8. The transformation of Boston Ballet
Boston Ballet was in disarray when Mikko Nissinen arrived as artistic director in 2001. His tenure hasnt been easy, with the company facing budget deficits and the end of its long-term relationship with the Citi Performing Arts Center (formerly the Wang Center for the Performing Arts. ) But Nissinen has expanded the company's school to make it the biggest ballet school in North America, recruited top dancers from around the world, and expanded the troupe's repertoire. This year, the Ballet moved its entire season into the renovated Opera House, complete with an enhanced orchestra pit. The early results couldnt be better: ''Nutcracker'' ticket sales are hot enough to encourage the company to increase the number of performances in 2010.