The Cultural To-Do List
Thrill of Contact
When Jeffrey Cirio turns 24 this month, he’ll celebrate by making his debut as a choreographer for the Boston Ballet, capping an impressive rise through the ranks of the company since he joined the corps de ballet in 2009. Within two years, he became a soloist, wowing audiences as a lead in Elo Experience, arranged by resident choreographer Jorma Elo, whose kinetic ballets made the most of Cirio’s astonishing athleticism and grace. In 2012, Cirio (pictured above) became a principal dancer, and he has since led several productions.
Cirio will world-premiere his routine in a four-dance program called Thrill of Contact. Titled “Fremd” (or “foreign” in German), it’s a 20-minute piece for seven dancers, accompanied by a musical score that merges classical composers Frédéric Chopin and John Field with electronic artists like Aphex Twin and Olaf Bender. The three other choreographers on the bill include George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and William Forsythe. Not bad company for a guy who was literally a face in the crowd just six years ago.
May 14–24, Boston Opera House, 617-695-6955, bostonballet.org.
The Boston Lyric Opera presents Mozart’s saga of the world’s greatest philanderer as he descends from the height of passion to the gates of hell. The production features young Australian baritone Duncan Rock in the title role, and Met Opera vet Jennifer Johnson Cano as Elvira, the scorned woman who leads the hero to his downfall.
May 1–10, Shubert Theatre, 617-542-6772, blo.org.
Super Freestyle Explosion
“I Wonder If I Take You Home,” by Lisa Lisa. “I Can’t Wait,” by Nu Shooz. “Two of Hearts,” by Stacey Q. “Supersonic,” by J. J. Fad. “Come Go with Me,” by Exposé. These ’80s dance hits were part of a vague genre (retroactively named “freestyle”) that combined New Wave, hip-hop, Latin grooves, and pop à la Madonna. All of these artists and more will converge on BU for a nostalgic Hi-NRG extravaganza.
May 2, Agganis Arena, 800-745-3000, freestyleexplosion.com.
“Michael Mazur: Drawings 1959–2009”
When Michael Mazur died in Cambridge in 2009, the Boston arts scene lost one of its titans, and a most versatile one at that, excelling at paintings, collages, and detailed, Expressionist drawings. This exhibit, which covers a half-century of his work, focuses on his charcoal and graphite portraits of
May 2–June 6, Barbara Krakow Gallery, 617-262-4490, barbarakrakowgallery.com.
Boston Pops Opening Night
Keith Lockhart has been conductor of the Pops for 20 years now—that’s seven more than his famed predecessor, John Williams. He still needs another 29 years to catch up to the legend of them all, Arthur Fiedler, but hey, it’s time to give Lockhart his due as a cornerstone of Boston culture. Guest vocalist Bernadette Peters helps kick off the season with a showcase of the maestro’s faves from the past two decades.
May 6, Symphony Hall, 888-266-1200, bostonpops.org.
Crosby, Stills & Nash
The ’60s are long dead and gone, but this songwriter supergroup still boasts timeless harmonies and a back catalog of classics like “Wooden Ships” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.”
May 19, Wang Theatre, 800-745-3000, citicenter.org.
“Clifford Ross: Landscape Seen and Imagined”
Spread across two buildings, six galleries, and a courtyard, this mid-career survey at Mass MoCA highlights Clifford Ross’s massive photographs, with several gloriously hyper-detailed, highest-res images of mountainscapes and hurricane waves reaching as high as 24 feet. On June 26, the second phase of the exhibit opens, featuring an outdoor video installation to get lost in.
May 23–March 2016, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, 413-662-2111, massmoca.org.