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DANCE REVIEW

‘Nutcracker’ delights with nods to past, future

Whitney Jensen during a recent rehearsal for Boston Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.’’ Whitney Jensen during a recent rehearsal for Boston Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.’’ (Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff)
By Jeffrey Gantz
Globe Correspondent / November 28, 2011
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When it premiered in St. Petersburg, back in 1892, “The Nutcracker’’ enjoyed only 11 performances before being withdrawn. Yet in the 20th century, it revolutionized ballet in America - not by what it did on stage so much as by what it did at the box office. Boston Ballet could hardly have achieved its international stature without the revenue generated by a production that’s drawn as many as 140,000 spectators a year. This season’s “Nutcracker,’’ which opened on Friday at the Boston Opera House, is the last for the current sets and costumes (which were introduced in 1995), so if you’ve developed a fondness for them, don’t wait till next year. Besides which, the opening-night performance was as well danced as any Boston Ballet “Nutcracker’’ I’ve seen.

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THE NUTCRACKER By Boston Ballet

Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Choreography by Marius Petipa, Daniel Pelzig, and Mikko Nissinen. Set, Helen Pond and Herbert Senn. Costumes, David Walker and Charles Heightchew. Lighting, Alexander V. Nichols. With the Boston Ballet Orchestra conducted by Jonathan McPhee. Presented by Boston Ballet. At: Boston Opera House, through Dec. 31. Tickets: $35-$174. 617-695-6955, www.bostonballet.org