Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are collaborating with Boston Ballet on a new production about the ocean. “La Mer” (The Sea) explores the romance, beauty, and volatility of the sea, and is the result of a team of artists from around the world and ocean scientists at WHOI coming together. The new production makes its world premiere on April 6, and runs through April 16, at the Citizens Bank Opera House in Boston.
“La Mer” is a 50-minute work performed by 33 dancers, 45 orchestral musicians, and eight choral singers. Choreographer Nanine Linning, artistic director Mikko Nissinen, and other members of Boston Ballet visited WHOI and met with researchers working to help solve the planet’s pressing ocean challenges.
“The ocean connects and sustains everyone and every living part of the planet,” said Peter de Menocal, WHOI’s president and director. “Collaborating with Boston Ballet offers an exciting new way to convey that message.”
Set to Claude Debussy’s sweeping “La Mer” and choral work “Sirènes,” the music of “La Mer” is performed live by the Boston Ballet Orchestra and Boston’s women’s vocal group Lorelei Ensemble. The ballet will be punctuated by newly created musical compositions by composer Yannis Kyriakides, part of a team of international artists creating this large-scale production.
“I wanted to create scenes that address sirens as a metaphor for our behavior of greed, deep sea mining, dead zones, and oil spills,” Ms. Linning said. “I see the comparison of the ocean with the body, as my own body, and its fragile inner ecosystem.”
WHOI is one of the world’s top leaders in ocean discovery, exploration, and education.
“Helping guide the Boston Ballet on the science behind ocean threats and connecting the scientific and creative processes has been an incredible opportunity for all of us,” Mr. de Menocal said.
“La Mer” debuts on Thursday, April 6, at 7:30 PM as part of the Our Journey program. For more information and tickets, visit: BostonBallet.org.
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