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Boston Ballet School Presents ANNUAL NEXT GENERATION PERFORMANCE, 5/24

Boston Ballet School presents its annual Next Generation performance. This year's program includes the famous Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle, a world premiere by Harvard Dance Director and choreographer Jill Johnson, Strut, George Balanchine's Walpurgisnacht, Jaime Sierra's Legión, and opens with Les Passages, which showcases all levels of the Pre-Professional Program in works created by BBS faculty members demonstrating the progression of training. The performance also features dancers from Boston Ballet II, Boston Ballet's second company, and members of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. The one-night-only performance will take place on Wednesday, May 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the Boston Opera House.

"Next Generation showcases the future of the dance," said Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. "It is a wonderful opportunity for our community to support young talent. It provides a sneak peek at future Boston Ballet dancers."

Many Pre-Professional students will continue their professional dance careers with major companies such as Boston Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, and Pennsylvania Ballet. Currently, approximately 20 percent of Boston Ballet's dancers are graduates of the Pre-Professional Program. In addition, approximately 70 percent of Pre-Professional Program graduates secure jobs in professional ballet companies, with this percentage increasing each year.

"This year's programming has been chosen specifically to highlight the depth and breadth of talent that has developed within the Pre-Professional Program, while also revealing the curriculum expertise behind our methodology," said Boston Ballet School Director Margaret Tracey. "By featuring 27 male students in Legión, and 24 female students in Walpurgisnacht we aim to demonstrate not only the quality of training at BBS, but also its real impact on the cultivation of tomorrow's leading dancers."

Next Generation features 98 Pre-Professional Program students from across the United States and around the world. This year's program includes Les Passages, a 17-minute piece featuring the entire Pre-Professional Program at every level, beginning with students at age 13 and ending with the oldest students at age 19.

Following Les Passages will be the Peasant Pas de Deux from Giselle choreographed by Jean Coralli. With music by Freidrich Burgm?ller, this is one of the most renowned excerpts from Giselle. The evening will continue with Strut, a world premiere and newly commissioned work by Jill Johnson featuring music by Thom Willems. Strut received a generous grant from Virginia B. Toulmin foundation through an initiative to foster emerging women choreographers. Johnson was a principal dancer and researcher with Ballet Frankfurt. She is also a world-renowned expert on choreographer William Forsythe and has been a close collaborator with Forsythe for more than two decades. Johnson was appointed Harvard Dance Director in 2011 where she has choreographed 13 original works.

Following Strut will be Jaime Sierra's Legión featuring music by Zoë Keating. This all-male ensemble of 27 will feature BBII members and Pre-Professional Program students. Balancing the masculinity of Legión, the evening will conclude with George Balanchine'sWalpurgisnacht, which features 24 women and one man. Balanchine choreographed this work in 1975 for a production of Faust by the Théâtre National de l'Opéra, danced by the Paris Opéra Ballet.

Dance and music critics are encouraged to attend and review the May 24 performance of Next Generation at the Boston Opera House.

Picture: Rosalie O'Connor

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