Boston Ballet announces Forsythe partnership

Bo Busby, Kathleen Breen Combes and Isaac Akiba in William Forsythe's The Second Detail. Photo by Gene Schiavone.Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen recently announced a five-year partnership with internationally-renowned choreographer William Forsythe. The company will add one new William Forsythe work to its repertoire each year, in addition to also presenting reprised works from the company’s current repertoire.


Nissinen and Forsythe will work together to select the programming for Boston Ballet, and the legendary choreographer and his assistants and stagers will work directly with the company. This partnership will result in Boston Ballet having the richest collection of William Forsythe ballets in the United States.


To kick off the partnership during the 2016–17 season, Boston Ballet will present Forsythe’s full-length ARTIFACT on February 23–March 5, 2017, at the Boston Opera House. The company will be the first in North America to perform the full-length work. In February 2017, a special program entitled “Focus on Forsythe” will be dedicated to the choreographer and his work; he will participate in the program and the company will perform.


“I could not be more excited about this partnership. For me, and for Boston Ballet, it is a dream come true. Bill Forsythe is not only one of the greatest choreographers, he is a monumental modern artist,” explained Nissinen. “I was fortunate to dance his ballets at San Francisco Ballet: the experience changed my dancing. I am super happy for our dancers to have this opportunity to dive deeper into his ballets and to work directly with Bill. Boston is one lucky city to have such extraordinary exposure to his incredible works. Fasten your seat belt, Boston!”


Forsythe said, “I am so delighted to have the opportunity to spend so much time with this wonderful, fresh ensemble. Mikko’s support of the work means that the dancers and I can deepen our wonderful relationship and I will have a new home for new ideas.”


Boston Ballet first presented Forsythe’s Love Songs in 1989. Since 2002, Nissinen has grown Boston Ballet’s Forsythe repertoire by four additional works: In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated (2002, 2005), The Vile Parody of Address (2008 “Night of Stars”), The Second Detail (2011, 2012, 2014), and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude (2015, 2016.) This partnership will add at least five Forsythe works to Boston Ballet’s repertoire.


In an interview with The New York Times, Nissinen reportedly said this work is “the biggest priority for the Boston Ballet going forward.” Read the article here.


For more information on this new partnership, visit News of it came on the heels of the company’s announcement of it’s first co-production with The Royal Ballet – Obsidian Tear, choreographed by The Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor. Learn more by reading the company’s release here.


The company is currently presenting Swan Lake and its final program of the season, Mirrors.


Photo: Bo Busby, Kathleen Breen Combes and Isaac Akiba in William Forsythe’s The Second Detail. Photo by Gene Schiavone, courtesy of Boston Ballet.