Photo from Boston Ballet WebsiteThe Opera House is of another time with gold leaf everywhere and chandeliers and drama. I am not going to waste time telling you how great it is. It is. You should go. Even just in the lobby. Here is a virtual tour.
(Side bar about the Opera House) I have the pleasure of working for an excellent catering company. I was on the staff of an event for a very well known lawyer (if you live in the greater Boston area and own a television) and his wife who owns two resturants in Boston. It was their daughter's Bat Mitztvah. The girl arrived on stage coming down from the heavens on a cresent moon singing "Broadway Baby". The shrimp served were the size of lobsters. The whole thing was so over the top that it made the top look like anything but the top. The hosts were lovely and happy, so there is no dish beyond that about them (from this event). Sorry.
The Boston Ballet http://www.bostonballet.org/ was founded in 1963 and has risen to be one of the premiere ballet companies and one of the most significant ballet schools in the world. If you have a few minutes after reading all I have to say, you may enjoy clicking around on their website. There are videos including this teaser for the Fall program http://www.bostonballet.org/fall-program-short.html. The music playing is from William Forsythe's The Second Detail.
I had preconcieved notions about the ballet when I entered. I have tried to watch The Nutcracker on television for years and years. I could never get into it. All tulle and pirouettes, endless leaping and that terrible stage acting. You know, the kind of acting that is as subtle as a frying pan to the face. The Boston Ballet Fall Program challenged my notions. Thank you.
(Side bar about my seat) My seats were spectacular, not just for the view, but for the people. I sat next to a dancer who may or may not have been with the Boston Ballet, it wasn't clear. He spoke to his companion about dancing as an occupation. He talked about the money they make and the lifestyle of being a dancer. I don't think it would make a great exposé piece, but they work really hard and don't get paid a ton (who does?). He talked about who were the really great dancers in the company and he seemed genuinely disapointed at a last minute change in performers. On the other side of me were two European looking men, who were holding court with several beautiful people.
There were many elegant people there and they were drinking. If you have ever been to the Boston Symphony, this is a very different experience. There were many silver haired people and they were the people that make aging look really good. There were young people there who were dressed to the nines. There was a lovely woman in her mid-late 20's who wore a hat! Not someone who had a hat on, like you see all the time, but a whole lovely ensemble from another era, without a whiff of pretense or that irriating fiddling people who don't wear hats do when they wear hats. Men were handsome and dapper in every age range and the ladies were just lovely in real live evening wear. I am talking sequins and silk dresses that shimmered in the low light. (There were exceptions, but I choose to over look them). There was none of those beige outfits people wear to Symphony. If you go to the BSO and are reading this 1. Thank you for reading and 2. Come on! It is the Symphony, put some lipstick on and don't wear jeans. AND the drinking. People were drinking in their seats and during the performance. I am not afraid of a cocktail and after the shock of seeing the lovely people drinking champers during the performance died down, I thought the ballet was kinda cool. Try to get a drink into Symphony Hall (we aren't talking about the Pops). They will wrestle you to the ground if you try. Not even if you are a Kennedy (There is a good story there, but I will hold out on you).
So, get on with it.
The lights go down and the curtain goes up on "Rooster" with music by the Rolling Stones and
Choreography by Christopher Bruce.
Photo from EdgeBoston.comThe costumes by Marian Bruce were 60's British Mod without being dated and the lighting by Tina MacHugh only added to the mood. The whole performance made me feel like watching a Wes Anderson movie. The sincerity of the dancers and the Rolling Stones and the vivid colors. I can say without a doubt that a majority of the people I know would enjoy seeing this piece. I would have to get a drink into some of them so they could be cool, but it is very good. It was a very smart thing to start my watching ballet with this piece. I don't want to ruin it for you, so I won't go into it about the dancing, beyond that it is definitely ballet, but not stuffy.
"Awake Only" with music by J.S. Bach and Choreography by Jorma Elo was the second piece and it was in my eyes, tradtional ballet. There is a narrative and toeshoes and emotion. This piece was well received by the audience. I didn't know it was acceptable to "whoop" at the ballet, but you can.
(Side Bar) One of the older gentleman sitting next to me after this piece ended jumped up as soon as the curtain went down. I thought that the line for the bathroom wasn't going to be that long, but when the curtain went back up there he was, Jorma Elo on stage next to the performers. Durning this intermission I met up with a friend to say hello and stuck to her coattails. I'm glad I did! She introduced me to everyone including Mrs. Elo and two of the principle dancers' mother. It was very cool.
"The Second Detail" Music by Thom Willems, Choreography and Stage Design by William Forsythe was FREAKING AMAZING! I want see this piece again and again. I would fixate on a dancer or a group of dancers and then realize I was missing everything else. Bo Busby was mesmerizing and seemed that he might be an off-hours superhero. His leaps looked as if he could easily take flight and he was muscled like armor. Jeffery Cirio is obviously very good at what he does. He had a different quality than the other dancers. There was a precision or solidness to his movement that even in this piece with many dancers, it was easy to appreciate his and the company's talent. The other star was Lorna Feijóo in the Issey Miyake dress. The dress fit the piece and the dancer was killing it. The piece from the start was exciting and never really let up. It was remarkable. I looked on YouTube and there are several tastes of this piece, with its precision and thrilling music, but they are brief glimpses of something otherworldly.
If anyone is looking to go to the ballet, I will be interested in seeing more of what Boston Ballet has to offer and be your handsome date, not wearing jeans.