Lynnfield resident Annabelle Curley is performing in Boston Ballet’s production of Mikko Nissinen’s “The Nutcracker” in the role of Lamb in Act II. Curley, 9, has been a student at Boston Ballet School for five years. She is in fourth grade at Shore Country Day School. “The Nutcracker” is at the Boston Opera House and has performances through December 30.
Curley joins 250 other young Boston Ballet School students from around New England in Mikko Nissinen’s “The Nutcracker.” Three different casts will take on various roles, such as toy soldiers, pages, reindeer, lambs, polichinelles, baby mice, and party children during Boston Ballet’s 41 performances of “The Nutcracker.”
Nissinen’s “The Nutcracker” marked the first time Boston Ballet built a new production entirely from the ground up, engaging craftspeople from all over the United States. Robert Perdziola made more than 40 sketches that were transformed into the production’s larger-than-life sets that range from calm, subtle colors in the Act I party scene to vibrant colors in Act II’s Nutcracker Kingdom. The 2012 production also incorporated more than 350 beautifully intricate costumes and fine-tuned choreography. New lighting design by renowned Finnish designer Mikki Kunttu was added in 2015.
This year’s production of “The Nutcracker” incorporates two artistic updates. First, Nissinen will refresh the choreography for the Chinese divertissement. Second, a Company dancer will join Boston Ballet School students in performing the role of Clara, enhancing the students’ learning experience and cultivating mentorship between Company and student dancers.
All children performing in “The Nutcracker” are students of Boston Ballet School and are coached by an experienced staff, including Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, Boston Ballet School Director Margaret Tracey, Children’s Ballet Master Miranda Weese and Boston Ballet School’s world-renowned faculty. Students auditioned and started rehearsing for the production in October and attend rehearsals with Company dancers and have costume fittings with Boston Ballet’s Costume Shop. They will experience the unique backstage atmosphere at the Boston Opera House through technical and dress rehearsals, as well as performances accompanied by the Boston Ballet Orchestra conducted by newly-appointed Music Director Mischa Santora and attended by more than 2,000 audience members each night.
Participating in a full-length ballet is an important performance opportunity for students, exposing them to aspects of ballet they do not experience in a regular class. The students learn about the hard work and enjoyment that compose a live ballet performance, and have the unique opportunity to dance alongside Boston Ballet’s 65 internationally acclaimed professional dancers from around the world.
All 41 performances of “The Nutcracker” will take place at the Boston Opera House (539 Washington St., Boston, MA 02111). Tickets start at $37. “The Nutcracker” performance length is approximately two hours, including one intermission. Choreography: Mikko Nissinen. Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Set and Costume Design: Robert Perdziola. Lighting Design: Mikki Kunttu. For more information, visit bostonballet.org/nutcracker/ or call 617.695.6955.
About Boston Ballet
Since 1963, Boston Ballet’s internationally acclaimed performances of classical, neo-classical, and contemporary ballets, combined with a dedication to world-class dance education and community initiatives, have made the institution a leader in its field, with a 55-year history of promoting excellence and access to dance.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Meredith (Max) Hodges, the Company maintains a diverse repertoire, ranging from full-length ballets to new works by some of today’s finest choreographers. Boston Ballet’s second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast.
Boston Ballet School, the official school of the Boston Ballet, has a longstanding dedication to providing exceptional dance education and ballet training to students across three studios in Boston, Newton and the North Shore. Led by Nissinen and Director Margaret Tracey, the school reaches more than 5,000 students (toddler to adult) each year through its five core programs: Pre-Professional Program, Classical Ballet Program, Children’s Program, Adaptive Dance Program and Adult Dance Program.
Boston Ballet’s Education and Community Initiatives provide programming, events and activities that connect the community to dance. Community programs reach more than 4,000 individuals in Boston and the surrounding communities each year through Citydance, ECI on Location, workshops and trainings.
For more information, please visit bostonballet.org.
Boston Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following institutional partners:
Boston Cultural Council
The Boston Foundation
The Klarman Family Foundation
Massachusetts Cultural Council
The National Endowment for the Arts
Mikko Nissinen’s “The Nutcracker” is supported in part by Primark.
This season’s student casts are supported by a generous gift from Helena and William Wheeler.