Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tomorrow night the "Next Generation" arrives at Boston Ballet

The members of Boston Ballet's Next Generation - Photo: Igor Burlak.

There is one dance season event I always look forward to - Boston Ballet's "Next Generation" performance, which showcases students from the Ballet's several schools in a one-night-only concert at the Opera House, tomorrow, May 8 at 7:00 pm.

That's right, these young artists get to perform on a professional stage (exciting enough in its own right) and with live accompaniment too, by the New England Conservatory's Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, this year for the first time under the direction of the Ballet's own Jonathan McPhee.

The performance always begins with an original work choreographed by the Ballet's faculty to demonstrate their students' skills (this year the piece, traditionally called Les Passages, is set to music by Ambroise Thomas, from his operas Hamlet and Francoise de Rimini).  This suite is reliably charming in and of itself (and not just to the proud parents beaming from the audience; the students' accomplishments are quite impressive), but what's more, it's always followed by more mature artistic statements - including works and even premieres you would be unsurprised to see in a full-fledged professional performance (and often featuring members of Boston Ballet II, more than half of whom have risen through the Ballet's schools).  

This year the program will include Jorma Elo's Lost by Last (set to spooky Hitchcock motifs by Bernard Herrmann) as well as the Grand Pas de Deux from Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty (danced by the talented Dawn Atkins and Marcus Romeo, who were seen in the recent full production).  The concert closes with Jerome Robbins' Fanfare, an extravaganza set to Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra which deploys some 34 dancers. And as an added bonus, the Youth Philharmonic (which sounded terrific last year, just btw) is throwing in Bernstein's wonderful Candide overture.

You know, I'd like to say I go to "Next Generation" to support the future of dance.  But I'm not really that nice. The concert does support the future of the Ballet - but that's just the icing on the cake; I really go because it's a great evening of music and dance.  And I hope to see you there.

Boston Ballet's Next Generation 2013 from Boston Ballet on Vimeo.

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