Everything Nutcracker

The Second Annual Great "Nutcracker" Roundup: 2019 Edition

Boston Ballet in The Nutcracker. Angela Sterling, Courtesy Boston Ballet.

Last year, we brought you the first ever Great Nutcracker Roundup, a listing of 71 of our nation's professional Nutcrackers, organized by state. Now we're back, and this year we've included 99 productions in 40 states. So as you get ready to sit down to your turkey (or tofurkey) dinner this week, take a look at this list to find the nearest Nut to you.

Please remember, we're not perfect! If we missed a major Nutcracker production (no schools, please), we want to know. Email clansky@dancemedia.com for consideration.


Alabama

Birmingham audiences, take note: Alabama Ballet is one of only eight companies in the world licensed to perform George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Catch it December 13-15 and 20-22.

Mobile Ballet presents The Nutcracker December 14-15 at the Mobile Civic Center Theater.

Montgomery Ballet is taking The Nutcracker on the road. See it December 1 in Tallassee, December 8 in Greenville and December 13-15 in Montgomery.

Alaska

In the midst of its run in Salt Lake City, Ballet West tours to Anchorage November 29-December 1.

Arizona

Ballet Arizona presents artistic director Ib Anderson's The Nutcracker December 13-24.

Ballet Tucson's The Nutcracker runs December 28-29.

Arkansas

The largest holiday production in the state, Ballet Arkansas brings The Nutcracker Spectacular back to Little Rock December 13-15.

Check out NWA Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker December 6-8 at the Arend Arts Center in Bentonville.

California

American Ballet Theatre makes its annual winter trip to the West Coast, presenting Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Coast Mesa December 13-22.

American Contemporary Ballet's immersive The Nutcracker Suite, choreographed by artistic director Lincoln Jones, returns to Los Angeles November 29-December 24.

The world premiere of Jared Nelson's The Nutcracker for California Ballet, featuring the San Diego Symphony, comes to the Civic Theatre December 13-22.

Elizabeth Wistrich's Victorian-era Nutcracker takes the City Ballet of San Diego stage December 6-22.

See Inland Pacific Ballet's The Nutcracker November 30-December 8 in Rancho Cucamonga, December 14-15 in Riverside and December 21-22 in Claremont. And don't miss two performances of the Nutty Nutcracker December 13 and 20.

Los Angeles Ballet's The Nutcracker, featuring choreography by Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, returns November 30-December 29 to multiple theaters across Los Angeles.

Nutcracker Sweets, Mark Foehringer Dance Project's zany, family-friendly take on the classic, is onstage in Fort Mason December 7-22.

December 12-22, artistic director Amy Seiwert's take on The Nutcracker for Sacramento Ballet returns for the second year.

San Diego Ballet's The Nutcracker comes to Copley Symphony Hall December 28-29.

San Francisco Ballet celebrates the 75th anniversary of America's first Nutcracker with current artistic director Helgi Tomasson's production, onstage at the War Memorial Opera House December 11-29.

Smuin Ballet's The Christmas Ballet is broken into two acts: Classical Christmas and Cool Christmas. Catch it in Walnut Creek November 22-23, Mountain View November 29-December 1, San Francisco December 12-23 and Carmel-by-the-Sea December 28-29.

December 21-22, check out State Street Ballet's The Nutcracker featuring choreography by Rodney Gustafson at The Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara.

Colorado

The dual-city Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's The Nutcracker! hits Aspen December 21-22.

Colorado Ballet's The Nutcracker returns to Denver for its 59th season November 30-December 29.

Connecticut

Connecticut Ballet's The Nutcracker brings in major guest stars from American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet. The December 21 performances feature NYCB's Unity Phelan and Taylor Stanley, and on December 22 Stamford-based audiences can see ABT's Hee Seo with NYCB's Sebastian Villarini-Velez.

Delaware

First State Ballet's The Nutcracker, Wilmington's holiday tradition, returns December 21-22.

Florida

Miami City Ballet presents George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, featuring designs by Isabel and Ruben Toledo, at two different theaters. December 13-22 marks a run at the Miami Arsht Center, and December 27-29 the ballet makes its way to the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.

Orlando Ballet's The Nutcracker, with live music by Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras, hits the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts December 13-23.

Sarasota Ballet mixes things up with John Ringling's Circus Nutcracker, running December 20-21.

