The entire ballet now features choreography by the company's artistic director, Mikko Nissinen. Last year, the popular Christmas ballet featured a new Act II by Nissinen; this year a new Act I, with a new concept for the ballet's opening, brings the whole production under one choreographer's direction.
The new sets are by Walt Spangler, a designer with many Broadway credits to his name.
The Colonial is half the size of the Wang Center, where The Nutcracker has been performed in previous years. A change in programming: the Wang Center opted to present the Radio City Christmas Spectacular instead of The Nutcracker: forced a change in venue.
Boston Ballet's Nutcracker runs through December 31.