Arts
11:15 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Arts This Week: Say It With Dance And Song

The Boston Ballet performs Close to Chuck
Credit Liza Voll

When we might be at a loss to find the words for friendship, determination, dreams, love or even a desire for justice, we discover that a subtle gesture or the power of song might express our sentiments exactly.

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Close to Chuck: presented by Boston Ballet, playing through March 2nd at the Boston Opera House

Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen continues to push the boundaries of contemporary dance with this sharp trio of works, showcasing three ballets from some of today's most visionary choreographers.

C. to C. (Close to Chuck) Reborn was originally commissioned for American Ballet Theatre and its creator, resident choreographer Jorma Elo, took inspiration from the unique bond between artist Chuck Close and composer Philip Glass. The two friends have collaborated indirectly since the 1960s - Close has painted many portraits of Glass, and Glass, at the request of concert pianist Bruce Levingston, composed A Musical Portrait of Chuck Close in 2005. Bruce Levingston, called "one of today's most adventurous musicians" by The New York Times, premiered the first performance of the ballet and will accompany all performances at Boston Opera House.

Resonance, a world premiere by José Martinez, and his first ballet commissioned by an American company. One of the finest dancers in in the world, Martinez is renowned for his classical and contemporary brilliance. In December 2010, Martinez was appointed director Compania Nacional de Danza in Spain.

Bella Figura, created by Jiři Kylián in 1995, is a dreamlike work set to a Baroque score. Kylián has described the work as "a journey in time-light and space, addressing the ambiguity of aesthetics-performances and dreams. Finding beauty in a grimace—in a knot of the mind or in a physical contortion. It is like standing on the edge of a dream."

Man in a Case: presented by ArtsEmerson, playing at the Majestic Theatre through March 2nd

Drawing from material as varied as surveillance footage, folk dance and instructional hunting videos, Mikhail Baryshnikov's Big Dance Theater creates a bridge between our time and that of two brilliant 19th‐century love stories by Anton Chekhov: The Man in a Case and About Love. Annie‐B Parson and Paul Lazar bring their signature style—fusing theatre, dance, music and video—to this visionary adaptation featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Paul Lazar and Tymberly Canale.

Music: Truth to Power: A series of free concerts presented by New England Conservatory through April 23rd

"When a totalitarian regime comes to power," says the New England Conservatory's David Loebel, "the first thing they do is shut down the press…[and soon after] they shut down the arts, because in so many situations the arts are really the only things to tell the truth and they’re afraid of that.” For an entire season, NEC presents more than thirty concerts to demonstrate just how vital music is to human struggle, and what revolution in artistic expression sounds like. Programs range from roots music to Beethoven, fight songs to anti-war anthems.

Coming up on Open Studio
I speak with Tony- and Emmy Award-nominated actress Kate Burton and Academy Award-winning actor Chris Cooper. Burton, currently starring in the hit television series, Scandal, talks about her upcoming performance—alongside real-life son Morgan Ritchie—in the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of The Seagull. Cooper, who most recently appeared in the Oscar-nominated film August: Osage County, talked about working with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.

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