McGregor’s Chroma

McGregor’s Chroma

I’m sorry for being absent the last few weeks. My lease is up at the end of the month and my boyfriend and I still don’t have a place to live. We’ve seen what feels like a million apartments but nothing has worked out. I think it’s the universe telling me I should just sell everything I own and move. If that’s the plan, I need to get started on it ASAP.

I saw Boston Ballet’s Chroma twice, once last night and once on Friday night. Steve from You Dance Funny stayed at my place on Friday and it was really cool meeting him. Come back anytime Steve! He’s doing what I want to do as soon as possible: road trip around the US while dancing. Back to Chroma. It was a 3 part show with 2 Balanchine pieces – Serenade and Symphony in C and the signature piece, McGregor’s Chroma. Chroma was ASTOUNDING. I mean just sublime. I can add as many adjectives as I want but nothing will compare to being there and seeing it. It reminded me a bit of Forsythe’s The Second Detail, another favorite. Chroma was full of intricate partnering, legs everywhere, twists, body rolls, and AMAZING music. There were drums and xylophones and a gong I think. Jack White from the White Stripes did some of the arrangements. Do you understand why you HAVE to see this ballet? 🙂

2011 Repertory
Maria Kochetkova & Jaime Garcia Castilla in McGregor’s ‘Chroma’; Photo: Erik Tomasson
Image from

One of the entries for the word “chroma” in the Free Dictionary is “A color’s value is its brightness, its chroma is its strength, and its hue is its position in the spectrum.” This ballet burned so bright that when the curtain was raised you were momentarily blinded by the stark whiteness of the stage and the lighting. The movements were full of force and energy. The multitude and intricacy of positions, partnering, choreography, and sheer flexibility seemed to encompass the way, way, way upper – as in godly – spectrum of human ability. It was like seeing gamma rays with our own eyes. Would that I could dance like this.

Ed Watson and Mara Galeazzi
Image from

Lawrence and Irlan brought it on Saturday night. I remember seeing Lawrence perform at Boston Conservatory with Boston Ballet II. I remember him because he has really long arms. Now he’s in the main company! 🙂 Friday night Whitney, Lia, and of course Jeffrey were fantastic as well. Honestly, both casts and everyone in them really owned Chroma. I have no complaints about anything at all. I think what makes a dancer a really good dancer, is when they can take movement and put it on a like a skin. Embody it. Become it. Like a selkie (mythical beings that can shed their seal skin and take human form- more here) except the stage is the ocean and the regular human world is the one you visit on occasion. The only thing that can and will take your skin away and keep you stranded from home, from dance, is time.

I took three nondancers to see the show and they all really liked McGregor’s Chroma. Did I mention that the Saturday showing got a standing ovation like no other? Because it did. 🙂 My friends did question how the pieces were connected since you went from Serenade to Chroma to Symphony in C. Personally, I would have left Chroma for the end. I don’t think the 3 pieces were connected or that they were supposed to be connected – it’s just what they chose to present to us. I guess they are connected in that they are ballets? Thoughts on this? I do think calling the whole show Chroma is a little confusing especially when you want to talk about the piece and not the show…

During the pre-show talk on Saturday night which really helped me see Serenade in a different light, Kathleen Breen Combes called Chroma “extreme.” It was extremely charged, extremely intriguing, extremely fluid, extremely raw, extremely artistic, and extremely beautiful. I feel honored that I was able to see it.

Here are some program notes from San Francisco Ballet about Chroma and below is a clip! I’d love to hear what you think.


4 thoughts on “McGregor’s Chroma

  1. I just wanted to let you know I really enjoy your blog and it has been inspirational to me and I think it’s great! So I have nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. It’s just a blogger-to-blogger pay it forward kinda thing to recognize other bloggers who we feel are great at what they do and deserve some recognition. Have a great day!


    1. Rachael! I’m so honored that you have nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! I will definitely be participating! 🙂


  2. I also went to see Chroma a few days ago and also loved it! I’m usually not a fan of non-classical ballets (yep, I’m a Sleeping Beauty girl through and through), but Chroma was unique in a way that made me stop and think. Only Jewels and Black & White have given me the same inquisitive pause, so Nissinen is definitely onto something here with his company.

    I’m moving away from Boston this summer though, so I won’t be able to see BB’s SUPER 2013-2014 lineup (La Bayadere, Cinderella, Jewels). So sad 😦


    1. Hi! Thank you for your comment! I really did love Chroma and I’m glad to hear you did too. A friend of mine sat behind a person who was a self proclaimed “story ballet” fan and she didn’t like it so I was wondering how other people felt about it. I haven’t seen Jewels yet. I’m not sure how long I’ll be in Boston but if I am here I will definitely check it out! I thought I had seen Black and White but I just youtubed it and I definitely didn’t see it. It looks AWESOME!!!!! I love the drums and percussive movements. 🙂 Will you be moving somewhere with a big ballet scene?


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