Dance Alive National Ballet brings The Nutcracker to Gainesville's Curtis M. Phillips Center Mainstage December December 19—22.

Georgia

Following its premiere last year, Yuri Possokhov's The Nutcracker for Atlanta Ballet returns December 7-24.

While touring The Nutcracker around South Carolina, Columbia City Ballet makes a stop in Georgia at the Savannah Civic Center on November 30.

Savannah Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker takes center stage at the Lucas Theatre for the Performing Arts December 7-8.

Hawaii

Septime Webre's Hawaiian-themed The Nutcracker returns to Honolulu December 12-15. Ballet Hawaii brings in an all-star cast of dancers including New York City Ballet's Megan Fairchild, Pacific Northwest Ballet's Lesley Rausch and other guests from NYCB, PNB, Carolina Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Indianapolis Ballet and more.

Idaho

Ballet Idaho's holiday classic, The Nutcracker, returns to Boise's Morrison Center for the Performing Arts December 19-23 with all new sets and costumes.

Oregon-based Eugene Ballet is taking its The Nutcracker on tour to Idaho. Catch it in Caldwell December 3-5, Twin Falls December 6-7, Coeur d'Alene December 17 and Sandpoint December 18.

Illinois

Christopher Wheeldon's acclaimed The Nutcracker, set in the midst of the 1893 World's Fair, is back at the Joffrey Ballet November 30-December 29.

Indiana

December 19-22, Ballet Theatre of Indiana presents the world premiere of A Serving of Nutcracker With a Hint of Jazz

Fort Wayne Ballet's The Nutcracker runs December 6-15. The December 6 and 7 performances feature live music by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

Indianapolis Ballet joins forces with the 45-piece Indianapolis Ballet Orchestra to present The Nutcracker November 29-December 1.

Iowa

Omaha-based American Midwest Ballet brings The Nutcracker to The Arts Center Main Stage in Council Bluffs on November 24.

Ballet Des Moines' The Nutcracker continues its tradition December 13-15.

Kentucky

Kentucky Ballet Theatre presents six performances of The Nutcracker December 14-22 at the Lexington Opera House.

Louisville-based audiences can see Louisville Ballet's The Brown-Forman Nutcracker, choreographed by Val Caniparoli, December 14-22 at The Kentucky Center.

Maine

November 29-December 8, see Maine State Ballet's The Nutcracker at Merrill Auditorium in Portland.

Portland Ballet's The Victorian Nutcracker charms Maine-based ballet fans yet again. Catch it December 7 at Portland's Merrill Auditorium and December 21-23 at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center.

Maryland

Ballet Theatre of Maryland's The Nutcracker returns to Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis December 7-15 and Prince George's Community College Center for Performing Arts in Largo December 21.

Massachusetts

Mikko Nissinen's The Nutcracker (and its famous Nutcracker Bear) take the Boston Ballet stage November 29-December 29.

The magic of José Mateo Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker is back at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston November 30-December 8, followed by the Strand Theatre in Dorchester December 13-22.

Michigan

Follow Grand Rapids Ballet's online countdown to The Nutcracker, featuring sets by children's book author and illustrator Chris Van Allsburg and choreography by Val Caniparoli. It runs December 13-15 and 20-22.

Minnesota

Ballet Co.Laboratory's whimsical Nutcracker in Wonderland is onstage in St. Paul December 13-15.

Allen Field's The Nutcracker for Minnesota Ballet features the Minnesota Ballet Orchestra and the Lake Superior Youth Chorus. See it at Symphony Hall in Duluth December 13-15.

James Sewell Ballet dancers star in St Paul Ballet's A Nutcracker Story, performed December 19-22 at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium in Saint Paul.

Missouri

Kansas City Ballet artistic director Devon Carney's The Nutcracker is back December 5-24.

See Saint Louis Ballet's The Nutcracker November 29-December 1 and December 18-23. For a sneak peek, check out these SLB dancers in their Nut costumes in this adorable Dancers & Dogs photoshoot.

Nebraska

Catch American Midwest Ballet's The Nutcracker at Omaha's Orpheum Theater December 7-8.

Nevada

Choreographed by James Canfield, Nevada Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker is back in Las Vegas December 13-24. Audiences can also stop by The Nutcracker Wonderland, an immersive family-friendly bonus experience.

