Boston Ballet pushes limits with ‘Artifact’

Boston Ballet begins its five-year partnership with world-renowned choreographer William Forsythe with the North American company premiere of his full-length ballet Artifact.

William Forsythe’s “Artifact” Suite will be performed by Boston Ballet Feb. 23 to March 5. Pictured is the Pennsylvania Ballet’s performance. (Image courtesy of Alexander Iziliaev.) 

Artifact, Forsythe’s ode to ballet, is accompanied by an original piano composition by Eva Crossman-Hecht, “Chaconne from Partita No.2 in D Minor” by J.S. Bach, and a sound collage by Forsythe. He also designed the lighting, sets, and costumes for this extraordinary production. Artifact runs February 23–March 5, 2017 at the Boston Opera House.

Artifact is a ballet about ballet.  There are three main characters. The Woman in Historical Costume, the Man with the Megaphone, and a Woman in Gray move amongst the corps de ballet. Nicholas Champion, who has performed the role of Man with the Megaphone since the ballet’s 1984 premiere, will perform February 23–26. Richard Siegal will debut in the role March 2–5. Dana Caspersen will perform the role of Woman in Historical Costume.

Pennsylvania Ballet performs William Forsythe’s “Artifact” Suite. (Image courtesy of Alexander Iziliaev.)

The ballet is inventive and invigorating. Artifact is well known in the ballet world and this production lives up to the hype.  According to the ballet’s website, “dancers flood the stage en masse, pushing the limits of their physicality” in this “athletic, avant-garde spectacle.” The website also says the ballet “powerful choreography, spoken word, and artistic sets.”

Pushing limits is a correct way of describing the ballet. The dancers pull off moves that leave you mesmerized and wondering how they do it. However, it is all done with an artistic flair.

The music perfectly accompanies the ballet and wraps you up in the magical world of Forsythe.

Artifact was developed in 1984, however, the Boston production will showcase a new section that will leave viewers breathless. Lovers of the original Artifact will love the changes to the Boston production.

Artifact will be at the Boston Opera House from Feb. 23 to March 5. Tickets range from $35 to $149. 617-695-6955,

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About Sara Brown

Sara Brown is the Sampan health editor.
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