Boston Ballet company logoBOSTON, MA – February 13, 2012 – Boston Ballet presents Play with Fire, March 1-11, at The Boston Opera House. Play with Fire features three breakthrough works including Jorma Elo’s Sharp Side of Dark, a revival of Jiří Kylián’s Bella Figura, and a Company premiere of Christopher Bruce’s Rooster, featuring music of The Rolling Stones.

Play with Fire has stunning choreography, an incomparable music selection, and will be a highlight of the season,” said Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “When Bella Figura blew audiences away last spring, I knew I wanted to bring it back to the stage. Paired with Jorma Elo’s Sharp Side of Dark and Christopher Bruce’s Rooster, it will become an entirely new experience. I’m looking forward to hearing The Rolling Stones blasting through the theatre alongside beautiful, Baroque music.”

Play with Fire includes Jiří Kylián’s Bella Figura, a work Boston Ballet gave its U.S. premiere by an American company in April 2011. The New York Times wrote of Boston Ballet’s performance, “the movement, pliant and gestural with classical lines and earthy overtones, is smoothly appealing and beautifully danced. The ballet displays skill, ambition, and individuality.” Bella Figura is part of Boston Ballet’s expanding Kylián repertoire, which includes the five-ballet Black and White program presented by the Company in 2009 and 2010 to rave reviews. Bella Figura is tangibly sensual in its adoration and reverence towards the human body and contains partial nudity.

The program also features Boston Ballet Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo’s Sharp Side of Dark, which was his first commission for the Company in 2002. The work is choreographed to Bach’s Goldberg Variations and features large-scale architectural sets and a haunting lighting design. Since the last time the ballet took the stage, Elo has reworked and reimagined the work and it is considerably changed from its original version.

Elo, who danced with Netherlands Dans Theater for 15 years, became Boston Ballet’s Resident Choreographer in 2005 where he has since created more than seven new works. His works for Boston Ballet include Sharp Side of Dark (2002), Plan to B (2004), Carmen (2006), Brake the Eyes (2007) In on Blue (2008) Sacre du Printemps (2009), and his 2011 world premiere presentation Elo Experience. He has also choreographed new works for New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater and Finnish National Ballet, among others. In 2005, Elo won the Helsinki International Ballet Competition choreographic prize, and he is a recipient of the Prince Charitable Trust Prize and the 2006 Choo-San Goh Choreographic Award. Most recently, Elo was awarded the prestigious Benois de la Danse prize for best choreography in 2010. The New York Times has written of Elo, “he knows classical technique and how to use it in new ways, how to transform it. This is not modern dance and ballet: it is modern ballet.”

Christopher Bruce’s Rooster completes Play with Fire. This distinct work, first premiered in 1991 with the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, is set to music by The Rolling Stones. The British choreographer is known for his the unique settings and concepts of his pieces and often pulls inspiration from literature and more contemporary music. Rooster features eight well-known tunes from The Rolling Stone’s song book, including Paint it Black, Ruby Tuesday, Lady Jane and Not Fade Away. Rooster has taken international stages to both popular and critical acclaim. When asked what he thought of Rooster after the London premiere performance, The Rolling Stone’s front man Mick Jagger responded, “I love it! It was great. I was looking at them and thinking ‘that’s a good move, I must nick that.”

The 2011-2012 season marks Nissinen’s 10th anniversary season and presents Boston Ballet’s signature range of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works – a wide-ranging repertoire that Nissinen has curated during his decade leading the Company.



