BOSTON, MA - Boston Ballet continues the 50th season with Close to Chuck, an electrifying selection of works by some of the world's most visionary choreographers alive today. The program features a brilliant collaboration between visual and performing arts in C. to C. (Close to Chuck), by Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo, Resonance, a world premiere by award-winning José Martinez, and Jiří Kylián's spellbinding Bella Figura. Performances run from February 20 - March 2, 2014 at the Boston Opera House.
"Three creations by three legends," said Nissinen. "This program has so much depth, so much complexity. But at the root of all of the emotion is exquisite dancing. I'm very excited to see what magic our dancers can bring to the stage with our two new works, and how they continue to enchant audiences with Bella Figura."
Jorma Elo's C. to C. (Close to Chuck) speaks to the concept of overcoming limitations in life and features the work of five living artists. Originally commissioned for American Ballet Theatre in 2007, the ballet stemmed from several concepts that tie to one another. Elo was inspired by artist Chuck Close who despite suffering a rare spinal artery collapse which led to his paralysis in 1988, continues to create powerful works using a brush-holding device strapped to his wrist and forearm. The prolific artist shares a friendship with Composer Phillip Glass who he has collaborated with indirectly since the 1960s - Close has painted many portraits of Glass, who at the request of acclaimed pianist Bruce Levingston, composed A Musical Portrait of Chuck Close in 2005. Bruce Levingston, called "one of today's most adventurous musicians" by The New York Times premiered the first performance of the ballet and will accompany all performances at Boston Opera House. Featuring imaginative costumes by Ralph Rucci, the artwork of Chuck Close, and Glass' compelling score, Elo's C. to C. (Close to Chuck) has been described by The New York Times as "quite a hall of mirrors."
José Martinez is known for his classical brilliance during his 23 year career at the Paris Opera Ballet. He was handpicked by Rudolf Nureyev for the company and performed for 14 years as an étoile. Martinez has danced with some of the world's most famous choreographers, including Maurice Béjart, Martha Graham, and Roland Petit. Since his retirement as a performer, he has been appointed Director of National Dance Company in Spain, as well as choreographed ballets for companies all over the world. Boston Ballet is the first North American company to commission a Martinez piece. The work features an exhilarating score by Franz Liszt performed by two solo pianists.
Jiří Kylián's Bella Figura has become an emblem of Boston Ballet's ability to inspire audiences with contemporary dance. Described by critics as "transcendent," the work features nine dancers, a haunting baroque score and an elaborate set designed by Kylián himself. In 2011, Boston Ballet was the first American Company to present Bella Figura, which was met with high acclaim. The Company has since performed the work for national and international audiences, including three performances at the London Coliseum earlier this season. An emotional masterpiece, audiences have called Bella Figura a beautiful and artistic experience that leaves a lasting impression. This February, audiences will see Bella Figura at the Boston Opera house for one last time before it goes into Boston Ballet's repertory archive for a long period.
All performances of Close to Chuck will take place at The Boston Opera House:
Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 7:30PM
Friday, February 21, 2014 at 7:30PM
Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:00PM
Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 7:30PM
Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 1:00PM
Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 7:30PM
Friday, February 28, 2014 at 7:30PM
Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 7:30PM
Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 1:00PM
For more information, visit www.bostonballet.org or call 617-695-6955.
Boston Ballet's internationally acclaimed performances of classical, neo-classical, and contemporary ballets, combined with a dedication to world class dance education and community outreach programs have made the institution a leader in its field, with a 50 year history of promoting excellence and access to dance. The Company launched its 50th season overseas with six critically acclaimed performances at The London Coliseum. Upon the return to the U.S., Boston Ballet kicked off the season at home with the first-ever Night of Stars on Boston Common - a free performance for the Boston community. The historic evening attracted over 55,000 audience members to the largest stage ever built on Boston Common. The monumental season will conclude with a national tour to Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center and New York's David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.
Led by Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, the Company has grown to become a force in the dance world locally, nationally and internationally. Boston Ballet continues this dynamic momentum into its 50th season while honoring its historic roots, the legacy of founder E. Virginia Williams, artistic advisor George Balanchine, and the leadership of artistic directors Violette Verdy, Bruce Marks and Anna Marie Holmes.
The programming for Boston Ballet's sensational 2013-2014 season defines the Company's distinctive style and rich diversity, showcasing its artistic and technical range; from traditional classics like Ashton's Cinderella, Clerc's La Bayadére, Lander's Études, to Balanchine's dazzling Jewels and Resident Choreographer's C. to C. (Close to Chuck). In addition the Company will introduce new voices in dance to the United States, with works by Alexander Ekman (Cacti), Petr Zuska (D.M.J. 1953-1977), and a world premiere by José Martinez.
Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to excellence and access. The School reaches more than 10,000 students (toddler to adult) each year through Boston Ballet School classes, the Summer Dance Workshop, Pre-professional Summer Dance Program and the Pre-Professional Training held at three studio locations in Boston, Newton, and Marblehead.
Boston Ballet's nationally-acclaimed education programs include Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance. The programs are offered in partnership with the Boston Public Schools and in communities throughout the city and region.
Boston Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following institutional partners:
State Street Corporation, 2013 Presenting Sponsor, The Nutcracker, London Tour
The Boston Foundation
Massachusetts Cultural Council
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