|| Turun Sanomat*
|| September 9, 2012
|| Suvi Satama
Boston Ballet: Four piece performance, Choreography Christopher Wheeldon, Jorma Elo, Helen Pickett, William Forsythe. Music Gyorgy Ligeti, Heinrich von Biber, Arvo Part, Thom Willems. Lights, Costumes, and set design by set team, piano Freda Locker, violin Andrus Haav, National Opera Mainstage 9.8.12 at 2pm.
Boston Ballet opened the National Ballet‘s Fall season with full force. This North America’s most significant ballet group visited Finland for the first time, led by Artistic Director since 2001, Mikko Nissinen, who was born in Finland.
The company performed a quadruple neoclassical bill. The pieces showcased Boston Ballet’s skills in the contemporary field although the group does perform a lot of classical ballet.
The technical skill of classical ballet gave the neoclassical dance a strong, esthetic base where no weak links were present within the group.The four pieces were perfectly chosen for the visit to Finland. Rarely do we get to enjoy choreography created by internationally recognized choreographers.
Masterful technique and expression
The performance began with Christopher Wheeldon’s “Polyphonia” which in its’simplicity was quite demanding for the dancers. The meticulous and geometric movements combined with the exchange from a rapid to a slow tempo, was a dizzying experience. Each dancer’s interpretation with their different nuances contributed to piece as a whole and gave meaning to the actual name of the piece, polyphonia. The purple colored leotards were unified and gave a serene feel to the otherwise restless piece. The different shades of lighting created an ambiance and displayed each dancer’s technical talent. Gyorgy Ligeti’s piano music, which Freda Locker interpreted wonderfully, kept the high intensity throughout the piece.
Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo’s “Plan to B” accompanied by Heinrich von Biber’s music from different eras, was a roof raising experience. The piece, which was created for six dancers, was seen in Finland for the first time. The Resident Choreographer’s style had a crazy energy, which made you forget to breathe at times. The electricity was maintained throughout the whole dance and captivated the viewer with a yearning to see more. Boston Ballet’s female dancers’ pointe shoe technique was extremely precise and pure, the arabesques fluid and the leg lifts nearly perfect. The male dancers’ solo performances were also up to a high standard.
Helen Pickett’s “Tsukiyo” differed from the previous two pieces with it’s’ ambience. The overly romantic theme felt disconnected from the other three pieces but showed however the repertoire’s different, tranquil dimension. The Japanese themed piece went from intimate emotions to sleeplike state of minds. Kathleen Breen Combes’ and Paul Craig’s dance under the moonlight showed beautiful vulnerability and awoke many feelings of joy and sorrow and of love and loss.The magical music of Arvo Part, interpreted by Andrus Haav and Freda Locker, made it feel like the time stood still.
The repertoire’s finale was “The Second Detail” choreographed by the world renowned William Forsythe. Even though It was choreographed over 20 years ago, it felt it was ahead of its’ time. The dancers expressed it freely and with a twinkle in their eye. With Thom Willems’ electronic beats fitting like a glove it also boasted a fresh visual look and feel. The groups’ 14 dancers were an impressive sight to see as they improvised in the choreographer’s assigned spaces onstage.
Boston Ballet’s visit was an incredible gust of wind and hopefully will be an inspirational model for the Finnish dance community as they will start to spread their wings internationally.
*translated from the original Finnish