Boston Ballet is a world-class dance company. Founded in 1963, Boston Ballet has greatly expanded over the years, and was the first American dance company to perform in China. In the early 1980s, attending The Nutcracker ballet became a Christmas tradition for greater Boston citizens. During the 1990s, the company added more ballets to its repertoire. The dancers know multiple dance roles, and are rotated, which allows performances of the same ballet to be somewhat different each season. The home of Boston Ballet is at the Opera House on Washington Street.
One has the begin about Boston Ballet by describing The Nutcracker. Going to The Nutcracker is a local Christmas tradition, and has replaced the downtown ritual of taking your children to the Enchanted Village exhibit at the old Jordan Marsh store (now located at Jordan’s Furniture in Avon, MA). In those days, most people took the subway to work, and going to theaters or shopping downtown was popular every day of the week.
The Nutcracker is about a young girl that experiences a magical surprise and adventure on Christmas Eve. During Act I, she is given a nutcracker in the form of a wooden soldier, and his jaw is broken by a walnut. Heartbroken, she returns alone at midnight to check on him, and she sees a mouse. Suddenly, the mouse and the toys in the room become larger, and scare her. A battle ensues between the rodents and toy soldiers, with the nutcracker winning the fight with the aid of the girl. He is then transformed into a prince.
During Act II, the prince and the girl travel through a Land of Snow to a Kingdom of Sweets. Once there, the Sugar Plum Fairy presents candy (dancers) from different parts of the world. The crescendo of the fantasy occurs when the girl and the prince dance together. As the celebration winds down, the girl falls asleep, with the prince admiring her. A final grand waltz takes place with all the performers in the fantasy.
Today, Boston Ballet has many plays in it repertoire; from traditional ballets such as Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to unique or modern compositions such as La Bayadere and ELO Experience. The company uses beautiful costumes and sets, with vivid colors and decorations. The orchestra is highly rated, with good sound quality in the theater. The dance performances are world-class.
Boston Ballet operates a ballet school, with many local artists attending and endeavoring to be part of the company's performances. The company periodically tours the world, and offers community outreach programs and local exhibitions.
The home of Boston Ballet is at the Opera House on Washington Street. The building was originally Keith's Theatre, a movie palace that opened in 1928. The building's facade is in French Baroque style, and has a capacity of 2,900 people. The Opera House isn't as sprawling as the Wang Theater, former home of the company, and allows closer viewing of the performers. From the pitched balcony, one can view the dancers that are behind the forward performers, and can gain a different perspective of the show if one prefers.
Contact Information & Address:
Boston Ballet (Boston Opera House)
539 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111