|| Dorchester Reporter
|| March 22, 2012
|| Chris Harding
Tomorrow young male dancers from a Dot middle school will join Boston Ballet professionals and students in two free public performances at the Strand Theatre as part of a now annual springtime tradition. The fast-paced educational sampler/ showcase will play before completely packed houses at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
“Boston Ballet is excitedly preparing for our third annual performances at The Strand Theatre,” said Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “Boston Ballet is the city’s dance company and our deep roots in the community continue to grow through extensive outreach programs and our mission for excellence and access to the art form of dance. We look forward to celebrating the Dorchester community with the Mayor’s Office on March 23.”
The morning school showcase, developed specifically for Boston Public Schools, offers a dynamic introduction to a variety of dance forms through an interactive and diverse program. Boston Ballet is proud to reach more than 10,000 children every year through its education and outreach programming.
On Friday at 11, all the Strand’s 1400 seats are expected to be filled with BPS students, the majority from the following record-setting 21 Dorchester and Mattapan schools: Chittick, Clap, Dever, Everett, Henderson, Holland, Holmes, Kenny, King, Lee Marshall, Mattahunt, Mildred Avenue K-8, Neighborhood House, Russell, S. Greenwood, Trotter, Winthrop and Young Achievers.
The Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School will turn out in full force to support fellow students who will be performing including Zuri Fernandes, Christopher Gayle, Jovanny Grullon, Jamaal Rene, and Jordan Washington.
Boys in Motion, an extended learning time option at the Frederick School, is part of Boston Ballet’s Taking Steps, which teaches “movement as a path to healthy self-expression for adolescents.” The sessions are run by choreographer Yo-el Cassell.
“The boys are absolutely thrilled and proud to have the opportunity to perform alongside Boston Ballet at The Strand,” Cassell told the Reporter. “In class, I can see from the beginning of our preparation for the performance that they are not taking the opportunity lightly. They are thinking like artists - rehearsing, fine-tuning , clarifying, developing and owning their movement. To them this is not just a class, but an outlet to express themselves and their voices.”
To increase the teen-friendliness of the show, young Boston Ballet company members and Boston Ballet II dancers will share their personal experiences with the art form of dance. During an audience participation section, soloists Joseph Gatti and Jeffrey Cirio will audience members up onstage.
Both the morning and evening programs will be hosted by the company’s new Director of Education and Community Initiatives, Zakiya Thomas. Both shows will feature Boston Ballet’s signature range of repertoire including classical and contemporary works performed by dancers from Boston Ballet, Boston Ballet II, Boston Ballet School, and students participating in Boston Ballet’s Education and Community Programs. This year’s selections will include excerpts from Christopher Bruce’s “Rooster,” Christopher Wheeldon’s “Polyphonia,” Rudolf Nureyev’s “Don Quixote” and a new work by Boston Ballet principal Yury Yanowsky.
So many Dorchester community groups have requested seats that the 7 p.m. performance is now at capacity. However, the company notes, “There is still a chance we may be able to accommodate walk-up requests if any tickets are unused that evening.”