See a Blend of New & Classic Choreography with Boston Ballet’s “Rhapsody”

Rhapsody, the latest production by Boston Ballet, is comprised of five separate works, each bringing a unique theme and style to the stage. We attended the opening night performance and are excited to share the details with you!

Boston Ballet Rhapsody
Boston Ballet in Leonid Yakobson’s Pas de Quartre; photo by Rachel Neville Photography; courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Rhapsody includes…

  • Pas de Quatre, comprised of four entangled dancers who hold each other’s hands for almost the entire piece. The dancing was visually stunning with an air of elegance that made it impossible to take our eyes off the stage.
  • Rodin, which as the name suggests serves as an homage to the renowned sculptor. It’s performed by four couples, and each couple’s moves tell a different story beginning and ending in a post reminiscent of statuary. (If you remember the “Turn to Stone” routine on So You Think You Can Dance a few years back this reminded me of a more classical version of that!)
  •  Vestris, a solo piece featuring choreography performed by Boston Ballet’s Derek Dunn that was originally created for Mikhail Baryshnikov by Soviet-era choreographer Leonid Yakobson.
  • ELA, Rhapsody in Blue, choreographed by Boston Ballet Principal Dancer Paulo Arrais features a jazzier musical score by George Gershwin to depict feminine strength through one woman dancing among a cast of 15 men.
  • Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, seamlessly blends George Balanchine’s choreography with Tchaikovsky’s score in a way that makes it impossible to visualize one without the other.
Boston Ballet Rhapsody
Kathleen Breen Combes and Boston Ballet in Paulo Arrais’s ELA, Rhapsody in Blue; photo by Rachel Neville Photography; courtesy of Boston Ballet.

ELA, Rhapsody in Blue marks the first choreography by Paulo Arrais performed at the Boston Opera House, and its world premiere was during opening night of Rhapsody (on May 16, 2019). This piece will also serve as the final performance for Boston Ballet Principal Dancer Kathleen Breen Combes, who after 16 years with the company will be retiring following Rhapsody‘s final performance on June 9, 2019. Of course, this season is particularly timely to feature a piece on female empowerment, and Arrais’ choreography excels at showcasing just how important gender equality is at present.

We really enjoyed each performance equally– in fact during Intermission Chaz and I both admitted that we thought the first was the best until we saw the second, and so on. Rhapsody keeps the excitement going throughout the entire show, and the choreography of each performance was fascinating in their own unique ways, we really didn’t want to see it end!

Boston Ballet Rhapsody

I think if you’re not a regular ballet-goer this kind of set-up may feel intimidating–if so much of the production is based on showcasing the different choreographer’s styles and you’re totally unfamiliar with the choreographers included I can understand why. However, we actually think this style is a great way to dive deeper into the world of ballet because you get to see so many different styles in one production, rather than a ballet with one score and choreographer. So if you didn’t think to see something like this because the name isn’t as recognizable as say “Cinderella” or “Swan Lake”— don’t worry– you may even end up preferring this format!

Rhapsody‘s run at the Boston Opera House goes through June 9, 2019, and tickets start at $35 on

P.S. Boston Ballet’s Cinderella is also running until June 8, 2019, and we have a promo code for 40% off tickets here.

*This post is sponsored by Boston Ballet, we received complimentary admission to Boston Ballet’s Rhapsody. All opinions are my own. 

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