On the fourth floor of 19 Clarendon, in a large open room with light streaming in from oversized windows, sat beautiful ballerinas, worn out‚ slippers and male dancers stretching with iPod headsets in their ears. We wondered what they were listening to as the dancers prepared for the final studio rehearsal of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes Centennial Celebration.
From a corner of the room a pianist and a conductor begin a musical score and the dancers rise. The ballet features George Balanchine’s “Prodigal Son,” Vaslav Nijinsky’s “Afternoon of Faun,” Michel Fokine’s “Le Spectre de la Rose,” and Jorma Elo’s world premiere of “Le Sacre du Printemps.”
First to perform is “Prodigal Son.” The choreography is full of acrobatic endeavors that make it exciting and thrilling to watch, because this‚ is a great ballet for those new to dance. Watching the dancers twirl and lift to the beat of the music felt like a montage from the recent film “Pride and Prejudice,” captivating onlookers.
Playing the male lead is Jared Redick. This will be Redick’s last performance with the Boston Ballet after dancing with the company for seven years.
We had a chance to speak with Redick, and he said that playing the part of the Prodigal Son has always been a dream.
“This role is one you wait your whole career to do. This is a gift for me, I’m going out with a bang,” he said.
For years, Redick has been up before the sun for ballet practice with the Boston Ballet and then teaching at the Ballet’s Norwell School on the South Shore.‚ The principal dancer says he is looking forward to having his mornings back, but don’t think that having restful mornings means that he will get lazy or out of shape. He wants to stay active and try new things like martial arts and snowboarding.
“I can finally snowboard!” he said. He doesn’t have to worry now about injuring himself on the slopes, or hurting his ankle so that he can’t dance for several months.‚ As Redick looks back on all the opportunities he has had in his career and the major roles he has performed, he said happily, “I have been so fortunate in my career.”
The Boston Ballet will be performing Ballets Russes to celebrate 100 years since its establishment by Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev.
“The Ballets Russes became one of the most influential ballet companies of the 20th century, presenting ground-breaking artistic collaborations among choreographers, composers, and artists,” the Boston Ballet says on its website. Among the classic works by Balanchine, Nijinsky and Fokine, resident choreographer Jorma Elo will premiere a new work, his sixth for Boston Ballet, to Igor Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre du Printemps.” The Ballets Russes will be at the Wang from May 14 to 17.