Experience Renowned Choreography at Boston Ballet’s “Parts in Suite”

Disclaimer: Boston Ballet graciously provided me with complimentary tickets to Parts in Suite. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Boston Ballet Parts in Suite
Boston Ballet and Justin Peck rehearsing Peck’s In Creases; photo by Sabi Varga © Varga Images, courtesy of Boston Ballet

We just attended a performance of Boston Ballet‘s latest production, Parts in Suite, which celebrates the distinctive styles of three choreographers. The performance is broken up into showcases by each choreographer:

Bach Cello Suites with choreography by Jorma Elo blends the movements of the dancers with music provided by an on-stage performance by accomplished cellist Sergey Antonov.

Boston Ballet Parts in Suite
Boston Ballet in Jorma Elo’s Bach Cello Suites; photo by Rosalie O’Connor; courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Finnish-born Elo is responsible for the choreography of over 60 works within 30 ballet companies around the world, including Boston Ballet which he became Resident Choreographer for in 2005. Since then he has been at the forefront of a number of world premieres with the company including Carmen, Brake the Eyes, Bach Cello Suites, and more.

In Creases combines the breathtaking choreography by Justin Peck (New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer) with a score by Philip Glass, Four Movements for Two Pianos. In his career as a choreographer Peck has crafted over 30 ballets, 16 of which were for the New York City Ballet where he is the Resident Choreographer and a talented soloist dancer.

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Boston Ballet Parts in Suite
Kathleen Breen Combes in Justin Peck’s In Creases; photo by Rosalie O’Connor; courtesy of Boston Ballet.

In addition to his work with Parts in Suite and the New York City Ballet, Peck was featured as the subject of the documentary Ballet 422 in 2014. The documentary followed Peck as he worked with the New York City Ballet to create the 422nd original dance for the company, Paz de la Jolla. (Ballet 422 is available online through the Boston Ballet shop and at merchandise locations during performances of Parts in Suite).

Peck is also known for his work as a choreographer and consultant for Red Sparrow, a feature film produced by 20th Century Fox starring Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton.

Pas/Parts 2018 choreographed by William Forsythe based on the individual talents of all of the dancers and how they are able to add their own uniqueness to the ballet’s musicality. Forsythe is known for his advancements in focusing on ballet as a modern and expressive art form as opposed to its more classical roots.

Boston Ballet Parts in Suite
John Lam, Misa Kuranaga, and Isaac Akiba in William Forsythe’s PasParts 2018; photo by Rosalie O’Connor; courtesy of Boston Ballet.

As a leader in this area of choreography for over 45 years, he has been responsible for the creation of various projects including films and performance installations which have been presented in venues such as the Louvre Museum, MoMA (Museum of Modern Art – New York), and Tate Modern just to name a few.

I really loved Parts in Suite because it is entirely different from traditional ballets. While each sequence really focused on the choreographer’s individual artistic styles, each piece focused on the way the dancers interacted with the music. It’s a much more contemporary spin on classic ballet that offers a departure from the usual structure of ballets.

Boston Ballet

Although a live orchestra always accompanies these productions, both Bach Cello Suites and In Creases feature musicians onstage, which added to the show’s ‘unique factor’ and gave the whole production a more intimate feel. And the music in Pas/Parts 2018 takes on a completely different tone at times soft and mellow but also more industrial (the style of the music actually made me think of Cirque du Soleil!) but this also contributed to the memorable choreography as the music was so unique compared to your typical classical ballet soundtrack.

Parts in Suite runs through April 7, 2018, and tickets start at just $45. Visit bostonballet.org for more information or to purchase tickets. Next up from Boston Ballet is Romeo & Juliet, which runs March 15-April 5, 2018, with tickets also available online.

Want to learn more about seeing a ballet in Boston? Check out 5 Reasons to See a Ballet When You Visit Boston. 

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