New Jersey

American Repertory Ballet takes The Nutcracker on a whirlwind tour around New Jersey. See it in Rahway November 23-24, Princeton November 29-December 1, Asbury Park on December 7, New Brunswick December 13-15 and Trenton on December 21.

This is not your average Nut. Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater presents The Nutcracker ROCKS, choreographed by Gabriel Chajnik, December 20-22 in Deal Park.

New Jersey Ballet is taking its Nutcracker on tour. It's onstage November 24 in Middle Township, December 1 in Milville, December 7-8 in Englewood and December 13-27 in Morristown.

Roxey Ballet presents its 26th annual The Nutcracker November 30-December 8 at the College of New Jersey's Kendall Main Stage Theater in Ewing.

New Mexico

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet brings some holiday spirit to Santa Fe December 14-15 with The Nutcracker.

New York

Westchester-based Ballet des Ameriques performs its Nutcracker Dream December 15, 21-22 and 28 at The Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck.

Celebrating the vibrant culture of Brooklyn, Brooklyn Ballet's Brooklyn Nutcracker takes the stage at the Kings Theatre on December 14.

Dances Patrelle's The Yorkville Nutcracker, exploring the history of New York City and featuring New York City Ballet guest stars Abi Stafford and Ask La Cour, is at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College December 13-15.

From its home at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater, New York City Ballet presents its much-loved production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker November 29-January 5.

Keith Michael's one-hour long The Nutcracker for New York Theatre Ballet is the perfect fit for young audiences. See it December 13-15 at Florence Gould Hall.

Rochester City Ballet's The Nutcracker runs December 7-8 at Canandaigua Academy, including a sensory-friendly matinee on December 8.

North Carolina

Carolina Ballet's The Nutcracker, featuring a live symphony orchestra, is onstage in Chapel Hill December 7-8, in Durham December 14-15 and in Raleigh December 18-29.

Catch Charlotte Ballet's Nutcracker at the Belk Theater December 6-23.

The Great Wilmington Nutcracker presented by US International Ballet returns December 14-15 at the Wilson Center in Wilmington and December 20 at Odell Williamson Auditorium in Bolivia.

Ohio

BalletMet's The Nutcracker, co-created by Gerard Charles and Robert Post, is onstage at the Ohio Theatre in Columbus December 13-28.

Cincinnati Ballet The Nutcracker, choreographed by artistic director Victoria Morgan (and featuring our favorite hippo, Fiona) returns December 19-29.

Following a sold out run in 2018, Cleveland Ballet's The Nutcracker is back December 5-15.

December 13-23, Dayton Ballet presents The Nutcracker, choreographed by Karen Russo Burke, at Dayton's Schuster Center.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma City Ballet artistic director Robert Mills' staging of The Nutcracker, featuring the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, takes the stage December 14-22.

Set in 1920s Paris, Marcello Angelini's version of The Nutcracker has been a favorite of Tulsa Ballet audiences since 2003. See it December 7-22 at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

Oregon

Ballet Fantastique presents the world premiere of its new holiday ballet, Babes in Toyland, December 13-15 in Eugene.

Eugene Ballet is taking The Nutcracker on the road. Catch it November 22-23 in Coos Bay, November 24 in Roseburg, November 30 in Klamath Falls, December 10 in Ontario, December 14 in Salem, December 15 in Corvallis and December 20-22 in Eugene.

Oregon Ballet Theatre presents George Balanchine's The Nutcracker December 7-26 in Portland.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Ballet brings George Balanchine's The Nutcracker back to Philadelphia's Academy of Music December 6-31.

Terrence Orr's The Nutcracker! for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is onstage December 6-29.

Rhode Island

Festival Ballet Providence's annual The Nutcracker returns December 13-15. On November 24, hopeful dog owners can bring their pups to audition for a role in the production.

Island Moving Company presents the 18th season of Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff, set in the iconic Rosecliff Mansion, November 27, 29 and December 1 and 3-6.

South Carolina

Columbia City Ballet tours The Nutcracker to Sumter November 23, Lancaster November 25, Camden December 5, Florence December 17, Hartsville December 20 and Columbia December 14-22.

Tenessee

Ballet Memphis' Nutcracker, accompanied by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, is back December 12-15.

December 7-23, catch Nashville Ballet's locally-based Nashville's Nutcracker, created by Paul Vasterling, at TPAC's Jackson Hall.

