|| The Boston Herald
|| November 29, 2009
|| Keith Powers
Where else can you see a top-notch ballet production, danced to one of the most lucid and compelling scores - and hear tons of kids gasp and squeal with delight?
Only at Boston Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” which opened its monthlong run Friday evening at the Opera House.
It may be a tried-and-true holiday tradition, but this “Nutcracker” is anything but the same-old, same-old. Once again, it was artistic director Mikko Nissinen’s choreography, yet so thoroughly - albeit subtly - tinkered with that it seemed like a new work. Not an easy accomplishment with any “Nutcracker.”
Most noticeable were a more substantial part for Clara, which enhanced the narrative, and more flying onstage, creating visual excitement.
Clara, danced confidently on opening night by Fiona Wada-Gill, can be cast as a supernumerary, prettily sitting while she appreciates her admirers. In this production she takes a more active role, and it helps the story make sense.
The dancing throughout was superb. Several things deserve noting: Pavel Gurevich (Cavalier) and Erica Cornejo (Snow Queen) seem to rise above their roles, bringing nobility and artistry to their work. It was a shame to see the climactic grand pas de deux come to an end.
Jaime Diaz and Kathleen Breen Combes as the impossibly lithe and sexy Arabians were unforgettable, as was the principal Russian dancer, Robert Kretz. And the ensemble dancers were in excellent form, truly a unified group throughout.
There is a reason that this popular and artistic production is a holiday necessity for dance lovers of any age: Go see why for yourself.