engaged to Swanhilda. Jealous and frustrated, Swanhilda sneaks into Dr. Coppélius' workshop and impersonates the doll, leading Dr. Coppélius to believe that Coppélia has indeed come to life. Coppélia is performed to a score by Léo Delibes and features more than 24 Boston Ballet School students in Act III.
After a successful Company premiere in 2014, Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella returns to enchant audiences May 10-June 8. Presented in three acts to a score by Sergei Prokofiev, Cinderella was Ashton's first full-length work for Sadler's Wells Ballet (which later became The Royal Ballet), and today it is still regarded as one of his greatest works. Cinderella's two ill-tempered stepsisters are comedic characters traditionally performed by men, a role Ashton himself famously danced with The Royal Ballet for 27 years.
Rhapsody, a mixed-repertory program, concludes the season May 16-June 9. Principal Dancer Paulo Arrais will present a world premiere titled ELA, Rhapsody in Blue, his first work choreographed for the Opera House stage. The work features 15 men and one central female dancer performing to George Gershwin's sultry score. George Balanchine famously described his opulent Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 as a "contemporary tribute to [Marius] Petipa, 'the father of classical ballet,' and to Tchaikovsky, his greatest composer." A series of ballet miniatures by transformative Russian choreographer Leonid Yakobson completes the program, including his lyrical Pas de Quatre and sculptural Rodin, both of which premiered at BB@home during the 2015-2016 season. Yakobson's Vestris, a work about 18th century "king of dance" Auguste Vestris, was originally choreographed for Mikhail Baryshnikov and makes its Company premiere.
Tickets for The Nutcracker will go on sale July 9. Single tickets for the 2018-2019 season will go on sale to the public starting July 23. Current subscribers may renew starting mid-February, and new subscribers and groups of 10 or more can order starting March 12. For more information, visit bostonballet.org or call 617.695.6955.
All performances take place at the Boston Opera House (539 Washington Street, Boston, MA, 02111)