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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Meeting of artistic minds draws Boston Ballet close to Chuck

‘Something old, something new, and something sort of new” could describe Boston Ballet’s first repertory program of 2014. The “old,” Jirí Kylián’s “Bella Figura,” dates from 1995, so it’s quite recent, but the Ballet offered it in 2011 and again in 2012, so even the sections in which the dancers appear topless are no longer a novelty. The “new,” José Martínez’s “Resonance,” is so new that as recently as a couple of weeks ago this commission from the artistic director of Spain’s Compañía Nacional de Danza wasn’t finished and didn’t have a name. It’s the “sort of new” item, however, that might be the most intriguing one on the bill, Jorma Elo’s “C. to C. (Close to Chuck).” American Ballet Theatre premiered this work in 2007, but given Elo’s penchant for revising his work, it will undoubtedly look new when it appears on the Boston Opera House stage Thursday.

The creation of “C. to C.” actually involved a quartet of individuals: Elo, painter and photographer Chuck Close, composer Philip Glass, and pianist Bruce Levingston. Its genesis goes back to Paris in 1964, when Glass and Close first met. They crossed paths again in New York in 1967, and in 1968 Close took his iconic photograph of Glass. Both men went on to become major American artists; in 1988, Close suffered a spinal aneurysm that left him in a wheelchair, but he continues to work.

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