Hugo Levine, 15, of Greenwich, is performing in Boston Ballet’s production of Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker in the role of Fritz. He has been a student at Boston Ballet School for less than a year.
Levine joined the Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Fall 2022. Prior to that he was a student at Greenwich Ballet Academy and a high school student at Greenwich High School.
Hugo began his training at age 12. At the age of 13, he continued his training at Greenwich Ballet Academy under the tutelage of Andrei Jouravlev, who studied at the famed Perm State Choreography Academy in Russia and was a former principal dancer with the Perm State Opera and Ballet Theatre.
“I fell in love with ballet during the first few months of the COVID lockdown,” Hugo said. As the world turned inward, I used this solitary time on ballet Zoom lessons and watching ballet performances on YouTube. My home studio was located just outside of NYC and became a gathering space for dancers
from ABT and Dance Theatre of Harlem to stay in shape while in lockdown. Upon learning that principal artists were using my local studio, I would scooter over observe their practice and join in when allowed.”
Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker Nutcracker opens November 25 at the Citizens Bank Opera House with performances through December 31.
This version of the classic tale, created for Boston Ballet in 2012, is one of the largest builds the Company has ever done, engaging craftspeople from across the United States. Acclaimed, award winning scenic and costume designer Robert Perdziola illustrated more than 40 sketches that were transformed into the production’s larger-than-life sets that range from calm, subtle colors in the Act I party scene to vibrant colors in Act II’s Nutcracker Kingdom.
The production also incorporated more than 350 beautifully intricate costumes, designed by Perdziola. Lighting design is by renowned Finnish designer Mikki Kunttu. The Boston Ballet Orchestra, the second largest musical organization in New England, led by Boston Ballet Music Director Mischa Santora, performs Tchaikovsky’s renowned score.
All children performing in The Nutcracker are students of Boston Ballet School and Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill School for the Arts and coached by an experienced staff including Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, Children’s Rehearsal Director Dalay Parrondo, and Boston Ballet School’s world-renowned faculty. Students auditioned and started rehearsing for the production in October. They will continue rehearsals through November, which includes rehearsals with Company dancers and costume fittings with Boston Ballet’s Costume Shop. They will experience the unique, backstage atmosphere at the Citizens Bank Opera House through technical and dress rehearsals, as well as performances accompanied by the Boston Ballet Orchestra.
Participating in a full-length ballet is an important performance opportunity for students, exposing them to aspects of ballet they do not experience in a regular class. The students learn about the hard work and enjoyment that composes a live ballet performance and have the unique opportunity to dance alongside Boston Ballet’s 63 internationally-acclaimed professional dancers from around the world.
Since 1963, Boston Ballet’s internationally acclaimed performances of classical, neo-classical, and contemporary ballets, combined with a dedication to world-class dance education and community initiatives, have made the institution a leader in its field, with a 59-year history of promoting excellence and access to dance.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Meredith (Max) Hodges, the Company maintains a diverse repertoire, ranging from full-length ballets to new works by some of today’s finest choreographers.
Boston Ballet’s second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast. Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to providing exceptional dance education and ballet training to students across two studios in Boston and Newton. The School reaches more than 5,000 students (ages 2-18) each year through its six core programs: Graduate Program, Pre-Professional Program, Classical Ballet Program, Children’s Program, Adaptive Dance Program, and Adult Dance Program.
Boston Ballet’s Education and Community Initiatives provide programming, events, and activities that connect the community to dance. Community programs reach more than 4,000 individuals in Boston and the surrounding communities each year through Citydance, ECI on Location, workshops, and trainings.
For more information, please visit bostonballet.org.