Boston Ballet Exhibits Array Of Styles In ‘Play With Fire’
Abandoning the dreamy placidity of Simply Sublime, Boston Ballet’s latest production, Play With Fire, is as incendiary as the name suggests. Composed of three innovative contemporary acts, the dancers flourished within three vastly different and demanding dance styles. Play With Fire is enchanting in an incredibly urban and unique sense, diverging completely from the romantic froth of tulle and pointe shoes.
Act I showcased original Boston Ballet choreography, Sharper Side of Dark. Danced to a score by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed live by just a violinist, violist and cellist, and choreographed by the illustrious Jorma Elo, the eight dancers glimmered like silver torrents of wind. The modern mix of quirky upper body choreography, astounding flexibility and a torrent of earnest passion from the dancers evoked a poignant tale of love triumphing isolation. Elo’s imaginative original work reinforces Boston Ballet’s expanding position as a formidable dance institution.
Act II exhibited an evocative excerpt from Bella Figura, a ballet that originated in 1995 at the Nederlands Dans Theater. Figura, with sparse backgrounds and even sparser costuming (partial nudity, in other words), was a flavorful tidbit of sensuality, backed by a thick operatic score. Scorching passion infused itself into staggering partnerships, leaps, and unique usages of the stage. One of the most haunting moments was a nearly nude Rie Ichikawa lifted off her feet and ensconced by a closed black curtain, reaching her arms achingly beyond the confines of the opulent Opera House.
In a decisive shift in tone, Act III’s Rooster, which premiered in 1991 in Geneva, Switzerland, began with five men standing in vibrant velvet suits. Joining the haughty male roosters onstage were five women in cheerleader ensembles that had, in true Stones fashion, been painted black. Rooster, choreographed to eight well-known Rolling Stone tracks, was a marvelous rock confection. A highlight of the act included a fantastical interpretation of “Ruby Tuesday,” where Ruby astounded the audience in a long-sleeved ruby gown, a hippie demeanor, and unfathomably high leg extensions. “Sympathy for the Devil” was a vivacious ensemble ending, with a cheeky tale of young romance and rock and roll.
Experience the stunning visual experience of Play With Fire until Sunday, March 11. Student rush tickets are available for the affordable price of $20 with the presentation of a valid student identification card.
By Kristen House / Senior Heights Staff