The Nutcracker

December 8—30, 2018

The Nutcracker

December 8—30, 2018

About the Ballet

James Kudelka's ravishing and gloriously re-imagined version of the evergreen Christmas spectacular was created for The National Ballet of Canada in 1995 and it remains an unparalleled holiday entertainment for both children and adults. Replete with Kudelka's signature dynamic and exuberant choreography and gliding with wonderful ease from whimsical and often boisterous comedy to breathtaking spectacle and touching emotion, the ballet is a feast for both the senses and the imagination.

In Kudelka's adaptation, E.T.A. Hoffmann's original tale is re-situated in rural 19th-century Russia, a world in which nature and the rituals of farm life are harmoniously and organically entwined. The story centres on a brother and sister, Misha and Marie, and their Christmas Eve dream journey which carries them from their family home through a world of wonders to the glittering winter realm of the Snow Queen and finally to the splendour of the palace of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Santo Loquasto's beautifully evocative sets and costumes combine perfectly with the enchantment of Tchaikovsky's sumptuous score to complete a genuinely magical Christmas experience for ballet lovers of all ages.

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

The Nutcracker Trailer

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

Running Time

  • Act I 50m
  • Intermission 20m
  • Act II 50m
  • Total (approx) 2h

Further Reading


Nutcracker by the Numbers


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.

Running Time

  • Act I 50m
  • Intermission 20m
  • Act II 50m
  • Total (approx) 2h

Tickets on sale September 19.

Subscriptions on sale now.
More Information

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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