The BLOG: Culture

BB@home 2017 to feature William Forsythe, Boston Ballet II

Abigail Merlis and Graham Johns of Boston Ballet II in George Balanchine’s Haeiff Divertimento; photo by Igor Burlak Photography; (c) The George Balanchine Trust; photo courtesy of Boston Ballet

This winter, Boston Ballet offers two unique productions to experience ballet at their South End headquarters in the performance series, BB@home. The company will transform its largest rehearsal studio into a state-of-the-art black box theater for the shows highlighting Boston Ballet II (BBII) and world-renowned choreographer, William Forsythe.

Peter Stark, associate director of BBII, describes the black box theater as intimate—a formal theatre experience, but closer. “You can hear the dancers breathe, see the sweat on their brows, and appreciate the passion they put into creating their art while still seeing the works as they were intended,” he said in an interview with New Boston Post. “One can really feel a part of the works they are viewing.”

Boston Ballet will host Forsythe as part of their new five-year partnership with the prolific choreographer for one evening, February 10. The program, titled “Focus on Forsythe,” is a special opportunity that includes a conversation between Forsythe and Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, and excerpts from Forsythe’s ballet Artifact, which Boston Ballet will perform in entirety later that month.

January 21-22, Boston Ballet’s second company, BBII, gives two BB@home performances featuring George Balanchine’s Haieff Divertimendo (a ballet that I particularly enjoyed watching BBII perform in July), Jaime Sierra’s all-male ballet LEGIÓN, Laurie Jones’ classical Drigo Divertissements, and a preview of a newly commissioned work by Harvard University dance director Jill Johnson, who is also a dancer and collaborator with Forsythe.

This mixed program will sample a fascinating range of ballet performed by young professional dancers. The dancers of BBII will host this BB@home, and according to Stark, they will introduce and explain the works, and also tell some of their own stories including their sacrifices, histories and interests.

“Audiences will see a microcosm of the Boston Ballet repertoire, Stark said. “Each work exemplifies a part of the main company’s repertoire.”

The intimacy of the black box theater means that seating is limited—tickets will go fast! To purchase seats, visit the Boston Ballet webpage. BB@home performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Boston Ballet’s headquarters on 19 Clarendon St. in Boston.

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