ML - Boston Common

2013 - Issue 4 - Fall

Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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HOTTEST TICKET Raising the Barre BOSTON BALLET CELEBRATES 50 YEARS WITH A MAJOR PERFORMANCE ON BOSTON COMMON— AND A LITTLE CHEEK. BY JARED BOWEN B oston Ballet turns 50 this year, and the company couldn't have set the barre higher. To celebrate its anniversary the ballet performs in London for the first time in 30 years and closes the season with engagements at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and Lincoln Center in New York. In Boston, Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen continues to run to the edge of contemporary dance. This season he features a starry collaboration with resident choreographer Jorma Elo, composer Philip Glass, and artist Chuck Close, titled C. to C. (Close to Chuck), and offers two American premieres in the cheekily titled program Pricked. The entire season begins with a gala performance, Night of Stars, staged September 21 on Boston Common. What is the message you want to send on the company's 50th anniversary? This anniversary is an incredible opportunity to rearticulate who we are and the breadth of all the things that Boston Ballet does—being a top-notch international professional ballet company, having a massive school with 5,600 students, and basically, sharing the love of dance. Where has the company grown most during your tenure? In the quality of the dancers. It's the sophistication of the dancers and the detail that 72 they bring. The bottom line is quality, quality, and more quality. What is dance's place in America today? It's something that refuels you. I'm trying to stimulate each production so that people can use it more as a self-reflection than something they admire from a distance. I think that's very important. How do you describe Boston's appetite for dance? Ten-plus years ago, when I first got here, I was told, "You can't do this; they don't like that." I could not relate to any of that. The whole issue was a question of exposure. Boston audiences are very well-educated, and they have followed whatever we have done. We've pushed the boundaries and gone very much to the edge. People have been there and, if anything, have gotten more energized about it. Why stage the Night of Stars on Boston Common this year? I want this —MIKKO NISSINEN to be a true gift to everyone in Boston. And I want to do an open-air concert where we can get 50,000-plus people onto the Common. How high have you set your standards for this event? It's going to be major. Imagine building a theater in the park. Full-size dance floor, side lights, spotlights, curtains—everything. How long will you remain in Boston? As long as you're willing to keep me. I love the organization, of course. Boston is an incredible place to live. Boston Ballet's Night of Stars will be staged on Boston Common on September 21; BC "The bottom line is quality, quality, and more quality." Jared Bowen hosts a weekly arts show, Open Studio with Jared Bowen, on WGBH. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF BOSTON BALLET (NISSINEN); GENE SCHIAVONE (CIRIO) Boston Ballet principal dancer Jeffrey Cirio performs in Wayne McGregor's Chroma. BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM 072_BC_SC_HT-Ballet_Sep13.indd 72 8/2/13 2:28 PM

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