In Boston Ballet‘s Our Journey program next month at Citizens Bank Opera House, Nanine Linning’s La Mer, a world premiere production, highlights “a program showcasing two insightful contemporary works that reflect our curiosity about the world and our shared desire for human connection.”
Nanine Linning's La Mer
“At the heart of La Mer is the theme of oceans, the current state of the oceans in the Anthropocene age. I wanted to create scenes that address sirens as a metaphor for our behavior of greed, deep sea mining, dead zones, and oil spills, as well as pristine oceans and extraordinary natural forces.
I see the comparison of the ocean with the body, as my own body, and its fragile inner ecosystem. My goal with this ballet was to create a new world where video, set, and light fully merge with dance and music.
Throughout my entire life, I’ve been an ocean creature. I have always loved to interact and learn about oceans. Recently, I’ve seen the impact of our behavior on oceans, and I became very fascinated by learning more from scientists and had a desire to use my art to help create awareness on the issues. Then, when exploring music with Mikko, he suggested La Mer and everything came together.
This collaboration with Boston Ballet, where we could bring in an extraordinary team of artists and collaborate with scientists who give our work extra dimension and context, has been incredible. I have been amazed by the dancer’s transformation from classical dancing to my work as a contemporary choreographer. I feel that they are so eager and hungry for co-creation, co-ownership, and discovering together, that it’s been so smooth, warm, and energizing.” – Nanine Linning.
Set primarily to Claude Debussy’s work of the same name, Nanine Linning’s La Mer is a 50-minute work performed by thirty-three dancers, forty-five musicians of Boston Ballet Orchestra, and eight singers from Boston’s virtuosic women’s vocal group Lorelei Ensemble.
The rest of the score for the ballet consists of newly created musical compositions by composer Yannis Kyriakides.
Boston Ballet and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are also collaborating on the world premiere of Nanine Linning’s La Mer. WHOI is guiding Boston Ballet on the science behind ocean threats and is assisting in connecting the scientific and creative processes.
Linning, Nissinen, and other members of Boston Ballet visited WHOI in order to further understand ocean threats and the research being conducted at WHOI. WHOI is the world’s independent leader in ocean discovery, exploration, and education, working to understand and sustain one of the planet’s most precious common resources. Boston Ballet is proud to use its art and platform to share the important research being conducted through WHOI.
“The ocean connects and sustains everyone and every living part of the planet,” said WHOI President and Director Peter de Menocal. “Collaborating with Boston Ballet offers an exciting new way to convey that message, as well as the fact that, although the ocean faces many threats, it is also a rich source of inspiration, hope, and of solutions to many of our most pressing challenges.”
La Mer marks Linning’s second work for Boston Ballet, her first the dance film La Voix Humaine which premiered on the company’s Process and Progress program as part of their virtual season BB@yourhome.
Justin Peck's Everywhere We Go
Complementing the double bill is Justin Peck’s Everywhere We Go, a Boston Ballet premiere which features a twenty-five member cast dancing to a nine-movement orchestral score composed by GRAMMY and Academy Award nominee Sufjan Stevens.
Boston Ballet’s lighting designer Brandon Stirling Baker – who also has has designed 30 world premieres for the choreographer – commented:
“Collaborating with choreographer Justin Peck has always felt like a creative gift. Everywhere We Go was one of our early collaborations nearly nine years ago and it forever lives in my heart as one of my favorite designs to date.
Everywhere We Go is a cinematic journey that takes the audience on a brisk ride in harmony with Sufjan Stevens original score and Karl Jensen’s kaleidoscopic scenic design. At its heart, Everywhere We Go is a deeply human experience. Seeing this work on Boston Ballet is a dream come true and it has never felt more alive than now.”
Nanine Linning’s La Mer and Justin Peck’s Everywhere We Go will be performed at Citizens Bank Opera House:
- Thursday, Apr 6 at 7:30 pm
- Friday, Apr 7 at 7:30 pm
- Saturday, Apr 8 at 7:30 pm
- Sunday, Apr 9 at 1:30 pm
- Thursday, Apr 13 at 7:30 pm
- Friday, Apr 14 at 7:30 pm
- Saturday, Apr 15 at 1:30 pm
- Saturday, Apr 15 at 7:30 pm
- Sunday, Apr 16 at 1:30 pm
Featured Photo of Ji Young Chae in Nanine Linning’s La Mer, photo by Brooke Trisolini, courtesy of Boston Ballet.
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