The Boston Ballet Closes Its Season With Swan Lake And Mirrors

Posted May 13, 2016 by Cheryl Fenton in Theater & Arts
Mikko Nissinen's Swan Lake. Photo Credit: Eric Levin

When something amazing comes to an end, its finale is usually accompanied by a sense of dread. You don’t want something you truly enjoy to finish up (insert fist shake at the sky here).

That is unless it’s the 2015-2016 season for the Boston Ballet. This is an ending we’ve all been waiting for.

The culmination of the season at the Boston Opera House is actually marked by an incredible beginning. Theater-goers will enjoy two performances sure to be emblazoned on their memories as two of the best – Swan Lake from April 29 through May 26 and Mirrors running May 6 through 28.

One offers a fresh take on a quintessential ballet, while the other brings world premieres at which audiences will marvel.

Swan Lake

When Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen unveiled a new vibe on this forever favorite in 2014, the The Wall Street Journal called his take on the quintessential ballet “luminous.” Since its 1877 premier, Swan Lake’s story has been told in various ways. But we all know the basic story line –  the spirited Prince Siegfried falls in love with Odette, a swan-turned-princess with a bit of baggage (AKA a spell from the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart). When it first debuted, Russian choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov developed the cherished version with composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky himself. When Nissinen got his hands on it, all bets were off. The sets were reimagined, the costumes reworked (thanks to award-winning designer Robert Perdziola, who also revamped the troupe’s The Nutcracker in 2012). We now enjoy new choreography that more closely resembles what Nissinen believes is authentic to Swan Lake. He even “filled in the gaps” with an added prologue that better explains the abduction of Odette and the beginning of Rothbart’s spell. Thank you, Mr. Nissinen.


Mirrors is a collaboration among parties. Photo Credit: Lisa Vill Photography


This mixed repertory program is what happens when you combine all the facets of contemporary ballet into one thought-provoking performance. Including two world premieres by famed choreographer Karole Armitage and former Boston Ballet Principal Dancer Yury Yanowsky, there are even a few musical surprises along the way (think smooth jazz and summer blockbusters). Armitage’s Bitches Brew features costume design by former Senior Vice President of Design for Donna Karan New York Peter Speliopoulos and music by jazz luminary Miles Davis, while Yanowsky’s Smoke and Mirrors is a collaboration with composer Lucas Vidal, who composed the score for Fast & Furious 6. The program also includes Resonance, which was created by José Martinez for Boston Ballet in 2014, as well as the debut of storied Canadian choreographer Norbert Vesak’s award-winning Belong.

Something else that comes at this season’s end – the announcement of  a major partnership between the Boston Ballet and William Forsythe, one of the world’s foremost choreographers. The Company will add one new Forsythe work to its repertoire each year. Nissinen will work with Forsythe to select the programming, and Forsythe, his stagers and his assistants will work directly with the Company. The Boston Ballet will have the most robust collection of Forsythe ballets in the U.S. due to this partnership.

Now this is one ending that’s actually full of beginnings.

Remaining show times for Swan Lake are 7:30pm on May 13, 20, 21, 25 and 26, and 1pm on May 14 and 21. Show times for Mirrors are 7:30pm on May 12, 14, 19 and 27, and 1pm on May 15, 22 and 28. For more information and tickets, visit The Boston Opera House is located at 539 Washington Street.