Boston Ballet Announces 2021–2022 Season

Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen has announced the return to live, in-person performances for the 2021–2022 season.

Live performances return in November with Nissinen’s “The Nutcracker.” The season includes eight world premieres including five in the female-led ChoreograpHER program and world premieres choreographed by William Forsythe, Jorma Elo, and Stephen Galloway. George Balanchine’s Chaconne and Jiří Kylián’s Bella Figura also return to the Citizens Bank Opera House stage. The season concludes with the return of Mikko Nissinen’s “Swan Lake”. The 58th season also marks Nissinen’s 20th year as artistic director.

“I am thrilled to announce Boston Ballet’s triumphant return to live performances after a challenging year. I cannot wait to be in the theater with audiences as the curtain rises again,” said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “Last season, our organization adapted and innovated to create virtual content, and I am pleased to continue accessible digital performances to engage new and returning audiences.”

Live dance returns to Boston with Mikko Nissinen’s “The Nutcracker” (Nov 26–Dec 26). The annual production “…remains a masterpiece of music, movement and theatrical spectacle” (The Boston Globe) and is a cherished holiday treasure for audiences of all ages. The critically acclaimed production, featuring sets and costumes by award-winning designer Robert Perdziola, is set to Tchaikovsky’s renowned score.

The spring season begins with ChoreograpHER (March 3–13). The female-led program celebrates innovative voices across the art world with five world premieres. Ballet phenomenon New York City Ballet Principal Dancer and choreographer Tiler Peck will build a brand-new work for Boston Ballet. She recently received accolades for her choreography at Vail International Dance Festival and for the film John Wick 3: Parabellum. Claudia Schreier brings her distinctive choreographic voice to Boston audiences, fusing together neoclassical technique with a contemporary vocabulary. She has choreographed over 30 ballets and her work has been commissioned by companies and organizations including Dance Theatre of Harlem, Vail International Dance Festival, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Juilliard Opera, New York Choreographic Institute, and Joffrey Winning Works. Visual artist Shantell Martin—internationally-acclaimed for her landscape of lines and existential questions—will create her first choreographic work. The multi-talented artist brings a playful approach to the stage and inspires audiences to tap into their own creativity. Principal Dancer and choreographer Lia Cirio will create her first main stage work for the Company. Cirio participated in BB@home: ChoreograpHER in 2018 and 2019. She also created the peppermint wind for Boston Ballet School’s Next Generation in 2019. Melissa Toogood brings the authentic voice of the American modern dance legacy to Boston with her world premiere. She is an award-winning dancer and choreographer of the highest caliber and represents modern dance today as no one else can. Toogood is both a dancer and rehearsal director for Pam Tanowitz Dance. She was a member of the Merce Cuningham Dance Company and has taught Cunningham Technique internationally since 2007. The program will also feature conceptual art by writer, researcher, and artist Emma McCormick-Goodhart. This program is the culmination of Boston Ballet’s ChoreograpHER Initiative, a multi-year commitment in support of emerging female choreographers. It was established in 2018 to give female dance students and professional dancers opportunities to develop choreographic skills.

The next program DREAMstate runs March17–27. George Balanchine’s Chaconne is a work of pure ballet for 27 dancers that weaves together life, love, and transcendent movement. Creative powerhouse and movement director for The Rolling Stones, Stephen Galloway creates a much-anticipated world premiere DEVIL’S/eye. Sensual yet sensitive, vulnerable and poetic, Jiří Kylián’s masterpiece Bella Figura returns to the Boston stage following rave reviews in London, New York, and Boston.

MINDscape (May 5–15) is a physically demanding and mentally stimulating program, featuring world premieres by William Forsythe and Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo. Continuing his long-term partnership with the Company, William Forsythe’s Blake Works I returns to the Opera House stage and is set to music from GRAMMY-nominated British musician James Blake’s album “The Colour in Anything.” Boston Ballet made the North American premiere of Blake Works I in 2019. Blake Works II will make its world premiere and will also feature the music of James Blake. Jorma Elo will create a new work, which juxtaposes classical ballet and contemporary dance in his own unique and honest style.

The season concludes with Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake (May 26–June 5). The classical masterpiece follows the Swan Queen Odette and Prince Siegfried in a tale of romance, sorcery, and deceit. The second act, originally choreographed by Lev Ivanov, is historically considered the finest piece of classical choreography for the corps de ballet. The production showcases the technical precision and emotional tonality of dozens of dancers, brilliantly transformed by Robert Perdziola’s impeccable costume design and set to the timeless score by P.I. Tchaikovsky. Nissinen’s production “vividly showcase[s] the company’s excellent depth and range” (Karen Campbell, The Boston Globe).

Building off the success of Boston Ballet’s first-ever virtual season, BB Virtual programming will continue this season. Featuring carefully curated works, the 2021–2022 virtual subscription will also stream full-length, season-favorite programs filmed at the Citizens Bank Opera House.

Subscriptions go on sale June 21. Single tickets go on sale September 8. Boston Ballet will follow government health and safety protocols for in-person performances, with more details released prior to each program. For more information on this season, visit or call 617.695.6955.

All performances take place at the Citizens Bank Opera House (539 Washington Street, Boston, MA, 02111):

•The Nutcracker | November 26–December 26, 2021

Choreography by Mikko Nissinen

Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

•ChoreograpHER | March 3–13, 2022

*World Premiere

Choreography by Tiler Peck

*World Premiere

Choreography by Claudia Schreier

*World Premiere

Choreography by Shantell Martin

*World Premiere

Choreography by Lia Cirio

*World Premiere

Choreography by Melissa Toogood

With conceptual art by Emma McCormick-Goodhart

•DREAMstate | March 17–27, 2022


Choreography by George Balanchine

Music from the opera Orfeo ed Euridice


Choreography by Stephen Galloway

•Bella Figura

Choreography by Jiří Kylián

Music by Lucas Foss, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Alessandro Marcello, Antonio Vivaldi, and Giuseppe Torelli

•MINDscape | May 5–May 15, 2022

Blake Works I

Choreography by William Forsythe

Music by James Blake

*Blake Works II

World Premiere

Choreography by William Forsythe

Music by James Blake

*World Premiere

Choreography by Jorma Elo

•Swan Lake | May 26–June 5, 2022

Choreography by Mikko Nissinen

Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

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