Boston Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ shines as bright as ever

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Little girls are dressed to the nines for the opening night of Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” The theater is abuzz with cheer and anticipation as the lights lower and Tchaikovsky’s familiar score fills the room.

Boston Ballet is riding high, celebrating its 50th anniversary season. And, this year, there’s something about artistic director Mikko Nissinen’s new version of the classic holiday that really shines — even brighter than its world premiere last year.

Nissinen’s updated telling stays true to many aspects of the original, from Drosselmeiers’s magic show in the prologue, to the enchanting, life-size toys, to the battle scene with the fearsome Mouse King. On stage, flakes falls throughout the entire length of the snow scene, adding to the magic of it all.

Jeffrey Cirio and Misa Kuranaga are paired up again as the Nutcracker Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy. This principal duo continues to excel in their roles, with a Grand Pas de Deux that thrills and leaves the audience wanting more.

What is most impressive, however, is the discipline and poise of the production’s littlest stars. The students of the Boston Ballet School dance like seasoned professionals. Eliza French carefully executes Clara, capturing the innocence of every child at Christmastime.

This is perhaps the most magical version of “The Nutcracker” to date. It’s performing arts at its best — high energy, high quality and high impact — and a must-see this holiday season for children ages 5 to 105.

If you go

Boston Ballet presents Mikko Nissinen’s ‘The Nutcracker’
Through Dec. 29
Boston Opera House
539 Washington St., Boston
$35-179, 617-695-6950
bostonballet.org



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