Disclosure: Influence Central received complimentary media tickets to attend the dress rehearsal of The Boston Ballet’s Kaleidoscope. All opinions are my own.
We’ve all looked through the lens of a kaleidoscope at one point and watched as the shapes and colors magically transform, creating an entirely new scene with each twist of the dial. The Boston Ballet’s latest release, Kaleidoscope entirely embodies this experience, highlighting four striking pieces with vastly different choreography, themes, staging, and costumes.
I had the pleasure of attending the dress rehearsal of Kaleidoscope at the beautiful Boston Opera House. The night kicked off with a modern George Ballanchine piece, Kammermusik No. 2, which focuses on two couples with a larger ensemble. With precise musicality, the piece pushes the boundaries of traditional ballet moves, incorporating flexed feet and arms. Mixing both synchronized and canon sequences, the piece grabs the audience’s attention from start to finish.
The next piece, Leonid Yakobson’s Pas De Quatre, was a special treat for the show, and a favorite of mine. This rarely performed choreography showcases four ballerinas masterfully performing while linked together. The piece represents the bonds of dancers and the sisterhood created in the highly competitive space. Having grown up surrounding by dance, I spent most nights during my teen years in the dance studio where I took classes – rehearsing routines, assisting in other classes, or cramming in study sessions while peering up from my textbooks to watch rehearsals. Of course emotions and tensions can run high, but the ballerinas perfectly represented the bonds dancers feel as they gracefully worked together and executed the intricate choreography.
The third piece, William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude was an entirely different approach than the ballerinas, and a true test of precision and stamina. The audience feels the sense of urgency throughout the performance, watching in awe at the physical feat of strength of the dancers. From the bright twirling costumes to the quick turns and leaps of the performance, I found myself holding my breath waiting to see what was to come.
The final piece, Léonide Massine’s Gaîté Parisienne in contrast to the others of the night was filled with theatrics, bursting color, props, and humor. Set in a charming Parisian café, the audience goes on a journey with the dancers to an entirely different place and time. The piece was jam packed with distinct characters highlighting not only the lead dancers, but also giving the ensemble their chance to shine. From the can-can dancers to the waiters in the café, my eyes were constantly drawn back and forth across the stage. The lead dancer embodying the Peruvian tourist brought the house down with humorous hip shakes and amusing facial expressions with each turn, leap, or fight sequence. This was the perfect performance to end the night and leave the audience buzzing and energized.
Kaleidoscope runs at the Boston Opera house from March 17-26, 2016 so hurry and get your tickets now! Don’t forget to follow the Boston Ballet on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for additional updates throughout the season.
Feature Image Photo Credit: Gene Schiavone, courtesy of Boston Ballet