Common Threads: Boston Ballet and Artist Janet Echelman Push Boundaries

Greenway Conservancy Executive Director Jesse Brackenbury, artist Janet Echelman, and Boston Ballet's Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen; photo by Liza Voll, courtesy of Boston Ballet
Greenway Conservancy Executive Director Jesse Brackenbury, artist Janet Echelman, and Boston Ballet’s Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen; photo by Liza Voll, courtesy of Boston Ballet
Brookline artist Janet Echelman has had everyone looking up, through and beyond with her fibre art sculpture, As If It Were Already Here, that hangs above the Rose Kennedy Greenway. While Echelman’s piece still evokes awe and wonder from those who see it in person or in photographs, in a way it does feel as if it were already here.  It feels as if it is a part of Boston now.  Like a floating soap bubble, it must eventually pop or in this case be taken down. As this bold yet ethereal wonder, that feels as if it is a part of our cultural fibre, is extracted from our city, another art form is stepping up to center stage ready to continue drawing our eyes, bodies, and minds into the creative realm.  Boston Ballet will have some of the classics this year with the annual Nutcracker and much beloved Swan Lake, but it is really the rest of the season that highlights what a gift Boston has with Mikko Nissinen and the Boston Ballet.

LizaVollPhotography-2031
The “men of Mahler” from Boston Ballet’s upcoming program performing under Janet Echelman’s  flying sculpture. Photo by Liza Voll courtesy of Boston Ballet
This past week, Boston Ballet staged a human form, moving sculpture beneath Echelman’s airborne work as part of a farewell to this visual piece which also has a dance of its own. Echelman’s sculpture will be “performing” above the Rose Kennedy Greenway until Saturday, October 24th. Meanwhile, Boston Ballet begins their season with an equally bold, dynamic, and unique performance as Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler: A Ballet By John Neumeier opens on October 22nd.  Like Echelman’s sculpture, John Neumeier’s work takes something familiar and pushes it past what we know or have known.

“It [Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler] is a completely new form of work. It is a work that tries, through the use of the complete symphony, to create a new form of dance. …
…There is no story that can be expressed in words.  There is only a story that can be seen and felt as you watch the dancers.”
Boston Ballet is the first North American company to perform Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler. The performance is unlike any that has been performed at the Opera House. At the Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler, the audience is being asked to break away from the habit of trying to understand and think about what they are seeing. It is a display of movement, sound, and emotion and those watching are being asked just to experience it.  Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler: A Ballet By John Neumeier opens on October 22nd and will run through November 1st. Tickets are available online or at the box office.  For tips on getting discounted tickets you can check here.

LizaVollPhotography-1973
Photo by Liza Voll courtesy of Boston Ballet

2 Comments Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s