In 2012, Boston gained a new “Nutcracker” and lost a ballet competition. That was the high and the low of a dance year that saw distinguished visitors like Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Mark Morris Dance Group but also had milestones from local heroes, with Green Street Studios celebrating its 20th anniversary and José Mateo Ballet Theatre presenting its 25th annual “Nutcracker.”
The new “Nutcracker” belonged to Boston Ballet. The company’s previous sets and costumes had been designed for the Wang Theatre rather than the Opera House, where Boston Ballet now performs, and they were wearing out after 17 years. So artistic director Mikko Nissinen decided it was time for a new production. This was a bit of a gamble: the old “Nutcracker” had been a beloved holiday tradition, as well as providing the lion’s share of the company’s annual box office.