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Lawrence Rines.© Vikki Sloviter Portrait Photography. (Click image for larger version)

Lawrence Rines – Boston Ballet, Corps de Ballet

“I feel as though now that I’m older, working smart is the best thing as a dancer and artist. It’s not about NOT trying as hard as when I was younger, but really thinking about things.”

Bradley Schlagheck and Emily Mistretta in Jeffrey Cirio's fremd.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Thrill of Contact: Theme and Variations, The Concert, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, fremd – Boston

Boston Ballet closed its season with a generous offering of four ballets spanning almost 70 years… and including a world premiere and two company premieres…

Boston Ballet in Jorma Elo's Bach Cello Suites.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Edge of Vision: Bach Cello Suites, Eventide, Celts – Boston

The evening was full of surprises, not least that two of the three choreographers were women and that Jorma Elo broke radically new ground in his Bach Cello Suites…

Boston Ballet in Hans van Manen's Black Cake.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Shades of Sound: Chroma, Episodes, Black Cake – Boston

All three performances brought home the fact that this is a very strong company with the skills to perform any choreography that comes its way…

Ashley Ellis and Eris Nezha in Swan Lake.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Swan Lake – Boston

At my first performance, Ashley Ellis was a first-rate Odette/Odile, giving a nearly flawless performance. (I’m assuming that flawless performances transpire only in Heaven or some other extraterrestial locale.)

Boston Ballet in Alexander Ekman's Cacti.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Program A: The Second Detail, Resonance, Cacti – New York

Like the best comedians, Ekman is as facetious as he is profound, leaving the viewer with plenty to ponder post-performance.

Misa Kuranaga and Jeffrey Cirio in Rubies, © The George Balanchine Trust.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version

Boston Ballet – Jewels: Emeralds, Rubies, Diamonds – Boston

To close its 50th anniversary season Boston Ballet mounted a splendid production of Balanchine’s 1967 masterpiece Jewels.

Misa Kuranaga and Jeffrey Cirio in Cinderella.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Cinderella – Boston

Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella is one of the great ballets of the 20th century and a triumph of his career.

Boston Ballet in La Bayadere.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – La Bayadere – Boston

As for the whole ballet, it’s a 19th century expression of the racist Orientalist view that says India is a land of groveling slaves and despotic rajahs, unbridled lust and pervasive corruption, abundant opium and yielding odalisques. …Once past all that, however, it’s a lavish and thrilling spectacle with abundant pleasures for eye and ear.

Misa Kuranaga and Jeffrey Cirio in The Sleeping Beauty.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – Boston

The opening night Aurora and Désiré were danced by Misa Kuranaga and Jeffrey Cirio, a superbly matched couple who have become a standard in the company.

Carlos Molina in Don Quixote. © Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Don Quixote – Boston

And I’ll close with more praise of Maina Gielgud. I’ve never seen a ballet she’s set that hasn’t been absolutely first-rate. Boston Ballet has performed her Giselle for many years now and it’s easily my favorite Giselle, just as this production is now my favorite Don Quixote.

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