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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Boston Ballet embraces a choreographer in ‘All Kylián’

In the ballets of Czech choreographer Jirí Kylián, provocative movement is only the beginning. Consider the fantastical sets. In Boston Ballet’s upcoming “All Kylián” program of three of his works, “Wings of Wax” features the dancers underneath a giant bare tree, dangling upside down from the rafters. For “Symphony of Psalms,” the dancers are framed by 40 red-toned Oriental carpets, which transform the stage into a kind of sacred space.

The most recent work, the 2006 “Tar and Feathers,” requires shiny black and white floors that dancers not only dance on but slide across in sock-clad feet. In rehearsal, splits seem to magically sink and rise, and there is the occasional noisy squeak when the flesh of bare hands meets glossy vinyl. The work’s central figure, ballerina Kathleen Breen Combes, likens the black floor metaphorically to “a sea of tar.” She says, “All the lifts melt into the floor and you can look through to your own reflection to see yourself dancing. It’s really cool.”

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