Nutcracker Round-Up

It’s that time of year, again, when the Sugar Plum Fairy comes out to play. The Nutcracker, for better or worse, is the bread and butter of the dance world. The story ballet that puts children at the center of a fantastical world has become a favorite holiday tradition for many families over the years. And while classic interpretations are still very popular and performed throughout the area, artists are rarely content to perform the same work over and over without injecting a little extra creative magic. From nostalgic to quirky, find The Nutcracker that is right for any family here in the Bay Area.

San Jose Dance Theatre's Nutcracker

The Nutcracker (12/2–12/11)

The Nutcracker is beloved as a holiday tradition that families can enjoy together year after year. San Jose Dance Theatre is now in its 51st year of producing this classic ballet. For people looking to add this ballet to their annual holiday traditions, this local production has a long and rich history that features live music.


The San Jose Nutcracker (12/16–12/24)

Bring The Nutcracker home with this production that moves the setting from Russia to San Jose. The collaboration between The New Ballet School and History San Jose offers a local twist on a classic tale. The Sugar Plum Fairy is right at home in the orchards of “The Valley of Hearts Delight,” and “Uncle Nikola” makes for a good Drosselmeyer when he brings out his marvelous electric gifts.


The Nutcracker (12/16–12/24)

For some, the music is the highlight of any performance of The Nutcracker. Thankfully, Symphony Silicon Valley will be performing live music when it welcomes the Ballet Stars of Moscow Company. Maestro George Daugherty will be conducting Tchaikovsky’s brilliant score for this production.

Hip Hop Nutcracker (12/16)

Ballet isn’t for everyone. Thankfully, there is a Hip Hop Nutcracker. In this spin on the classic, Clara falls asleep and dreams of the Sugar Plum Tribe hanging out in Hip Hop Land. For the full experience, Peninsula Ballet Theatre also offers a traditional production of The Nutcracker on the 17th and 18th. Both the hip hop and ballet versions will be performed at the historic Fox Theatre in Redwood City.

Great Russian Nutcracker (12/20)

For a truly authentic experience, it is tough to beat the Great Russian Nutcracker that brings the ballet straight from Russia to Cupertino. This vibrant touring production is noted for its dazzling scenery and costumes. The Moscow Ballet also partners with local dance schools to give young dancers the opportunity to perform alongside the touring professionals.

The Nutcracker (12/2–12/10)

A talented group of young dancers from South Valley Dance Arts take on the classic tale in this charming production. Audience members can come early and explore the friendly community atmosphere of Morgan Hill.

Nutcracker Alternative:

Smuin's The Christmas Ballet

The Christmas Ballet (12/7–12/11)

When Smuin Ballet’s dancers come to Mountain View, they will bring a holiday tradition that incorporates contemporary ballet and strips away the story ballet aspect. If the idea of seeing the same show performed every year isn’t appealing, The Christmas Ballet has the answer with a constantly rotating repertory of pieces that offers something new every year while staying true to a holiday theme. At times picture book pretty, at times exuberantly cheeky, this is the un-Nutcracker of the ballet world.

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