Colorado Ballet

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

Choreographer: Based on Choreography by Martin Fredmann
Additional Choreography by Sandra Brown
Staged by Lorita Travaglia and Sandra Brown
Based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffman
Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Years performed: 1961-present

Artists of Colorado Ballet by Mike Watson

Artists of Colorado Ballet by Mike Watson

Total run time: 1 hour and 50 minutes (includes one - 20 minute intermission)

Colorado Ballet's The Nutcracker was named the best-loved Nutcracker in the country in 2016!  Click here to read more.


The curtain rises to reveal Herr Drosselmeyer in his workshop preparing for the party at the home of Dr. and Frau Stahlbaum. It’s their annual Christmas Eve Party. The magical and eccentric Herr Drosselmeyer has planned a special surprise for his beloved godchild, Clara Stahlbaum. He presents her with a wonderfully mysterious wooden Nutcracker.

Clara is immediately taken with the gift. Clara’s brother Fritz is jealous and steals the Nutcracker from Clara. In the chaos of his teasing, Fritz accidentally breaks the Nutcracker. Herr Drosselmeyer comes to the rescue and assures Clara that all will be well.

The party ends and Clara, just before the stroke of midnight, returns to the darkened living room to check on her Nutcracker. She is frightened by large mice, but suddenly, Herr Drosselmeyer appears and the mice flee. Much to Clara’s amazement, Herr Drosselmeyer commands the Christmas tree to grow to such an enormous size that it pushes away the entire room. Next, he changes her little wooden toy into a life-size Nutcracker. The Nutcracker introduces himself and his soldiers to Clara.

The mice suddenly reappear, and a vicious battle ensues. The soldiers seem to be winning, but the great Mouse King appears and the tide turns. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King fight, and just as the Mouse King is about to overpower the Nutcracker, Clara distracts him, giving the Nutcracker the chance to overcome the Mouse King.

To Clara’s delight and surprise, the Nutcracker is transformed into a handsome young prince, who takes her off on an enchanted journey. He takes her to the Land of the Snow, and then to the beautiful Kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy, where Clara is entertained by dances from many lands.

Clara and the Prince dance together surrounded by radiant flowers. The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier then dance for Clara and the Prince. The Prince carries a sleeping Clara back to her home, where she awakens uncertain if her magical journey was a dream or reality.


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