The Boston Ballet, Kylián/Wings of Wax Opens Tonight!

Previous PostMcLaren 720S: Keeping the Italians awake at night…
Next PostCollecting Art The Smart Way – Art Fairs
Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián's Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.jpg
Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián’s Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Photo Credit: Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián’s Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

 

Boston is a city filled with excitement, shows, and plenty of cultural inspiration to enhance your life and fill your heart and soul with joy! And for all my Haute Living Ballet Lovers out there, it is with great joy I share with you that the Boston Ballet presents Kylián/Wings of Wax, a triple bill of works by George Balanchine, Jiři Kylián, and Alexander Ekman. Kylián/Wings of Wax opening night is Thursday, March 23 at 7:30PM.

The program opens with George Balanchine’s charming and spirited Donizetti Variations set to excerpts from the composer’s final opera Don Sebastian, followed by Jiří Kylián’s hauntingly beautiful Wings of Wax with a score of musical selections by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, John Cage, Philip Glass, and J.S. Bach. Alexander Ekman’s delightful and witty Cacti closes the program accompanied by a collage of orchestral music performed by the Boston Ballet Orchestra and a string quartet. Kylián/Wings of Wax runs March 23–April 2, 2017 at the Boston Opera House.

Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen said, “This program truly demonstrates the versatility of Boston Ballet, and also the diversity of ballet choreography,”. Furthermore, he puts forth that, “Ballet doesn’t have to be one certain way—it’s dynamic—and with this program, audiences will see how it has evolved, from the neoclassical work of Balanchine to more contemporary choreographers like Kylián and Ekman.” I had the opportunity to sit down with Mikko Nissinen as he spoke about the ballet, what inspires him, his 5 year goal and much more! And here is my interview with Mikko Nissinen:

Where were you born?
Helsinki, Finland

What inspires you?
Art, music, good food

 If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, then who would it be?
David Bowie

Favorite Boston restaurant?
The next new restaurant that I will eat in. I’m an unashamed foodie.

Favorite Food?
Japanese cuisine

What is your favorite music?
I appreciate all genres of music so really everything is my favorite, except country. I have an eclectic mix of music in my life and it enhances my life and my outlook of life. Music is so multi-cultural: from Nigerian funk to Bollywood, to nostalgic Russian romantic songs to jazz or blues or Rolling Stones, to Brazilian Maria Rita—it’s the variety, the amazing thing is that it is not just one favorite.

When I hear music that I would like someone to choreograph a piece to, I recognize it immediately. I listen to music in a couple different ways. Sometimes it is the energy that it gives to life as a background and sometimes I sit and really listen to it. I’ve found that in cars is a really good place to listen to music, but I also have a chair set up in my house where I listen to music.

Favorite song?
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones and “Under Pressure” by David Bowie with Freddie Mercury

Favorite Ballet?
William Forsythe’s Blake Works I, which premiered last summer in Paris, is one my favorite that I have seen in ages. I loved dancing Balanchine’s Theme and Variations because it is so bloody challenging. And then when you feel like you’ve done a good job in that it’s like hiking up Mt. Everest—it’s such a huge achievement. Some favorites I have brought to Boston Ballet include Jiří Kylián’s Black and White to the upcoming North American Company premiere of Forsythe’s Artifact to you know the groundbreaking, pushing boundaries types of works—like Alexander Ekman’s Cacti or Kylián’s Tar and Features—showing people something that they haven’t seen—those are super moments in life. Another example is Wayne McGregor’s Chroma.

Who inspires you?
Life. Nature.

What inspired you to join the BOSTON BALLET as ARTISTIC DIRECTOR?
It was a dream come true in many ways. I always knew I wanted to be an artistic director of a major company, so it was a dream come true. It was a dream turned in to reality.

When I was a professional dancer I always knew I wanted to contribute after dancing. I wanted to learn the profession super well and be a super pro—I always knew that was chapter number one. I only realized how hard it was after I stopped. But I always knew I wanted to be an artistic director and then it was a couple days after I stopped dancing professionally that I got the job as an artistic director of a school with a small performing ensemble. A year and half later, I got a job in Canada running a small, professional company. So there were a few stepping stones in size and now here I am at Boston Ballet.

Within the first 2 years of dancing professionally, I knew I wanted to be an artistic director. I looked at the directors in the industry and asked, “That’s it? Couldn’t they do more? Shouldn’t they do it differently? Wouldn’t other ways get even better results?” I was just really curious about the job; I wasn’t really critical, I was just instantly curious. And I always wanted to help dancers, even from the very young age, so it just seemed natural. It took a long time to educate myself in all the aspects of an AD.

