|| The Boston Globe
|| March 26, 2012
|| Erica Thompson
A reimagined production of “The Nutcracker,’’ with all-new costumes and sets by Robert Perdziola and some new choreography by Boston Ballet artistic director Mikko Nissinen, will be the centerpiece of the company’s 2012-13 season, to be announced today.
Boston Ballet’s 49th season will open Oct. 25-Nov. 4 with an as-yet untitled world premiere by resident choreographer Jorma Elo, sharing a program with a revival of Christopher Bruce’s “Rooster,’’ which the company performed for the first time this month, and William Forsythe’s “The Second Detail.’’ The reworked “Nutcracker’’ will run Nov. 23-Dec. 30.
Spring performances will begin with an all-Jirí Kylián program March 7-17, 2013: “Wings of Wax,’’ “Tar and Feathers,’’ and “Symphony of Psalms.’’ Marius Petipa’s “The Sleeping Beauty’’ will run March 22-April 7, 2013, followed May 2-12 by Wayne McGregor’s “Chroma’’ and George Balanchine’s “Serenade’’ and “Symphony in C.’’ Next season will conclude with Balanchine’s “Coppélia,’’ May 16-26.
Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,’’ which from 1995 to 2011 featured sets by Helen Pond and Herbert Senn and costumes by David Walker and Charles Heightchew, will employ lighter, paler hues this time around, Perdziola said, with clothing suggestive of the “Sense and Sensibility’’ era.
“The costumes are very reminiscent of the Jane Austen period, from the18-teens to about 1820, which is slightly earlier than it’s been done previously,’’ the designer explained.
Many of the costumes feature an empire waistline to achieve a “leaner’’ look, said Perdziola. “To me, it’s more romantic, floatier,’’ he said.
“The initial scene has a very tight palette, controlled and monochromatic,’’ he said. “When we go into Clara’s dream, there’s a burst of color that stays with us for the rest of the show.’’
Perdziola said he and Nissinen looked to German culture for much of their inspiration, but also drew from Denmark, Sweden, and Russia.
“I traveled to all of those places last summer, so it was a perfect opportunity to do some research,’’ said Perdziola, who has designed for the Metropolitan Opera, Opera Boston, Glimmerglass Opera, and other companies. “In Russia, those people rarely see the sun in winter, so a lot of the buildings are colorful, which isn’t really what you’d expect. In Sweden, there’s just a general paleness, so there’s a bit of all of that in the design.’’
Tweaking a holiday tradition, of course, comes with its own considerations.
“Because people are so familiar with this ballet, we’re keeping it very classic but reinventing and reimagining certain aspects of it,’’ said Nissinen, who estimated that about 35 percent of the ballet will be new.
“Even though this is a classic, it’s reworked every year,’’ he said. “It’s the first ballet most people ever see, and it’s sort of the gateway into the art form.’’
By now, designs for the new production are more than halfway finished, and Nissinen said he and Perdziola are “on the same page’’ about the vision for it.
“We’re no where near done,’’ Nissinen said, “but he’s been able to understand exactly what I intend.’’