The evening closes with Jerome Robbins comic ballet The Concert (Of, The Perils of Everybody). The company appears to have a real blast in this extremely well-acted comedy, buoying the piece well above its caricature squareness. Piano soloist Freda Locker bows deeply to the crowd before taking her seat at the instrument, dusting off the keys with a handkerchief. This moment warms the viewer with its levity. One by one, a colorful cast of characters appear to take their seats for the performance as the theater setting becomes an amusing game of musical chairs. Ashley Ellis’ exaggerated traipsing captures the attention of cigar chomping Lasha Khozashvili and nerd Isaac Akiba, with Khozashvili’s wife (Dusty Button) often catching her husband as his eyes and hands wander. The most amusing scene is the assembly of the ballerinas as mannequins, carted about in amazing and hilarious poses. At times, The Concert feels like an overlong UPA cartoon for adults (it did premiere in 1956), but that is by no means a fault of the dancers. If anything, they make the most of the preposterous characters.
The 2014-15 Boston Ballet season finishes with a performance that is as much for the dancers as it is the audience, who can reap in the virtuosity of this remarkable company. When the season picks up in October, Boston Ballet will be sure to continue to impress.
Thrill of Contact runs through May 24 at the Boston Opera House. Purchase tickets here.