Jiri Kylian’s Black and White closed for Boston Ballet’s 2009-2010 season. It was a familiar return from its initial premiere with the Boston Ballet in 2005. With the exception of its performances in Boston, the pieces have only been performed in the Netherlands. Although back by popular demand, considering its contemporary avant-garde style, Black and White is still a unique addition in comparison to the other more classical pieces of the Boston Ballet season.
The<i> Ultimate Balanchine</i> is not a ballet centralized around a single storyline. It instead focuses on the famous choreographer George Balanchine (1904-1983), known both for his mastery of traditional ballet technique and for his revolutionary style that founded modern ballet. The <i>Ultimate Balanchine</i> is a compilation of three of Balanchine’s ballets: <i>The Four Temperaments</i>, <i>Apollo,</i> composed by Igor Stravinsky, and <i>Theme and Variations,</i> composed by Tchaikovsky. The very distinct styles piece together form a program that displays the extensive range of Balanchine’s career.
If you would not exactly describe yourself as a balletomane, but rather the can-handle-seeing-the-Nutcracker-once-every-holiday-season type, then consider challenging yourself with Saint-León’s <i>Coppélia</i>,<i> </i>choreographed by George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova, performed by the Boston Ballet Company from now until April 18. It includes all the entertaining elements of <i>The Nutcracker </i>— a bit of fairy-tale magic, toys coming to life, the impressive array of costumes — plus an extra act!
An anxious group exited the Symphony T stop at the Green Line, bee lining to the greeters at the door of Symphony Hall. Exactly at 8:03 p.m., the symphony finished tuning and welcomed the rushed audience with a sweet poem: “Pastorale d’été,” a symphonic poem by Arthur Honegger. Honnegger’s style in “Pastorale d’été,” generally associated with the 1920s avant-garde, contrasts with his peers’ — coined the “Groupe des Six” — in that Honegger believed that the new era of music resulted from transitioning from the traditional, as opposed to cleanly breaking away. He embraced the value in balance and virtue, which is exhibited in “Pastorale d’été.” One flute, an oboe, a clarinet, a bassoon, a horn, and strings create a lyrical song of a pleasant summer day in the fields.
G<i>iselle</i> was a fine choice as the season opener for the Boston Ballet, in the terms of the company’s new goals of enticing and capturing a younger audience by placing ballet in a trendier and more accessible spotlight. What could been better than the timeless tale of love to win over the hearts of young and old?
This was an unusual concert. If the audience had come for an enthusiastic, hyped show, then they should have left after the opening acts. Those who left feeling satisfied, on the other hand, were those looking for familiar old songs along with previews of new songs on their upcoming album. For a band still working to build up a solid fanbase, Augustana performed surprisingly many new songs. <i>All the Stars and Boulevards </i>came out<i> </i>over a year ago without much success until recently, leaving the group plenty of time to work on new material. Other new songs that the band played that night, "Cocaine" and "Either Way I'll Break your Heart Someday," had a fresh and lighter sound that will hopefully be represented on their next album.