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Gene Schiavone

Boyko Dossev (center) performs in The Nutcracker.

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Boyko Dossev, a native of Bulgaria, is a corps de ballet member of the Boston Ballet and has been dancing with the company since 2006. He took time out of their busy Nutcracker schedule to chat with The Tech about the show and the life of a ballet dancer.

The Tech: How long have you been rehearsing for The Nutcracker? What are rehearsals like?

Boyko Dossev: For The Nutcracker we rehearse around four to three weeks before opening night, and then rehearsals continue during the entire run. There are a lot of different roles that all the dancers have, and this means a lot of preparation. Depending on the role, the rehearsals can be very physical; for example the Russian dance and the Snow pas de deux are a bit more intense than the Party Parents in the first act. The rehearsals are all day long, from 9:45 a.m. till 6:30 p.m. That’s our usual working day and it can be extremely tiring, especially for the girls.

TT: How many years have you performed in The Nutcracker? In which roles?

BD: I have performed this ballet for 15 years now in different productions around the world. I have done almost all the roles for a male dancer. Party Parent, Snow King, Drosselmeier, and the Grand pas de deux.

TT: What does the show mean to you?

BD: The show is a wonderful holiday tradition and a time of reflection on the past year and the goals that need to be set for the upcoming one. Also, The Nutcracker is extremely important to us because it is the production that brings in the most money to the organization, which helps us perform other exciting programs with high artistic value throughout the season.

TT: How has the show changed since Boston Ballet re-vamped it last year?

BD: The show is updated with wonderful new costumes, sets and choreography. And the audiences are more exited and enthusiastic than ever. We have a full house almost every night and I encourage everyone who wants to see it to hurry and secure their tickets. We offer exceptional and unforgettable moments to the entire community and every family.

TT: What’s your favorite part of the show?

BD: My favorite part is when the fantastic Christmas tree starts to grow, and the magic and spirit of the entire production mesmerize the audience every single time.

TT: On the day of a performance, how do you make sure you are fully prepared?

BD: The most important thing is to take the morning class (training), which prepares the dancers to be able to perform on physically high standards. When the body is ready, it is then the turn of the spirit and the mind. It is a complex preparation depending on the role I need to perform, and every time is a different, unique experience.

For more information about Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker, check out The Tech’s review in the Tuesday, Dec. 3 issue.