The Nutcracker
James Kudelka

December 6 – 31, 2024

The Nutcracker
James Kudelka

December 6 – 31, 2024


Experience the wonder of the holidays with James Kudelka’s The Nutcracker, a spectacular family production. The adventure begins at a Christmas Eve party in a 19th-century barn and introduces siblings Marie and Misha to delights beyond their wildest dreams, from magical creatures to savoury treats and the glittering land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Set to Tchaikovsky’s famous score and featuring magnificent sets and costumes, The Nutcracker is an unforgettable tribute to the imagination.

The Nutcracker Trailer

The Story

Squabbling siblings Marie and Misha are attending a Christmas party at their country home when their mysterious Uncle Nikolai arrives bearing gifts. These include a beautiful nutcracker doll for Marie, who takes it to the nursery that night. Then the magic begins. The clock strikes twelve, the Christmas tree grows to enormous proportions and Marie and Misha embark on a fabulous journey that teaches them to get along.

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Fast Facts
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Nutcracker View Gallery

The Creator

James Kudelka served as Resident Choreographer of The National Ballet of Canada following his nine years as Artistic Director. He creates works of incredible musicality and vision for companies internationally, from original full-length ballets to short contemporary works and remounted classics. Kudelka was Resident Choreographer of Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie from 2008 to 2020.

The Score

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s suite for The Nutcracker is one of his three full-length scores for ballet and contains some of the most recognizable music in the classical repertoire. With this score, Tchaikovsky introduced the celesta, the keyboard instrument behind the twinkling theme of the Sugar Plum Fairy.


“The best Nutcracker on the planet.” – The Globe and Mail

The Nutcracker is an unforgettable tribute to the imagination” – Ludwig Van Toronto 

“★★★★★/5 A glorious evening of ballet for the entire family” – Toronto Sun

Running Time

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


Casting will be announced on our eNewsletter, Ballet News, and on social media and will be posted here approximately four weeks prior to the opening. Please note, casting is always subject to change.


Choreography and Libretto:
James Kudelka

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Set and Costume Design:
Santo Loquasto

Lighting Design:
Jennifer Tipton

World Premiere: The National Ballet of Canada, O’Keefe Centre (now Meridian Hall), Toronto, December 21, 1995

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

The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges its collaboration with Canada's National Ballet School in the production of The Nutcracker.

This production is dedicated to Celia Franca and Betty Oliphant.
With respect, admiration and gratitude. – JK

Union Support credits

Running Time

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

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