The most challenging part of my job is the psychological support. You are dealing with human people and human beings; a huge part is psychological positioning and being there and listening to people. A difficulty is guiding people who are off kilter—trying to guide them and ration with them when they aren’t seeing the reality is sometimes very hard and challenging.

Programming is the most rewarding part of my job and getting excited about what Boston Ballet is going to show the audiences—giving audiences new experiences. It’s sort of like new love; it’s like nobody has those eureka moments too many times in life but when you can have them through art, it’s really special.

And what precisely is your role as ARTISTIC DIRECTOR?
Very multi-faceted from the direction of the Company, aligning mission and vision and guiding the Company to the future through choices of repertoire, choices of dancers, curating the process how we get where we want to be and the philosophy with it. And working with all different people like the Chairman Jack Meyer, Board of Directors and Executive Committee, development and marketing departments plus being one of the main connectors to the community. I’m always bringing new people into the mix and also maintaining the national and international relationships. I am representing the Company 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What is your favorite part about being the ARTISTIC DIRECTOR for the  BOSTON
BALLET?
Simply the art.

What are you looking for in terms of fundraising to help benefit and support the  BOSTON
BALLET?
I’m looking to connect with people, build bridges, and explain the work of Boston Ballet, why our work is important, and why it is so much fun. When people understand that and see how much they can help by being a part of the family and supporting the Company, then it is wonderful two way street. They get a lot out of it and we get the bases of our financial support. We need to raise millions of dollars every year, and sometimes more, and it is easy. So the more people who join our family, the better.

The whole system of fundraising is so different in the U.S. compared to Europe. There is nominal support from the government and state—though we are so grateful for the support we do get from the National Endowment of the Arts and City of Boston—but in Europe, a majority of funding comes from the government. Here, it is less, which is why we rely heavily on individual giving and corporate support for our basic existence. It is amazing to see when people really care and become true ambassadors for the organization. That is what we need more than anything—people having an amazing time experiencing art in the theatre and sharing those experiences with others. The Company is fun—and when you see them dancing, the love of ballet is contagious. The more ambassadors we have, the larger the family and the more we can make everything work. Without that, it cannot work.

What is your one-year goal?
Every year, the one-year goal is onward and upwards. Survive, up the ante and have a better Company.

What is your 5 year goal?
Get strategic touring in place; revisit Lincoln Center, tour to London and Paris. Also, I see very exciting new artistic projects ahead in both classical ballets and great productions of contemporary dance. Importantly, our 5-year partnership with internationally renowned William Forsythe began this year, so I can’t wait to see where this partnership takes us in the next five years.

What is the most important message you want me to communicate to the readers?
Art is relevant to your life. It enriches your life. It is an inward journey; it is in you. Exposing art is like watering your garden, taking care of yourself. It is a healthy part of life. It is an incredible part of one’s life. Whether it’s in music, painting, living theatre—these keep are our brain, soul and heart in good health. It is an important part of our existence on this planet.

It is a lot to ask that people come to see everything we do. People will choose. But what I try to showcase in programming is exposure to your classics—like the masterpieces—and also the neoclassical works that are very different, and contemporary dance. The contrast of these three types of dance exposes you to things that really make you think and appreciate different things. And that’s really where the power is. The other part is that dance is inclusive, not exclusive. We celebrate multiculturalism and ballet, and dance in general has always had no borders. Now the internet allows us to expand almost everywhere. Dance has always spoken to people directly—you can dance the same dance here in Boston and in China—there are no language barriers.

Again, Kylián/Wings of Wax runs March 23–April 2, 2017 at the Boston Opera House. For more information about the Boston Ballet go to www.bostonballet.org, or call TEL 617.695.6950, FAX 617.695.6995 and/ or mailing address is 19 CLARENDON STREET, BOSTON, MA 02116.

Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián's Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.jpg
Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián’s Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Photo Credit: Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián’s Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián's Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.
Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián’s Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Photo Credit: Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián’s Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián's Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.
Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián’s Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Photo Credit: Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián’s Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián's Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.
Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián’s Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Photo Credit: Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián’s Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Boston Ballet in Jiří Kylián's Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet
Paulo Arrais and Lia Cirio in Jiří Kylián’s Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Photo Credit: Boston Ballet in Jiří Kylián’s Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

connect with haute living National
Loader