Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen announces programming for the 2023-2024 season, which celebrates the evolution of the living artform of ballet. The six-program season, which marks Boston Ballet’s 60th season, brings together a collection of brilliant choreography from the post, present, and future. The Company’s 60th season runs October 5, 2023 through Moy 19, 2024 at the Citizens Bonk Opera House. The Company will then return to the Theotre des Champs-Elysees in Paris Moy 27-30 after a historic debut there in 2019.
“Boston Ballet’s monumental 60th season will bring together a dynamic range of repertoire, showcasing the best of the past, present, and future of our artform,” said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “We aim to bridge the connection between art and humanity, utilizing the tronsformotive power of dance to inspire change in our community and beyond. I know our talented artists will shine, showcasing the brilliant and challenging choreography in these works.”
The season opens with Fall Experience (October 5-15, 2023), featuring the Boston Ballet premieres of Akram Khan’s profound Vertical Road and Hons van Monen’s Trois Gnossiennes, a world premiere by Artist of the Company My’Kol Stromile, and Boston Ballet Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo’s Bach Cello Suites. Vertical Road “explores man’s earthly nature, his rituals and the consequences of human actions… [it] becomes a meditation on the journey from gravity to grace.” (Akram Khan Company). Trois Gnossiennes is a pas de deux set to Erik Sotie’s masterful work for the piano, with the pianist on stage, and moved by a trio of mole dancers. The ballet reveals the harmony and tension that manifests in physical movement and musical texture. Stromile will create a new work for the Company. “I am excited to create my first mainstage piece for Boston Ballet! The work will comment on the aesthetics of classical ballet and challenge the norms of line, body architecture, and design through a series of internal and external operations,” he said. Elo created Bach Cello Suites for the Company in 2015 and features a live cellist performing Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suites Nos. 1& 2 onstoge, forming a unique relationship to the dancers.
Mikko Nissinen’s critically-acclaimed The Nutcracker returns November 24-December 31, 2023. The beloved production features costumes and sets by award-winning designer Robert Perdziola and the renowned score by Tchaikovsky. Named as the “gold standard” (The Boston Globe), The Nutcracker remains a beloved holiday tradition for audiences of all ages.
Winter Experience (February 22-Morch 3, 2024) celebrates the evolution of dance. Nissinen will reimagine Raymondo, to illuminate and preserve the best sections of the original full length ballet by Marius Petipo, with choreography by Nissinen and Florence Clerc and new scenery and costumes by Robert Perdziolo. Alla Nikitino will serve as Character Dance Associate. Helen Pickett will create on exciting world premiere S/SU, plus her energizing Peto/ will be performed for olive audience by Boston Ballet for the first time. Peto/ was originally commissioned as o 10-minute work for a Boston Ballet in-studio workshop in 2007 and is set to music by Philip Gloss and Thomas Montgomery Newmon. Pickett will premiere her seventh work for Boston Ballet, SISU. Toking inspiration from the Finnish word for will, determination, and perseverance, her world premiere is o tribute to the courage and tenacity of our ballet community, in general, and particularly during the pandemic. Set to the sublime music of Mikael Karlsson, Pickett describes her work best, “Our ethereal art only truly lives in the present, and this fleeting but potent, inspirational energy is infused with bravery, vulnerability and beauty. Dance taught me: Change is the only constant. And committing to this life concept hos offered and con offer extraordinary possibilities.”
Sir Frederick Ashton’s enchanting Cinderella (Morch 14-24, 2024) returns with sets and costumes new to Boston. The full-length classic is set to the soaring score by Sergei Prokofiev. Presented in three acts, Cinderella was Ashton’s first full-length work for Sadler’s Wells Ballet, which later become The Royal Ballet, and is still regarded as one of his greatest works.
Cinderella returns to Boston after a successful Company debut in 2014 and return in 2019.
The spring season continues with Carmen (April 25-Moy 5, 2024), featuring the return of Jorma Elo’s passionate Carmen and the Kingdom of the Shades by Marius Pepita, from his Lo Boyodere. Carmen reimagines the heartbreaking story of love, jealousy, passion, and betrayal for the 21st century. His modern adaptation, which originated in 1845 as o novella by French writer Prosper Merimee, returns live for the first time since 2009. Florence Clerc’s Kingdom of the Shades is on iconic scene from La Bayadere, with the entrance of the shades, while featuring academic choreography, it is known as one of ballet’s most celebrated compositions. Kingdom of the Shades preserves the artistry of this beloved scene, while leaving behind outdated and problematic storytelling of the ballet.
The 60th season concludes with Spring Experience (Moy 9-19, 2024). Ken Ossola will create a world premiere for Boston Ballet, pulling inspiration from Michelangelo’s “non-finito” sculptures Prisoners. Featuring a score composed by Boston Ballet Music Director Mischa Santora, the ballet will envelop audiences into a world of sound, music, and dance. Ossola made his American debut with Zoom In, which premiered during Boston Ballet’s virtual season in 2021. Jirf Kylion’s transformative and breathtakingly beautiful Bella Figura includes music by Lukas Foss, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Alessandro Marcello, Antonio Vivaldi, and Giuseppe Torelli. Kyli6n created the work in 1995 for Netherlands Dance Theatre and Boston Ballet was the first American company to present Bella Figura in 2011. Boston Ballet’s repertoire has included nine of Kylion’s works to date. Returning to the Boston Ballet stage is William Forsythe’s explosive Blake Works Ill (The Barre Project). This work was created for Boston Ballet in 2022 and is an extension of his evolving work The Barre Project, set to the propulsive and beautifully structured music of composer James Blake.
Boston Ballet will take Bach Cello Suites, Bella Figura, and Blake Works Ill (The Barre Project) on tour to Paris at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris May 27-30, 2024. The Company made a historic debut in Paris in 2019, and was greeted with sold-out performances, standing ovations, and glowing reviews from notional and international critics. Touring remains a significant aspect of the Company’s mission, expanding Boston Ballet’s global reputation, and furthering Boston’s engagement with the cultural life of communities at home and abroad.
Subscriptions for the 2023-2024 season including The Nutcracker ore on sale now. Single tickets will go on sale on September 6.
For more information, visit bostonballet.org.