Six Reasons to See Nutcracker

The holiday classic returns this December

Ballet BC is proud to once again welcome Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet and their iconic retelling of Nutcracker back to Vancouver this holiday season! The Lower Mainland’s only professional production of Nutcracker, these performances are full of whimsical characters, extraordinary scenic design, gorgeous costumes, and brilliant classical choreography performed by some of the country’s best dancers—all set to that beautiful Tchaikovsky score everyone knows and loves.

Here are six reasons to experience the magic of Nutcracker this December.


1. Supporting Local Dancers

Each year, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s touring productions of Nutcracker cast young dancers from local communities to perform in the timeless classic. Here in Vancouver, 40 young dancers have been rehearsing at Ballet BC’s studios each week in preparation for their exciting time on stage, preparing for roles such as young Clara, dancing mice, reindeer, and polar bears.

2. The Craft of Costuming

Costumes play an important role in the magic of Nutcracker. For RWB’s production, every costume is made in-house in their Wardrobe Department by a dedicated team of designers, milliners, dyers, and stitchers. There are more than 35 tutus alone in each performance, and one snowflake tutu takes approximately 50 hours to create by hand. Read more about Nutcracker costumes in this Q+A with designer Paul Daigle.

3. Artistic Excellence

Ballet BC presents Vancouver’s only professional production of Nutcracker. Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet was formed in 1939, and is one of North America’s oldest professional ballet companies. It’s renowned around the world for its creative excellence and versatility. It is the first and only company in North America to receive the Royal distinction, which it received in 1953 from Queen Elizabeth II. They have been performing this version of Nutcracker, with choreography by Nina Menon and Galina Yordanova, for almost 25 years.

4. A Production of Epic Proportions

It takes 34 stagehands to help for Nutcracker setup behind-the-scenes, and 26 are staffed for the duration of the production, which is five performances here in Vancouver. To give an idea of the what goes on behind the curtain, there are 18 fly cues that move 32 pieces of scenery. With the final minutes  Nutcracker requiring three major scene changes, it is no wonder planning begins in March!

5. Inspired by Canada

The RWB’s Nutcracker is inspired by Canadian life and features lots of distinctly Canadian elements like an ice hockey game and Ottawa’s Parliament Hill, making it a unique and nostalgic holiday tradition for families across the country.

6. Unforgettable Music

One of the most instantly recognizable and beloved aspects of Nutcracker is the music. Written by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and first premiered in 1892, the Nutcracker Suite gained instant acclaim. The ballet’s first choreographer Marius Petipa provided specific notes to the composer including direction on number of bars and tempo. While Tchaikovsky’s other full-length ballet compositions, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, sell out concert houses around the world to this day, Nutcracker remains his most popular work.


Tickets for Nutcracker, December 7-10 at downtown Vancouver’s Centre for Performing Arts are on sale now, starting from just $35.


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