Boston Ballet’s Surprising 55th Season to Feature Robbins, Forsythe, Cinderella

 
James Whiteside, Paul Craig, and Isaac Akiba in Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free; photo by Gene Schiavone, courtesy of Boston Ballet

James Whiteside, Paul Craig, and Isaac Akiba in Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free; photo by Gene Schiavone, courtesy of Boston Ballet

 

Today Boston Ballet announced a lengthy and surprising, 2018–19 season, which features an unusual assortment of works and a considerable focus on 20th-century choreographers.

Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo is oddly absent from the Company’s 55th season, which includes nights dedicated Jerome Robbins and William Forsythe (the latter featuring a world premiere), Balanchine’s Coppélia, Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella and a new piece by Principal Dancer Paulo Arrais.

 “Our upcoming season is a colorful celebration of all that’s great about dance,” Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen said in the official press release.

This celebration kicks off with a tribute to an American ballet staple, the theatrical and Tony Award-winning Jerome Robbins choreographer who is most famous for West Side Story. Before Boston Ballet’s season begins, the Company will team up with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood Music Center in August for a performance of Fancy Free in honor of Robbins’ renown artistic ties with composer Leonard Bernstein to mark their 100th birthdays.

“We’re presenting both the new and old with a reflection on Robbins and Bernstein, who together created some of the most honest, human, and lively masterpieces in dance,” Nissinen said in the press release.

Roddy Doble and Lia Cirio in William Forsythe's Artifact; photo by Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet

Roddy Doble and Lia Cirio in William Forsythe's Artifact; photo by Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet

Fancy Free will be performed again September 6–16 for the early season premiere, Genius at Play, which also features Robbins’ Interplay and Glass Pieces. Following Genius at Play, Boston Ballet will perform its annual production of Nissinen’s The Nutcracker, November 29–December 30.

Boston Ballet’s five-year collaboration with world-famous contemporary choreographer William Forsythe continues in its third year, March 7–17, 2019, with Full on Forsythe, a triple-bill featuring a world premiere; his Artifact Suite (a more tasteful and, thankfully, condensed version of Artifact 2016, performed last year); and the North American premiere Blake Works I, set to music from British musician James Blake’s electronic album The Colour in Anything—a haunting and soulful electronic album, well-suited to Forsythe’s edgy style.

The Company bounces right back March 21–31, 2019, with George Balanchine’s full-length tale of Coppélia, the story of a doll-maker who creates a lifelike doll and treats it as his daughter. Boston Ballet’s production will include a host of Boston Ballet School students, as well.

After a nearly three-month break, Boston Ballet performs Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella, a both regal and comical take on the fairytale. The popular classical ballet is set to a score by Sergei Prokofiev, the prolific ballet composer who also wrote the score for Romeo and Juliet.

The season concludes with a mixed-repertory bill, Rhapsody, May 16–June 9, 2019. On the program are Yakobson Miniatures (Rodin, Pas de Quatre and Vestris) by Leonid Yakobson; Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2; and Principal Dancer Paulo Arrais’ world premiere of ELA, Rhapsody in Blue. A clearly skilled young choreographer, Mr. Arrais’ impressed with Castle, his recent BB@home choreographic endeavor; The Journal is glad to see him included in the main season program.

“I have spent eight years with Boston Ballet and I am thankful for having my creativity recognized,” Mr. Arrais told The Journal. “It is my hope to connect at some level with 2,600 audience members watching Boston Ballet at the  Boston Opera House. If I have a platform, I will always try to make a difference.

Tickets for The Nutcracker go on sale July 9; single tickets for the 2018–19 season go on sale to the public July 23. For more information, visit Boston Ballet’s website.