Boston Ballet’s 2015-16 season celebrates the work of Yakobson

An article in the Boston Globe by Jeffrey Gantz announces Boston Ballet’s 2015-2016 season repertory, including Leonid Yakobson’s Vestris, and special season opener devoted to Yakobson and moderated by Janice Ross.

The real rarity here, however, is the work by Yakobson. He was born in St. Petersburg in 1904, the same year as Balanchine, and Nissinen says, “he had a unique choreographic voice,” one that, along with his Jewish identity, challenged Soviet authority and caused his work to be suppressed for a time. Nissinen adds, “He really opened the eyes of dancers in Russia; they started thinking differently because of him. Natalia Makarova and Mikhail Baryshnikov worked with him. In 1969, he created a solo called ‘Vestris’ for Baryshnikov for the Moscow International Ballet Competition to showcase Misha’s acting skills and great classical technique.”

The season will also have an appetizer: a BB@home presentation, Sept. 17 and 19, at the company’s Clarendon Street headquarters devoted to Yakobson and commemorating the 40th anniversary of his death. The evening will include “Vestris” and “Rodin,” and it will be moderated by Janice Ross, author of the just-published “Like a Bomb Going Off: Leonid Yakobson and Ballet as Resistance in Soviet Russia.”

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