A dazzling collaboration with acclaimed pianist Joyce Yang spawned the development of an entire program performed to live accompaniment. This curated evening features Jiří Kylián’s poetic Return to a Strange Land (danced en pointe), Nicolo Fonte’s exhilarating Where We Left Off, and a brand-new commission by Boston Ballet’s choreographer-in-residence, Jorma Elo. This program will be available for limited touring in the fall of 2018.
While ASFB has occasionally hired a pianist when called for in past performances, there has not yet been a full evening of live music. ASFB Executive Director Jean-Philippe Malaty looks forward to this development: “This is the ideal condition, having a musician playing live. To have that collaboration and both arts being created at the same time, that’s very inspiring.”
What’s more, the centerpiece of the program will be the premiere of a new ballet by renowned choreographer and ASFB regular Jorma Elo, who has collaborated with Yang on a new ballet set to Robert Schumann’s Carnaval. In addition to the new work being choreographed by Elo, Yang will also play the music of Leoš Janáček for Jiří Kylián’s Return to a Strange Land and Philip Glass in Nicolo Fonte’s Where We Left Off.
The seeds of the Elo/Yang project were first planted about four years ago, when Yang saw ASFB perform at the Joyce Theatre in New York City. The performance inspired her to think about what a collaboration with dance might look like for her. “I’ve always imagined things when I practice and perform,” says Yang. “It’s all about colors and shapes, and when I realized that I can actually have that, not just in my imagination but happening before my eyes, it was like being able to see for the first time.”