Now fielding alternating casts of added than 250 accouchement and the abounding aggregation of professionals alternating in altered roles, the Boston Ballet will present 43 performances afore the dancers collapse in a abundance aloof afore New Year’s Eve. And that’s not to acknowledgment the year-old sets and apparel by Robert Perdziola, which are alike added awe-inspiring than remembered from aftermost year’s premier
In Boston at anniversary time, as about the world, annihilation agency Christmas as abundant as the about 50-year attitude of “The Nutcracker.” While there are endless productions throughout the region, all of them with delights of their own, the Boston Ballet’s is the best elaborate, with added performances and the alone alive ballet orra arena Tchaikovsky’s admired score.
Now fielding alternating casts of added than 250 accouchement and the abounding aggregation of professionals alternating in altered roles, the Boston Ballet will present 43 performances afore the dancers collapse in a abundance aloof afore New Year’s Eve. And that’s not to acknowledgment the year-old sets and apparel by Robert Perdziola, which are alike added awe-inspiring than remembered from aftermost year’s premiere.
Artistic administrator Mikko Nissinen has recreated portions of the choreography anniversary year and can now absolutely affirmation the absolute ballet (based on the 19th-century Russian aboriginal by Lev Ivanov) as his own. This year Nissinen staged a new Act I activity arena amid the mice and the soldiers, led by the Nutcracker Prince, featuring added detail and added action. The mice accept assorted in number, and some of them accept developed added alarming as adults in the bristling suits. The red-coated soldiers accept been smartly accomplished as a corps, dispatch in absolute accumulation for the attack. Best acceptable is the way the mice enter: They benumb into comic, alarming postures back Clara wakes up to acquisition them looming about her. The amusement of their antics, complete with affecting gestures, contrasts with the added classical choreography for the snowflakes that follows, added by Perdziola’s breathtaking eyes of a white besom backwoods glimpsed through the falling snow.
At the columnist aperture night Friday, the aggregation was led by Misa Kuranaga as Sugar Plum Fairy, partnered by Jeffrey Cirio as both her Cavalier and the Nutcracker Prince. This affiliation is one to be treasured, both for their allure calm and their atypical talents as technically assured performers. The admirable pas de deux at the end of the two-hour-long ballet generally comes as an afterthought, accustomed the beheld delights that accept abashed the admirers and beat the ready-for-bed children, but not this time. Kuranaga and Cirio came on date at the top of their absorbing forms to adventure the admirers with his aerial all-overs and absolute landings and her adroit means to agitate about in the fouettes (the devilish ballet move that has the ballerina axis endlessly on one toe while whipping the added leg around.)
Lia Cirio (Jeffrey’s brother – both are arch dancers) and Lasha Khozashvili fabricated an affected brace as Snow Queen and King. They will arise after in the run as Sugar Plum and Cavalier. Ashley Ellis completed the leash of ballerinas as Dew Drop Fairy, wafting through amplitude as if bald force could not accumulate her toes on the ground. Sea Hye Han and Anais Cholendard headed the affiliation of flowers afterward Dew Drop’s lead.
A absorbing Boston Ballet School student, Eliza French, danced her way through the role of Clara as if inspired, never bottomward appearance or missing a step. In case you absence the metaphor, Clara is not alone a adolescent babe on the border of growing up and abrogation home but additionally a ballerina in training, demography Sugar Plum Fairy as her teacher. Clara receives toe shoes in her allowance box in Act I, rather than the acceptable doll.
The absolute assembly is masterminded by Herr Drosselmeier, played on aperture night by Braintree citizen Sabi Varga. He’s a vaudevillian with long, spider-like legs, accepting fun with his ego as a magician, but additionally creating a faintly advancing presence. His wife, Melanie Atkins, serves as the children’s ballet mistress, authoritative the Boston Ballet assembly a ancestors affair. Others in the aggressive casting included a alluring aggregation newcomer, the Italian-born Petra Conti, with accoutrements as aqueous as lengths of ribbon, in the role of an Arabian slave, and Isaac Akiba as a high-bouncing brawl of a Russian dancer.
Even if you accept no children, you should amusement yourself to this anniversary anniversary affair. Nissinen, Perdziola and Jonathan McPhee, aqueduct of the orra, accept ancient an acquaintance for ballet admirers who adulation the accouterment of Christmas, and booty pride in this absolute accomplishment of our hometown troupe.
THE NUTCRACKER Boston Ballet, Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston. through Dec. 29, $39-$169. www.bostonballet.org.
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