Amid Boston Overdose Crisis, a Pair of Harvard Students Are Bringing Narcan to the Red Line


At First Cambridge City Council Election Forum, Candidates Clash Over Building Emissions


Harvard’s Updated Sustainability Plan Garners Optimistic Responses from Student Climate Activists


‘Sunroof’ Singer Nicky Youre Lights Up Harvard Yard at Crimson Jam


‘The Architect of the Whole Plan’: Harvard Law Graduate Ken Chesebro’s Path to Jan. 6

Boston Ballet’s RestART: An Exciting Look into the Post-Quarantine Season

Chyrstyn Fentroy in George Balanchine's Apollo ©The George Balanchine Trust, photo by Brooke Trisolini.
Chyrstyn Fentroy in George Balanchine's Apollo ©The George Balanchine Trust, photo by Brooke Trisolini. By Courtesy of Boston Ballet
By Ebubechi J. Nwaubani, Contributing Writer

In the spirit of performance opening back up to the public following a year-and-a-half long quarantine shutdown, Boston Ballet produced a new digital showing titled RestART to usher in their 2021-22 season. The work, premiering on Oct. 28, hopes to restart the arts in Boston by providing a sneak peek into what can be expected in the following ballet season. The showing has five parts: Yin Yue’s “A Common Movement,” an excerpt from “Romeo and Juliet,” an excerpt from Jorma Elo’s “Ruth’s Dance,” and George Balanchine’s “Apollo” — concluding with the Grand Défilé, a finale piece including all the dancers.

“A Common Movement,” the opening piece, filmed in the Boston Common, epitomizes a new beginning for the arts. The cinematography and color palette was washed in beiges and blues and placed against the muted sunlight of an autumn day in Massachusetts. The contemporary piece is choreographed to a 1920s style trumpet, drawing parallels between the energy of life that is as present now as it was a century ago. Dancers matched the high energy with light and brisk footwork, pointed flicks, and taps that spotted each eight count. Clean lines throughout the piece not only highlighted an attention to the craft, but to how that craft relays emotion to the audience.

Dancers were later showcased in groups of two to four, each making use of the camera frame at different points in time. The casual nature of the film works in balance with the warm and fluid interactions between the small groups was reminiscent of a walk through the park — or, more specifically, a walk through the Boston Common. Performers managed to float and glide through their leaps while remaining completely grounded in their movements.

A subsequent movement in this opening piece brought the dancers back together in a group with a swing jazz rhythm, movements that flowed through curved backs and widespread arms which projected an energy comparable only to baseball and blooms on a spry Sunday. The floor sequence directly following quite literally embodied blooms and a living forest floor, as dancers stretched across a slanted lawn as if coming alive after a long winter.

The excerpt of “Romeo and Juliet,” courtesy of Korea National University of Arts, bled romance and innocence through and through. Second soloist Soo-Bin Lee and artist Seokjoo Kim presented the well-known romantic tragedy. The duo managed to maintain the classic charm of the piece without rendering it stale or boring. Lee’s refined technique and Kim’s elegance in motion presented the drama through fresh eyes. Jorma Elo’s “Ruth’s Dance” presented a similar delicateness on the warmly lit stage of the Boston Ballet Studios. Soloist Addie Tapp and principal Lasha Khozashvili moved like the clockwork of an antique watch through light yet intentional extensions and lifts. The piece presents as playful yet deliberate — like the familiar movements of a childhood game.

The penultimate piece was George Balanchine’s “Apollo.” Boston Ballet stays true to the classic choreography and presents the show in the staple white wardrobe and bright white lighting, which allows the piece to be seen in all its theatrical and dramatic glory. The striking final pose formed by principals Paulo Arrais (Apollo), Lia Cirio (Terpsichore), Viktorina Kapitonova (Calliope), and soloist Chyrstyn Fentry (Polyhymnia) was accompanied by a dramatic dim in the lighting and color change of the backdrop from blue to a honey brown — which only adds to the theatrical experience. The slightest bend of an elbow or other minute details throughout the performance embodied the energy of Greek Theatre. These details prove Boston Ballet’s attention to specificity in motion and, furthermore, specificity in art.

With this reintroduction into the world of ballet and art in general, the Boston Ballet restates its claim as an institution of refined craft and cultured creativity that is fully equipped to provide the city with the fresh energy that it has so long been missing.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

On CampusArtsCampus Arts