Boston Ballet concludes a monumental 50th season at the Boston Opera House with Jewels, a full evening of George Balanchine's brilliant choreography, May 22-June 1. A grand conclusion to an ambitious season that began with a tour to London, 5 premieres and a free performance on Boston Common for 55,000 Bostonians. When Boston Ballet first performed Jewels in 2009 The Boston Globe acclaimed, "The group as a whole executes Balanchine's kaleidoscopic traffic patterns with aplomb."
Boston Ballet has deep roots in the Balanchine tradition and continues to build and strengthen its repertoire by the acclaimed choreographer. When the company was founded in 1963, it was in part due to the recommendation of George Balanchine to the Ford Foundation to establish the company as New England's first professional repertory ballet company.
"I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the achievements of our 50 year old company", said Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. "What better way than to end the season with this sparkling stroke of genius - a neo-classical masterpiece by George Balanchine."
Balanchine premiered Jewels at New York City Ballet in 1967 after inspiration struck outside the window of jeweler Claude Arpels. A ballet in three parts, the program presents a miniature history of classical dance with references to ballet's French origins, and Russia's imperial style. Emeralds opens the program and is set to the music of Gabriel Fauré's Pelléas et Melisande and Shylock. A nod to the elegance and luxury of 19th century France the French style choreography is performed in romantic tulle skirts. Rubies, set to Igor Stravinsky's Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra, is a vivid and exciting example of neo-classical ballet at its best. Emeralds and Rubies will be staged by former New York City Ballet and Boston Ballet principal dancer Sandra Jennings Eshima. Diamonds completes the program and is set to Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 3 in D Major, Op 29. Staged by former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Maria Calegari, Diamonds evokes Russia's Imperial style and classical technique. At once classical and vibrant, Jewels continues to please and fascinate audiences worldwide.
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, George Balanchine is regarded as the foremost neo-classical choreographer in the world. He came to the United States in 1933, accepting the invitation of the young American Arts patron Lincoln Kirstein, whose great passions included the dream of creating a ballet company in America. A major artistic figure of the 20th century, Balanchine revolutionized the look of classical ballet. Taking classicism as his base, he heightened, quickened, and even inverted the fundamentals of the 300-year-old language of academic ballet. This had an inestimable influence on the growth of dance in America. Although at first his style seemed particularly suited to the energy and speed of American dancers, especially those he trained, his ballets are now performed by all the major classical ballet companies throughout the world.
"In the case of Jewels, Boston Ballet has a hit on its hands. The Boston crowd hailed all three ballets warmly. The applause was acutely responsive to moments that aren't standard wow effects and that must have taken painstaking rehearsal. The Balanchine spell starts to light up the stage space as music drama, and a hit turns into a suspenseful sensation."
The New York Times, 2009
For more information, visit www.bostonballet.org/jewels.
All performances of JEWELS will take place at The Boston Opera House:
- Thursday, May 22 at 7:30pm
- Friday, May 23 at 7:30pm
- Saturday, May 24 at 1:00pm & 7:30pm
- Sunday, May 25 at 1:00pm
- Wednesday, May 28 at 1:00pm
- Thursday, May 29 at 7:30pm
- Friday, May 30 at 7:30pm
- Saturday, May 31 at 7:30pm
- Sunday, June 1 at 1:00pm
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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