Texas

Ballet Austin presents the 57th annual production of The Nutcracker, with choreography by Stephen Mills, December 7-23 at The Long Center.

November 29-December 1 and December 6-8, catch Ballet San Antonio's The Nutcracker, co-choreographed by Easton and Haley Smith with live music by the San Antonio Symphony.

Stanton Welch's opulent production of The Nutcracker returns to Houston Ballet November 29-December 29.

See Texas Ballet Theater's The Nutcracker in Dallas November 29-December 8 and in Fort Worth December 13-29. And don't forget the company's one-night-only Nut spoof, The Nutty Nutcracker, showing in Fort Worth on December 20.

Utah

This year, Ballet West celebrates the 75th anniversary of company founder Willam Christensen's Nutcracker, the country's first full-length production. Take a step back in history December 7-26 in Salt Lake City.

Virginia

December 19-22, Charlottesville Ballet brings back The Nutcracker.

Richmond Ballet presents The Nutcracker December 7-9 in Norfolk and December 14-23 in Richmond.

Washington

November 29-December 28, Seattle-based audiences can see Pacific Northwest Ballet in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker.

The New York-based Mark Morris Dance Group tours Mark Morris' witty The Hard Nut to Seattle's Paramount Theatre December 6-15.

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. audiences will be the first outside of Georgia to see Yuri Possokhov's new The Nutcracker for Atlanta Ballet, which premiered last year. It's touring to The Kennedy Center November 27-December 1.

The Washington Ballet's The Nutcracker is set in historic 1882 Georgetown. Catch it at THEARC November 23-24 and at the Warner Theatre November 30-December 29.

Wisconsin

Ballet Co.Laboratory tours Nutcracker in Wonderland to Menomonie December 20-21.

December 20-28, Madison Ballet rings in the holiday season with performances of The Nutcracker at Overture Hall.

December 6-26, Milwaukee Ballet presents The Nutcracker.


Ballet Careers
Lenai Alexis Wilkerson. Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Michelle Tabnick Public Relations.

This is one of a series of stories on recent graduates' on-campus experiences—and the connections they made that jump-started their dance careers. Lenai Alexis Wilkerson graduated from University of Southern California with a BFA in dance (dance performance concentration) and a political science minor in 2019.

As Lenai Alexis Wilkerson looked at colleges, she wanted a school that would prepare her for two totally different professions: dancing and law. "I knew, pretty much when I was 16, that I wanted to go to law school," she says. "So I wanted the opportunity to have a dual college experience, where I could have a conservatory training style within a university and I could focus equally on my academics." When she auditioned for the inaugural class of University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, she knew it was the right fit.

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Tzu Chia Huang, Courtesy Ballet Arizona

These days, ballet dancers are asked to do more than they ever have—whether that's tackling versatile rep, taking on intense cross-training regimens or managing everything from their Instagram pages to their summer layoff gigs.

Without proper training, these demands can take a toll on both the mind and the body. But students can start preparing for them early—with the right summer intensive program.

The School of Ballet Arizona's summer intensive takes a well-rounded approach to training—not just focusing on technique and facility but nurturing overall dancer growth. "You cannot make a dancer just by screaming at them like they used to," says master ballet teacher Roberto Muñoz, who guests at the program every summer. "You have to take care of the person as well."

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Nicolas Pelletier in Carmina Burana. Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet.

Last week, Colorado Ballet interrupted Nutcracker rehearsals for an exciting announcement: Four dancers were being promoted. Though all made the jump from the company's corps de ballet, Nicolas Pelletier ascended directly to the rank of soloist, while Sean Omandam, Emily Speed and Melissa Zoebisch were promoted to demi-soloist. This news comes hot on the heels of last August's promotion of Francisco Estevez to principal.

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Courtesy School of Pennsylvania Ballet

While many of us are deep in Nutcracker duties, The School of Pennsylvania Ballet director James Payne has been looking further ahead, finalizing preparations for the school's summer intensive programs. In January, he and his staff will embark on a 24-city audition tour to scour the country for the best young dancers, deciding whether or not to offer them a spot—maybe even a scholarship—in the school's rigorous 5-week intensive focused on high-caliber ballet instruction. Though he'll be evaluating aspirants, he urges that as a student, you should be equally selective in choosing programs that could galvanize your training—and possibly even your career.

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