The Nutcracker

December 9—30, 2017

The Nutcracker

December 9—30, 2017

About the Ballet

Created in 1995 by the National Ballet’s former Artistic Director James Kudelka, this stunningly designed and richly choreographed version of the perennial Christmas classic is a holiday gem, traditional and touchingly affectionate, yet imbued with the vigour, wit and briskness of a contemporary sensibility. The dreams and imaginative powers of childhood, the lure of fantasy and the sheer appeal of spectacle all form part of Kudelka’s vision, which comprises virtuosic dance, inspired comedy and the unbridled visual extravagance that one has come to expect from The Nutcracker.

Kudelka has altered the narrative subtly, too, creating beneath the dazzling stagecraft an archetypal story of childhood growth and maturation. Focusing on the quarreling siblings Misha and Marie, the ballet follows the pair as they move through new phases of understanding and experience, preparing them for their entry into the world of adolescence.

The brilliantly detailed and sparkling sets by Santo Loquasto evoke an enchanted, rustic world of the Russian past, one replete with folk customs and rituals that magically evolve into the ice-encrusted world of the Snow Queen and the splendor of the golden palace of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Underscored by Tchaikovsky’s beloved and inimitable music, the entire production is like uncovering a familiar treasure and seeing it anew.

“★★★★/4 The holiday season theatrical event by which all others must be judged.”Toronto Star

The Nutcracker

The Magic Behind the Snow Scene in The Nutcracker

The Magic Behind the Dancing Horse in The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker View Gallery  


“Remains as fresh as the day it premiered in 1995.” — The Globe and Mail

“The National Ballet of Canada’s annual production of The Nutcracker is sheer delight.” — Digital Journal

“The National Ballet's Nutcracker is for kids from one to 92” — National Post

“★★★★★/5 A magical Christmas tapestry weaved out of threads spun by composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, author E.T.A. Hoffman, choreographer James Kudelka and designer Santo Loquasto.” — 24 Hours

Tickets on sale September 19.

Subscriptions on sale now.
More Information


Choreography and Libretto:
James Kudelka, O.C.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Set and Costume Design:
Santo Loquasto

Lighting Design:
Jennifer Tipton

The Nutcracker is made possible by generous financial support from production underwriters Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Lawrence & Ann Heisey and an anonymous friend of the National Ballet.

Story Time

Designed to enhance children's experience of the ballet, Nutcracker Story Time is an engaging, interactive telling of the magical holiday story that allows children to have a better understanding of the performance they are attending.

Join us 45 minutes before every performance in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for Nutcracker Story Time!

The Nutcracker Story Time is Written and Directed by Gerry Campbell.

Set in Victorian Russia, Marie and Misha recount a wonderful holiday dream 30 years later.

Nutcracker Story Time is sponsored by TD Bank Group.

Virtual Museum

Get more insight into The Nutcracker through our Virtual Museum featuring set and costume sketches, footwear, artifacts and more from the National Ballet Archives.

Visit Virtual Exhibit

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