Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen announces ChoreograpHER, a female-led program celebrating innovative women in all creative fields, including choreography, music, design and visual arts. The program will include five world premieres from New York City Ballet principal dancer and choreographer Tiler Peck, choreographer Claudia Schreier, visual artist Shantell Martin, Boston Ballet principal dancer and choreographer Lia Cirio and choreographer Melissa Toogood. Each female choreographer brings her own unique perspective to the program, creating an evening that honors each woman’s variety of creative expression.
ChoreograpHER runs March 3-13 at Citizens Bank Opera House. Additionally, this program will be filmed live at the Citizens Bank Opera House and available to stream March 17-27 as part of Boston Ballet. virtual season.
“This groundbreaking program is sure to excite our audience, with five world premieres by five incredible female artists,” said artistic director Mikko Nissinen. “The Boston Ballet launched the Choreographer Initiative in 2018 to amplify female voices. While this core program is the culmination of the past four years’ work, it’s also just the beginning of Boston Ballet spotlighting innovative female artists.”
A ballet phenomenon, New York City Ballet principal dancer and choreographer Tiler Peck will construct a brand new piece Point of Departure, inspired by music composed by Caroline Shaw. Peck recently received accolades for his choreography at the Vail International Dance Festival and for the film John Wick 3: Parabellum.
“I am extremely grateful to Mikko for giving me my first opportunity to choreograph in a major ballet company. Working with the dancers of Boston Ballet has been an absolute pleasure that has both challenged and inspired me as a than a choreographer in the studio. Most importantly, I want to commend Mikko for his efforts to support female choreographers. This is an issue that I believe really deserves attention and attention, and in creating this ChoreograpHER program, Mikko has demonstrated her commitment to finding and amplifying more female voices. I’m honored to be on the program surrounded by such talented women and I look forward to seeing all of the other work,” Peck said.
Claudia Schreier brings her distinctive choreographic voice to Boston audiences, fusing neoclassical technique with contemporary vocabulary. She has choreographed over 30 ballets and her work has been commissioned by companies and organizations such as Dance Theater of Harlem, Vail International Dance Festival, American Ballet Theater Studio Company, Juilliard Opera, New York Choreographic Institute and Joffrey Winning Works.
“I am thrilled to create a new work for Boston Ballet. The company is rich in talent, passion and drive, and it is an honor to work with an esteemed institution that prides itself on both professionalism and kindness. “, said Schreier.
Visual artist Shantell Martin, internationally recognized for her landscape of lines and her existential questions, will create her first choreographic work. The multi-talented entertainer brings a playful approach to the stage and inspires audiences to tap into their own creativity. His new work Kites is inspired by the idea that a kite can represent a life traveled and that its string is the memory between the past and the future.
“It was an absolute pleasure working with Boston Ballet, especially when you venture into the unknown as I was coming from the perspective of a visual artist in motion. It was really important and fulfilling for me to be able to to do so with the support and talent of everyone, from the dancers to Mikko Nissinen, who trusted me and gave me the confidence to create,” said Martin.
Principal dancer and choreographer Lia Cirio will create her first principal piece for the company titled Chaptered in Fragments. Cirio participated in [email protected]: ChoreograpHER in 2018 and 2019. She also created Peppermint Wind for Boston Ballet School’s Next Generation in 2019.
“It is an honor to create and choreograph with my colleagues at Boston Ballet. These dancers are my family and, in my opinion, are of the highest caliber of dancers in the world. I started choreographing when Mikko told me approached to join the ChoreograpHER program. . I never thought of myself as a choreographer, but I am grateful to an artistic director who challenges us. This is my third piece for the Company and my first for the main stage. creation of Chaptered in Fragments began at a time when everything was very We didn’t even know if we could touch or be close to each other.Because of the pandemic and our rehearsal schedules, the choreography for this work has been fragmented, a kind of stop and start. Each time I come back to this piece, to repeat or add to it, the dancers and I have changed and evolved. Instead of fighting against this fact, I have learned to kiss him and to grow. In turn, work has evolved and changed with every chapter of our lives during this unusual current time,” Cirio said.
Melissa Toogood brings the authentic voice of American modern dance heritage to Boston with her world premiere. She is an award-winning dancer and choreographer of the highest caliber and represents modern dance today like no one else. Toogood is both a dancer and rehearsal for Pam Tanowitz Dance. She was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and has been teaching the Cunningham technique internationally since 2007.
“I’m an accomplished dancer and teacher, but I’m not comfortable with the title choreographer. Ultimately, I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to try and create something with such a talented company of dancers. We had a very meaningful exchange in the studio together, and I think it shows in their performances,” Toogood said.
Adding to the lineup of inspiring female voices is writer, researcher and artist Emma McCormick-Goodhart, who was commissioned to create a manifesto for the program.
Boston Ballet’s ChoreograpHER initiative establishes a model for female dance students and professional dancers to develop choreographic skills and invest in innovative new work by female artists. The initiative includes choreographic workshops for Boston Ballet School students, annual [email protected]: ChoreograpHER programs featuring works by Company dancers, and now the main ChoreograpHER program.
ChoreograpHER is also available to stream March 17-27 as part of Boston Ballet’s Virtual Subscription Package. The virtual season features five programs, including two main programs, ChoreograpHER and Swan Lake, filmed live at Citizens Bank Opera House.
All patrons attending a Boston Ballet indoor performance must show proof of vaccination or proof of a recent negative COVID test before entering the venue. Health requirements differ by age, per the City of Boston’s B Together Mandate. Additionally, all audience members must wear masks inside the theater at all times, regardless of age or vaccination status. Please note that we are not socially distancing the theater. For more policy details, please visit bostonballet.org.