Boston Ballet opens its World Passions program October 22-November 1, 2009 at The Boston Opera House, bringing four unique choreographic voices to the stage. Boston Ballet Ballet Master Pino Alosa debuts his version of Paquita, Helen Pickett premieres her third commissioned work for Boston Ballet, Viktor Plotnikov presents Rhyme, first performed at the 2008 Night of Stars, and Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo shares Carmen/Illusions, his revision of the original Carmen.
“Creating opportunities and creative space to encourage new choreography is crucial for the future of the art form and is a major part of Boston Ballet’s mission,” said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “World Passions is this opportunity for these four talented choreographers and the opportunity for our audiences to experience their work. The evening will be full of surprises and contrasts, a perfect way to get to know the company and our versatile artists.”
Pino Alosa’s Paquita, a lively, Spanish-infused work set to music by Ludwig Minkus, will open the program. Alosa has created a new version of this Marius Petipa classic especially for the World Passions program. His Paquita is set to seldom-heard variations with origins such as La Source and the original Don Quixote, re-orchestrated by Music Director and Principal Conductor Jonathan McPhee. Paquita includes the cornerstones of the classical ballet repertoire; a pas de trois, grand pas classique and mazurka. The ballet tells the story of a young gypsy who was abducted as an infant and discovers she is of noble birth when she saves the life of a French officer. Alosa, Ballet Master at Boston Ballet, has performed with numerous companies during his career including Louis Falco Dance Company, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Teatro La Scala, Teatro Petruzzelli of Bari, Compagnia del Balletto Classico, Compagnia Artedanza and Compagnia Italiana di Danza Contemporanea of Rome. Alosa has worked for over a decade as a ballet master at companies including the Bordeaux Opera Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, San Carlo Theatre of Naples, Aterballetto, Professional Dance Conservatory of Madrid, among others.
Viktor Plotnikov’s Rhyme, choreographed in 2008 for Boston Ballet’s Night of Stars was inspired by his wife, Boston Ballet principal dancer Larissa Ponomarenko. The piece, a pas de deux set to Chopin, is a play on light and darkness. Plotnikov describes the work as “telling a poem with two bodies.” Plotnikov, a former principal dancer with Boston Ballet, trained with Vaganova Ballet Academy in Russia and the Kiev Ballet Academy in Ukraine. Plotnikov also danced with Tulsa Ballet Theatre, Mississippi Ballet Company and Donetsk Ballet Theatre. Rhyme was Plotnikov’s first work for Boston Ballet. He has choreographed extensively, creating new works for Boston Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Richmond Ballet and Festival Ballet Providence, among others. He has won choreographic awards including the 2006 Outstanding Choreographer Award at the Youth America Grand Prix, the 2007 Best Choreography Award at the World Ballet Competition, and the 2008 Best Choreography Award at the Ballet Competition in Perm, Russia.
Helen Pickett’s world premiere, 月夜 Tsukiyo, is her third commissioned work for Boston Ballet following Eventide in 2007 and Etesian in 2005, her first commissioned work for a major ballet company. Set to music by Arvo Pärt, her sensual pas de deux was inspired by Japanese fairy tales and the work of Francis Bacon. “I wanted to tell a story about the fascination of love, the intimacy of the first touch, the giving in,” said Helen. “I told the men to approach the women, who are otherworldly, as if they never had a broken heart. I must leave some mystery, so the female is the audience’s fantasy.” Pickett, a former principal dancer with William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt, is currently an associate with The Wooster Group, an ensemble of diverse artists who collaborate on developing and producing theater and media pieces. Pickett is also a noted dance improvisation teacher specializing in the Forsythe technique, and has worked with The Ailey School, Mark Morris Dance Group, and The Actor's Studio, among many others.
World Passions closes with Jorma Elo’s Carmen/Illusions, a stunning revision of the original Carmen, premiered by Boston Ballet in 2006. Carmen/Illusions is faithful to the familiar tale of love, jealousy, passion and betrayal, yet modernized by Elo for the twenty-first century. Elo’s Carmen/Illusions is set in the world of the rich and famous, and Carmen, Don José and Escamillo have been transformed from nineteenth-century factory worker, soldier and bullfighter to modern archetypes: super model, businessman and Formula One driver. Jorma Elo, Boston Ballet’s Resident Choreographer, has become one of the most sought-after choreographers in the United States and Europe. For Boston Ballet, Elo has created six world premieres: Sharp Side of Dark (2002), Plan to B (2004), Carmen (2006), Brake the Eyes (2007), In On Blue (2008), and Le Sacre du Printemps (2009). Elo has created numerous works internationally including Slice to Sharp for New York City Ballet, Glow-Stop and C. to C. (Close to Chuck) for American Ballet Theatre, Double Evil for San Francisco Ballet, among other critically acclaimed works.
Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen will hold a Conversation with Mikko, an informal discussion in the lobby of The Boston Opera House following the 8PM performance on Saturday, October 24 as part of this new series debuting for the 2009-2010 season. Additionally, there will be a Pre-Curtain Talk featuring Assistant Artistic Director Russell Kaiser and Boston Ballet Ballet Masters Pino Alosa and Anthony Randazzo at 7PM prior to the Saturday, October 31 8PM performance.
2009-2010 Season Tickets
Subscriptions and tickets for the 2009-2010 season and tickets for The Nutcracker are on sale now. All 2009-2010 tickets may be purchased through Boston Ballet by phone at 617.695.6955 or in person at the box office at 19 Clarendon Street, Boston, Mon–Fri, 9am-5pm and Sat, 11am-6pm (Sat hours Sept–May only). Subscriptions and all tickets will be available for sales online 24 hours a day at www.bostonballet.org. Prices for season ballets start at $25. Prices for The Nutcracker start at $35. Discounted group tickets (10 or more for season ballets and 20 or more for The Nutcracker) are available by calling Boston Ballet’s Group Sales at 617.456.6343. Contact the Boston Ballet Box Office at 617.695.6955 or visit www.bostonballet.org for details.
Since 1963, Boston Ballet has been one of the leading dance companies in the world on stage, in the studio and in the community. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Barry Hughson, the Company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire and the largest ballet school in North America, Boston Ballet School.
Boston Ballet maintains a repertoire of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works, ranging from full-length story ballets to new works by some of today's finest choreographers. Boston Ballet's second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of pre-professional dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting lecture-demonstrations and special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast.
Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to excellence and access and reaches more than 10,000 students ages 2-adult each year through Boston Ballet School classes, Summer Dance Workshop, Summer Dance Program, Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance. The wide array of dance programs are held at four studio locations in Boston, Newton, Norwell and Marblehead, as well as community centers and in Boston Public Schools.