James Whiteside

Latest Articles


Review: Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker (2010)

When E.T.A. Hoffmann wrote Nutcracker and Mouse King back in 1816, he can hardly have imagined the impact it would have on ballet as we know it.
Old faithful
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  December 03, 2010

Photos: Boston Ballet tours Barcelona

Boston Ballet dancers Jeffrey Cirio and Sabi Varga "have been snapping images like crazy" during the company's five-week trip to Spain -- see what they caught in their lens.
Behind the scenes of the Boston Ballet's five-week trip to Barcelona

Photos: Boston Ballet presents Black & White (2010)

Boston Ballet's reprise of Jirí Kylián’s Black & White
Boston Ballet presents Jirí Kylián’s Black & White
By ROSALIE O'CONNOR  |  May 28, 2010

Second sight

May in Boston has always been Storybook Ballet Month, as Boston Ballet finished off its season with Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty or Don Quixote , something classical and highbrow and reassuring. That, after all, is what Boston audiences want, right?
Boston Ballet reprises Jirí Kylián’s Black & White
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  May 21, 2010

Sparring with the Ultimate

There’s never been a more brilliant exemplar of the ballet art than George Balanchine.
Boston Ballet in The Four Temperaments, Apollo, and Theme and Variations
By MARICA B. SIEGEL  |  May 14, 2010

Theme and variations

George Balanchine was famous for “non-story” ballets, but when you put three of his works — the usual number to fill up an evening — together, you always get some kind of narrative.
Boston Ballet’s ‘Ultimate Balanchine’
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  May 14, 2010


Is it magic yet?

When you've seen every Boston Ballet Nutcracker for the past 20-odd years, and reviewed most of them, it can get a little hard to locate the magic. Then again, when you survey other Nutcracker s around the world you appreciate that there's no place l
Boston Ballet's Nutcracker
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  December 04, 2009

Smaller, bigger, better

Is Boston in the midst of a ballet boom? You could certainly believe that if you attended Boston Ballet’s fourth annual season-opening gala last Saturday.
Boston Ballet’s fourth ‘Night of Stars’
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  September 25, 2009

Slideshow: Boston Ballet's Jewels

Photos from George Balanchine's Jewels, performed by the Boston Ballet.
 Boston Ballet performs George Balanchine's Jewels .
By ERIC ANTONIOU  |  February 27, 2009

Crowning glory

In 1967, George Balanchine created Jewels for New York City Ballet, and in short order this evening-length triptych — Emeralds , Rubies , and Diamonds — became the crown jewel of 20th-century dance.
Boston Ballet's Jewels
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 27, 2009

Dance noir

Looking for a spooky Valentine? Try Jirí Kylián's Black and White .
The Czech choreographer/Nederlands Dans Theater director made an evening out of five pieces — No More Play, Petite Mort, Sarabande, Falling Angels, and Sechs Tänze — he'd created between 1986 and 1991.
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 13, 2009


Smaller is better

Next fall, Boston Ballet will move all its performing operations to the Opera House from Citi Performing Arts Center's immense and unfriendly Wang Theatre.
Boston Ballet's Nutcracker at the Opera House
By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  December 02, 2008

State of the art

Maybe it’s the economy, but Boston Ballet’s third-annual season-opening gala was a sober evening, without the orchestral overture that graced the first two affairs.  
Boston Ballet’s third ‘Night of Stars’
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  October 17, 2008

Mastering the masterpieces

It’s not exactly a trip down Memory Lane, but this weekend Boston Ballet is revisiting some pieces and choreographers it hasn’t performed in the Mikko Nissinen era.
Boston Ballet takes on Balanchine, Tudor, and Tharp
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  May 21, 2008


There’s got to be more to the future than the spectacle of gaudier and gaudier soulless cyberbodies.
Boston Ballet’s ‘Next Generation’
By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  March 12, 2008

Quo vadis?

“Next Generation” is the kind of ballet-program title that might have you asking yourself what happened to “This Generation."
Boston Ballet’s ‘Next Generation’
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  March 10, 2008



Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a dizzy dance of a drama, meandering mystifyingly between May Eve and Midsummer Eve under a moon that goes from new to full swifter than arrow from the Tartar’s bow.
Boston Ballet illumines George Balanchine’s  A Midsummer Night’s Dream
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  January 24, 2008

More than child’s play

After a slow start, The Nutcracker went on to become the most-watched ballet of the 20th century.
Boston Ballet’s grown-up Nutcracker
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  December 09, 2007

Love and death

“Classic Balanchine” as opposed to . . . “Jazz Balanchine”? “Porno Balanchine”? What was the alternative?
Boston Ballet's "Classic Balanchine" has all the basics
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  May 09, 2007

Sight and insight

“New Visions” is the kind of title ballet-company directors come up with for programs that are sort of new and are hoping for vision.
Boston Ballet’s ‘New Visions’
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  March 07, 2007

Lambarena redux

All summer long I’ve had the phrase “Do the Lambarena” running through my head, as if it were a dance craze, like the la-dee-dah or the lambada.
Pacific Northwest Ballet and Choreftes at JP, plus BB 2006 – 2007 and a DVD surprise
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  August 23, 2006


Hit and miss

Boston Ballet didn’t need Mark Morris’s blessing in 1999, and it doesn’t need it now.
Visiting and home teams swing for the fences  
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  March 22, 2006

New & newish

Helen Pickett’s Etesian , which opened Boston Ballet’s “Grand Slam” program of contemporary works last Thursday, began with a lone dancer adrift on a sea of darkness.
Boston Ballet’s ‘Grand Slam’  
By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  March 21, 2006