Start a New Holiday Tradition with The Nutcracker

What’s old is new again, and it wouldn’t feel like the holidays without The Nutcracker. The Houston Ballet has debuted a fresh production of The Nutcracker that is a “must see” for the holiday season. The celebrated Christmas tradition takes a new spin with an elaborate production by artistic director Stanton Welch. The Houston Chronicle called the ballet “a tremendous assertion of just how thrilling tradition can be.”

The production features stunning new staging and costumes. With performances now through Dec. 27 and a run time of 2 hours, 5 minutes (including one 25 min. intermission), this is a holiday ballet for the entire family.

Tchaikovsky’s Famous Score Remains Popular

The original production of The Nutcracker debuted in December 1892 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, as a two-act ballet featuring an original score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The ballet’s storyline was adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.”

The original production was not a success, although Tchaikovsky’s score for the ballet became one of his most famous compositions. However, starting in the late 1960s, The Nutcracker has become enormously popular, especially in North America, and it is performed by countless ballet companies during the Christmas season. In fact, numerous American ballet companies derive as much as 40% of their annual revenues from these holiday performances.

The Nutcracker is a perfect introduction of ballet to young children, who delight in seeing the power and beauty of the classical dances on a live stage. It is also a much-loved tradition, and this year’s interpretation on the traditional story from the Houston Ballet is especially enchanting.

Enter a World of Make-Believe

The production of The Nutcracker is set at a lively party hosted at the Stahlbaum house on a snowy, German Christmas Eve and centers around the oldest daughter, Clara. At the party, a Nutcracker, her new favorite Christmas toy, is maliciously broken by her jealous younger brother Fritz. After the party ends, Clara sneaks back downstairs, where the Nutcracker comes to life as a handsome prince.

After battling tin solders and defeating the evil Mouse King in battle, he whisks Clara away to a magical kingdom populated by dolls. We follow her journey to the Land of the Sweets and a festival hosted by the benevolent Sugar Plum Fairy and her dancing candies.

You’ll see snowflakes, sword fights, a Christmas tree that grows to touch the sky, pirouetting dolls and so much more. According to the Houston Ballet, “Stanton Welch’s opulent new production promises everything you love about The Nutcracker, [but] brighter and more splendid than ever. With grand sets and stunning costumes, The Nutcracker features the entire company of dancers playing hundreds of fun and exciting new roles.”
Make The Nutcracker a VIP experience by meeting the dancers in full costume, enjoying food and drinks, and taking memorable photos. VIP tickets are still available for select dates and times.



Jocelyn Sexton is a marketing and corporate communications professional with more than 15 years of writing experience. She is a passionate storyteller and has worked in a variety of industries, including a stint in state government where she worked to promote Texas food with the Department of Agriculture. She earned an Executive MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has an undergraduate degree in Journalism-Public Relations from the University of North Texas.

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September 2021