Northeast School of Ballet Announces 2021 Fall Series

Tales From The Spirit

WHEN: Saturday, October 23 (7:30 pm) & Sunday, October 24 (2:00 pm) WHERE: J. Everett Collins Center for the Performing Arts, Andover MA

We welcome you to share an evening of dance as we return to dancing LIVE in a theater at the J. Everett Collins Center for the Performing Arts! NSB’s 2021 Fall Series, Tales of the Spirit, is a public performance showcasing the pre-professional students of The Conservatory at Northeast School of Ballet. The versatile young dancers, ages 12-20, will perform contemporary, neo-classical, and classical repertoire by past and present choreographers.

Opening the program is When We Gathered Beneath the Big Sky. A ballet choreographed by NSB’s resident choregrapher, Joseph Jefferies to the spirited music of Aaron Copland. The neo-classical ballet is a beautiful and lyrical piece that was debuted this past summer at the Chautauqua Institution in NY. “The ballet, inspired by the thrilling and iconic score of Aaron Copland’s Rodeo. The work is based on themes of legacy as the pandemic lingers on and about humans needing to gather and share their stories. From the beginning of time, this happened around a campfire where we had the time to tell tales, pass on wisdom and feel safe and supported within our communities. This primal instinct is still very much needed today and part of what the arts can facilitate.” -Joseph Jefferies

The titled piece, Tales of the Spirit, created by NSB’s resident contemporary choregrapher, Jeremy Ruth Howes, and set to music by Ólafur Arnalds and Ludovico Einaudi brings together the entire conservatory student body. It has been 19 months since we were all on stage together and are happy to dance together closely again. “Tales of the Spirit examines how we tell the stories of our hearts. Through joy and grief, love and loss, we find a connection to each other and the larger world around us. Especially now, as our world faces so much turmoil and crisis, the stories we share are even more important reminders that we need to renew our faith in each other because the only way forward is together. I’m excited for the audience to see how the dancers have brought their unique stories and experiences to a collective creative process. ” -Jeremy Ruth Howes

Closing the first half of the program is “All That Is”, choreographed by Joseph Jefferies and set to the beautiful music of Tomaso Albinoni. NSB premiered “All Thas Is” in Raray France in 2015 and we are thrilled to present it again in our 2021 Fall Series. “All That Is deals with themes of gaining empathy and learning how to forgive. The movement phrases contain references to some intensely personal episodes in the choreographer’s life but the journey taken by the dancers in the piece is one that is universal to humanity.” -Joseph Jefferies

The evening will close with classic Giselle (Act II) The original choreography was by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, and Marius Petipa. Coached by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and staged by director Denise Cecere, is a rite of passage for every dancer to be a part of. “It is an honor and privilege to have Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux coach our dancers in Giselle. During Jean-Pierre’s career, he performed Giselle internationally as an Etoile with the Paris Opera Ballet. He danced the role of Albrecht at Paris Opera, Kirov Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, and more. The knowledge he brings to rehearsals and shares with our young dancers is immeasurable. The dancers are learning so much about the ballet and their approach is so open and passionate. I’m truly looking forward to seeing them perform Giselle and grace the stage again for a live audience.”-Denise Cecere

Giselle, originally titled Giselle, ou les Wilis (Giselle, or The Wilis), is a romantic ballet in two acts, and is considered a masterwork in the classical ballet performance canon. It was first performed by the Ballet du Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique at the Salle Le Peletier in Paris, France on 28 June 1841, with Italian ballerina Carlotta Grisi as Giselle. The ballet was an unqualified triumph. Giselle became hugely popular and was staged at once across Europe, Russia, and the United States.

The ghost-filled ballet tells the tragic, romantic story of a beautiful young peasant girl who falls for the flirtations of the deceitful and disguised nobleman Albrecht. When the ruse is revealed, the fragile Giselle dies of heartbreak, and Albrecht must face the otherworldly consequences of his careless seduction.

The second act is largely dominated by the Wilis, the spirits of maidens who died after being betrayed by their lovers, and take revenge in the night by dancing men to death by exhaustion (a popular theme in Romantic-era ballets). Led by Myrtha, the Queen of the Wilis, they summon Giselle from her grave and target her lover for her death, but Giselle’s great love frees him from their grasp. They gain their power in numbers as they effortlessly move through dramatic patterns and synchronized movements, and control the stage with their long tulle dresses and stoic expressions, creating an ethereal atmosphere that builds as they gradually close in on Albrecht. By saving Albrecht from the Wilis, Giselle also saves herself from becoming one of them.

Don’t miss Tales of The Spirit at NSB’s 2021 Fall Series! We welcome you to share our excitement as we return to the stage and perform live for our community.

Tickets are available through the website at or

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