Boston Ballet celebrates 50 years with free fall performance in the Boston Common

By: Annie Walsh

One of the most prestigious dance companies in the world, The Boston Ballet, is known for its brilliant performances, educational success, and community outreach. It has been 50 years since the Boston Ballet first graced citizens of the world with one of its performances. Last Saturday, the company held a free performance on the Common for the very first time to celebrate the 50 years of success they have had. The performance presented, Night of Stars on Boston Common, featured a range of works from classical ballet to contemporary dance, including George Balanchine’s “Serenade” and Christopher Bruce’s “Rooster.”

The company performed with the Boston Ballet Orchestra, which accompanied “Rooster” with music by The Rolling Stones.

According to its website, The Boston Ballet stage, built on the corner of Beacon and Charles Street, was the largest stage ever built on the Common. The dancers rehearsed a little more than 800 hours for this one-night performance. The dancers on the stage also represented over 15 nationalities.

The company was the first professional repertory ballet company in New England and has continued to uphold its artistic authenticity standards. Founded in 1963 by E. Virginia Williams, The Boston Ballet made its debut in a festival in Italy and then continued to tour Europe and the United States.  It was not until Fall 2009 that the company made the Boston Opera House its official home.

Photo by Annie Walsh

However, the company maintains a versatile repertoire including classical, neo-classical, and contemporary works, world premieres, masterworks and traditional story ballets due to the artistic direction of Mikko Nissinen who was elected in 2001.

According to the company’s website, “the Boston Ballet’s Mission is to bring new levels of excellence to ballet—both on and off stage. We will accomplish this through a process that is inclusive in scope, educational, and creative.

The company is determined to expand the resources of ballet to our community and establish easier accessibility. Also, the company’s goal is to install an educational system to enrich and enlighten all eager students, young and old. Lastly, the Boston Ballet hopes to continually provide the community with new, innovative works of art while still honoring the aspects of its legacy

The Boston Ballet has an extremely loyal audience ranging from community members and spectators around the world with 9,400 subscribers and a total annual audience of 147,000 people. Through the company’s outreach program, it endeavors to reach all demographics of citizens to inspire them to fall in love with the art of ballet.

The performance on the Common attracted more than 30,000 people. The event was a tremendous success and reminded citizens of the beauty an art form like ballet can express.