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Curtain call in China
Photographer unknown, May 1980
Boston Ballet leapt onto the world stage in the 1980’s with tours to across the globe, from China to London.
Laura Young, Rudolf Nureyev, Arthur Leeth on stage in Swan Lake at the London ColiseumPhotographer unknown, June 1981
Rudolf Nureyev and Marie Christine Mouis in Don Quixote at the Metropolitan CenterPhotographer unknown, Mar 1982
May 28, 1980: Boston Ballet became the first American Company to perform in China with a three week tour to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou (Canton). The opening night performance of Ron Cunningham’s Cinderella received a rare standing ovation by the Chinese audience and was broadcast two days later over Chinese national TV to an audience of an estimated 30 million. The visit to China was part of a 12 week international tour of 11 cities in five countries, including Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, and France.
Mar 11, 1981: Due to the spaciousness of the stage at the Metropolitan Center, Boston Ballet was able to stage its first ever full-length Swan Lake. Violette Verdy, who had become Co-Artistic Director the year before, and Bruce Wells staged the lavish production.
June 1981: Boston Ballet takes Swan Lake on tour to the London Coliseum with Rudolf Nureyev dancing the role of Price Siegfried opposite Laura Young and Marie-Christine Mois sharing the role of Odette/Odile
Mar 10, 1982: Boston Ballet premiered Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote, Nureyev himself in the role of Basilo with Laura Young and Marie-Christine Mois alternating the role of Kitri. In April, Boston Ballet and Nureyev took the production on a five week North American tour to Atlanta, GA; San Antonio, TX; St. Louis, MO; New Orleans, LA; Miami, FL; Knoxville, TN; and Guanajuanto and Mexico City, Mexico. In August the company and Nureyev took the production on a four week tour through France and Italy. September brought the production on a three week tour to Los Angeles, CA and Detroit, MI. The company and Nureyev would finally premiere the production on Broadway for a three week run at the Uris Theater in January of 1983.
Mar 1983: The Company announced that the Ballet’s founder, E. Virginia Williams, would step down as Artistic Director of Boston Ballet, turning sole directorship of the company to Violette Verdy. Williams would stay on as Artistic Advisor. Verdy had a long history with Boston Ballet, appearing as a guest artist in the early years of the company. She had joined Boston Ballet on tour in 1980 and had become Co-Artistic Director in 1981.
May 8, 1984: Boston Ballet founder E. Virginia Williams passed away at aged 70 in Malden, Massachusetts.
Curtain call 25th anniversary gala
Photographer unknown, Mar 1989