All performances are held at The Boston Opera House



March 1 – 11, 2012


Sharp Side of Dark

Music: Johann Sebastian Bach

Choreography: Jorma Elo


Bella Figura

Music: Lukas Foss, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Allessandro Marcello, Antonio Vivaldi, and Giuseppe Torelli

Choreography: Jiří Kylián



Music: The Rolling Stones

Choreography: Christopher Bruce


Don Quixote


April 26 – May 6, 2012


Music: Ludwig Minkus

Choreography: Rudolph Nureyev


Rudolph Nureyev’s acclaimed production of Don Quixote was last performed by Boston Ballet in 2006. The production was originally staged on Boston Ballet by Nureyev himself in 1982 when Nureyev danced the leading role of Basilo, first in Boston and then on a tour of the U.S., Mexico and Europe. He first choreographed his version of Don Quixote in Vienna in 1966 and it would later become one of his greatest successes. Nureyev’s Don Quixote is based on the Marius Petipa-Alexander Gorsky production familiar to him from his days with the Kirov. The focus is not on Miguel de Cervantes’ hero but on the romance between two of the novel’s minor characters, Basilo and Kirtri.  The production is danced to the score by Ludwig Minkus, arranged by John Lanchbery with sets and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis.




May 10 – 20, 2012


Barber Violin Concerto

Music: Samuel Barber

Choreography: Peter Martins


Fancy Free

Music: Leonard Bernstein

Choreography: Jerome Robbins



Music: Carl Czerny arranged by Knudage Riisäger

Choreographer: Harald Lander


Fancy Free is headlined by Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, and includes Peter Martins’ Barber Violin Concerto and Harald Lander’s Études. Robbins’ Fancy Free was the master choreographer’s first ballet, premiered on April 18, 1944. It would become one of his greatest successes and be one of the most popular ballets in American history. The work marked the emergence of both Robbins’ talent as a choreographer and the talents of a young composer, Leonard Bernstein. Robbins, a member of American Ballet Theatre at the time, danced in the ballet’s premiere. It would later become a musical comedy entitled On the Town and then adapted for the screen sensation starring Gene Kelly. Fancy Free follows the story of sailors on shore leave getting into a bit of romantic mischief.


Martins’ Barber Violin Concerto continues the program. This work, set to Samuel Barber, presents three movements for two couples in various pas de deuxs. Barber’s masterful music evokes distinct styles of movement from each couple from melancholy, to lyrical, to energetic. The dancers, dressed all in white, provide a blank canvas for the distinct choreography and composition of this work.


Danish dancer and choreographer Harald Lander’s Études completes Fancy Free. Études is considered Lander’s most acclaimed and popular choreographic work. It has an original score by Carl Czerny, arranged by Knudage Riisäger. The one-act ballet has been referred to as “an homage to classical ballet training.” The work begins simply with dancers at a barre and ends with a sequence of thrilling choreography. The work, premiered in 1948 with the Royal Danish Ballet is beloved for its adoration of the art form of ballet and its magnificent culmination. Études is a fitting way to end the 2011-2012 season.


2011-2012 Season Tickets

Individual tickets, subscriptions, and Group Sales tickets are on sale now.  Subscriptions and individual tickets are available online 24 hours a day at, by phone at 617.695.6955, and in person at the box office at 19 Clarendon Street, Boston, Mon–Fri, 9:30am-5pm.  Tickets start at $25 for season ballets.  Group Sales tickets for parties of 10 or more are available through the box office at 617.695.6955.   

About Boston Ballet

Since 1963, Boston Ballet has been one of the leading dance companies in the world on stage, in the studio and in the community.  Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Barry Hughson, the Company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire and the largest ballet school in North America, Boston Ballet School.


Boston Ballet maintains a repertoire of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works, ranging from full-length story ballets to new works by some of today’s finest choreographers. Boston Ballet’s second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast. 


Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to providing excellence and access to dance education. It reaches more than 10,000 students, ages 9-month to adult each year through its four core programs: Children’s Program, Classical Ballet Program, Adult Dance Program and Pre-Professional Program. Boston Ballet’s award-winning community outreach initiatives include Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance.  The wide array of dance programs are held at three studio locations in Boston, Newton, and Marblehead with additional programs throughout New England, as well as at community centers and in the Boston Public Schools.


Boston Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following institutional partners:

State Street Corporation, 2011 Presenting Sponsor, The Nutcracker

The Boston Foundation

Massachusetts Cultural Council

National Endowment for the Arts

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