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Rolling Stones Meet Balanchine in a Mesmerizing Evening
Thursday, June 30, 2022


Mick Jagger and George Balanchine?

Rock and roll met ballet this week at the Sun Valley Pavilion as Mikko Nissinene’s Boston Ballet took a chance on what turned out to be an amazing mesh of pop culture and ballet choreography.

“How fun was that?!” one 20ish young man asked his friends afterwards.

Boston Ballet performed two unique nights of dance as part of the 2022 Ballet Sun Valley Festival with at least 20 performers on stage during some of the pieces.

Among the performances: A mesmerizing version of Lia Cirio’s “Chaptered in Fragments,” which included precision choreography that included accentuated head jolts set to the music of Handel, Dvorak, Brahms and Shostakovich.

Balanchine’s “Chacone” satisfied the classical music purists in the audience with grace, elegant dips and sways accentuated by the dancer’s flowing white skirt.

But, then….drumroll, please…the second half of the show was reserved for The Rolling Stones as dancers showed off athleticism and sensuality set to a handful of Stones’ songs, including “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Wild Horses” and “Paint It Black” in a piece titled “DEVIL’S/eye.”

Stephen Galloway’s work was a bit of a risk, particularly for a crowd that included a lot of classical ballet purists. But the audience loved the compelling dance and its accompanying music, rocking out to the music and hanging on every move.

This is not the only Rolling Stones arrangement Boston Ballet has done. Christopher Bruce’s “Rooster” is set to such songs as “As Tears Go By,” “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Ruby Tuesday,” which reportedly contains a moment when a dancer dives into the arms of several men and then is tossed into the air, spinning all the while.

Ballet Sun Valley had promised its audience a program of innovative artistry that would test the edges. And it delivered.

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